Canadian Grand Prix qualifying: Hamilton magnificent in Montreal

Canadian Grand Prix qualifying: Hamilton magnificent in Montreal

10/06/2017 at 19:49Updated 10/06/2017 at 20:05

Lewis Hamilton clocked an F1 lap record in Montreal to snap up pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix.


Welcome back, Fernando Alonso! After his brief sabbatical in which he enjoyed his rookie spell in IndyCar, he returned to his McLaren and got some impressive pace out of it - sitting P3 at one stage.

The Mercedes pair of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton got the quickest times - but they were already on the quicker ultrasoft tyres, unlike the Ferraris, who went with the supersofts instead.

Williams's Lance Stroll - a Canadian, thus in his home race - had a shocker. Straight out of qualifying for him - and for Pascal Wehrlein, who ended up stranded at Turn 1 without a rear wing with one minute to go. McLaren and Stoffel Vandoorne had to abandon their flying lap because of the yellow flags - and they were not happy.

OUT: Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren), Lance Stroll (Williams), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber), Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber).


Hamilton clocked the quckest time of the weekend so far, with just 0.25 of a second separating the two Mercedes and the two Ferraris in the top four, but what was intriguing was the speed of the Force Indias, with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon evidently enjoying competing against each other.

Alonso, meanwhile, reported a loss of power in his McLaren as normal service resumed for him.

And a bad end to the day for Daniil Kvyat, oversteering into a chicane and suffering a puncture as the clock ticked down.

OUT: Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Fernando Alonso (McLaren), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Romain Grosjean (Haas), Jolyon Palmer (Renault).


Hamilton left the pit and promptly broke his own lap record with a 1:11.791 - amazing. Bottas was a touch slower, but locking out the front row put a smile on team boss Toto Wolff's face back in the garage.

Well, that was temporary, because Sebastian Vettel stepped up to the challenge - but was four-thousands of a second slower than Hamilton. The margins at the top are infinitesmal and impressive.

And then Hamilton knocked some time off his top mark, clocking 1:11.459. He drove terrifically all day to grab his 65th career pole - the same as his hero Ayrton Senna secured.

GRID: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Felipe Massa (Williams), Sergio Perez (Force India), Esteban Ocon (Force India), Nico Hulkenberg (Renault).


With the caveat that this is the race with the fewest pole-to-win conversions, Hamilton got pole in impressive fashion. Vettel will start alongside him, and be ready to capitalise on this unforgiving track.


That speed from Hamilton and Vettel. No F1 driver had broken the 1:12 barrier before - to get so far below that mark was stunning.


Keep an eye on those Force Indias tomorrow. They look good for some decent points.


Vettel - Hamilton - Bottas