Hamilton upstages Vettel to take Canadian pole and equals Senna’s pole record

Lewis Hamilton beat his Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix and equal his hero’s achievement of 65 pole positions.

Ferrari had set the pace in practice, but when it mattered in qualifying Hamilton produced the result. The Mercedes driver lapped below one minute, 12 seconds for the first time this weekend in Q1 and never looked back.

Hamilton was fastest of all in Q2 before setting a new lap record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to claim pole in Q3.

Hamilton took provisional pole with a one minute, 11.791 seconds lap on his first run, before Vettel attempted to respond, falling short by just 0.004 seconds thanks to a wild moment coming out of the Turn 6/7 chicane.

Hamilton then lowered his own benchmark with one minute, 11.459 seconds on his second run to seal pole, before Vettel shaved 0.006 seconds off his own best time.

This allowed the Ferrari driver to beat Hamilton’s earlier Q3 best, but still left Vettel 0.336 seconds short of taking the top spot.

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest. He was fractionally quicker than his Mercedes team-mate in Q1 and not far behind in Q2, but was well beaten in Q3, finishing over seven tenths of a second down.

Friday pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen brushed the wall in Q1 and ended up fourth fastest overall for Ferrari, complaining of a “really shit” first corner on his quickest lap.

The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo claimed row three of the grid, separated by 0.154 seconds, with Verstappen lapping within two tenths of the second.

Felipe Massa was seventh fastest for Williams and the only other driver to lap below one minute, 13 seconds, ahead of Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, and impressive Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, who rounded out the top ten.

Neither Toro Rosso driver made it through to Q3, after a messy session that featured a spin for Carlos Sainz at Turn 1 and Daniil Kvyat glancing the wall at Turn 9 and picking up a puncture.

Kvyat wound up P11, 0.284 seconds shy of the cut, while Sainz was P13.

Fernando Alonso split the Toro Rossos by lapping his McLaren-Honda in P12, only 0.003 seconds shy of beating Kvyat and despite initially complaining of having less power available from the engine than he’d enjoyed in Q1.

Romain Grosjean struggled with a lack of grip from his final set of ultra-soft Pirelli tyres, saying they gave him “absolutely nothing” as he wound up P14.

Jolyon Palmer was P15 in the second of the two works Renaults, also complaining of “no grip”. He was within two tenths of team-mate Hulkenberg in Q1, but struggled badly in Q2, including suffering a brief off at Turn 1.

A crash for Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber at the same corner ended Q1, as it forced several drivers to abandon late efforts to improve.

Having complained about being used by his team-mate ‘unfairly’ for a tow in the second half of the session, Sainz managed to squeak into Q2.

Sainz lapped 0.131 seconds clear of Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren-Honda, which was eliminated in Q1 for the sixth time in seven attempts this season.

Lance Stroll also failed to escape the bottom five in qualifying for his home race, the Williams rookie finishing the session 0.027 seconds behind Vandoorne in P17.

Kevin Magnussen complained of encountering traffic “every single lap” as he wound up only P18, less than two tenths clear of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.

Wehrlein lapped slowest of all, 0.315 seconds down on Ericsson, and ended up with his Sauber missing its rear wing after he approached Turn 1 on too wide a line and lost the rear of the car under braking.

So a fantastic qualifying result for Lewis Hamilton. The triple champion received a race worn helmet presented by the Ayrton Senna family as a honour for equalling the great driver’s record of 65 pole positions. The emotions from Hamilton said it all.

Qualifying positions, Canadian Grand Prix:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m11.459s
2    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m11.789s
3    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m12.177s
4    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m12.252s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m12.403s
6    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m12.557s
7    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m12.858s
8    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m13.018s
9    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m13.135s
10    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m13.271s
11    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m13.690s
12    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m13.693s
13    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m13.756s
14    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m13.839s
15    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m14.293s
16    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m14.182s
17    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m14.209s
18    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1m14.318s
19    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m14.495s
20    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m14.810s

6 thoughts on “Hamilton upstages Vettel to take Canadian pole and equals Senna’s pole record

  1. Canadian Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by Formula1.com.

    A thrilling Canadian Grand Prix is in prospect tomorrow after Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel battled for pole position, but it was not his unreal speed that left the Mercedes driver speechless as he beat his Ferrari rival. It was the presentation, in front of thousands of fans, of a real Ayrton Senna helmet from the Senna family as he matched his idol’s second-place record of 65 pole positions, only three adrift of Michael Schumacher’s record.

    After holding it aloft in its glass box, Hamilton admitted: “I’m shaken. Speechless. I know that Ayrton was for many of you your favourite driver, and he was the same for me. He was the one who inspired me today, so to match him and to receive this is a great honour. To Ayrton and his family, God bless you, thank you.”

    After being beaten by Ferrari in practice this morning, Mercedes had found something extra for the afternoon showdown and Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas took third ahead of compatriot Kimi Raikkonen in the second scarlet car.

    Red Bull weren’t far off the pace either, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo fifth and sixth respectively, followed by Williams’ Felipe Massa, the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg who completed the top ten.

    With the secret to a good lap here being to warm up the front tyres, everyone was very dutiful as the Q1 session began in warm sunshine. Bottas narrowly headed Hamilton, ahead of Vettel and Verstappen, Massa, Perez and Ocon. But Vettel used supersoft ruber as the others went straight to ultrasofts – the clear inference was that Ferrari had the option to keep some powder dry for Q2 and Q3.

    Pascal Wehrlein ruined his chances with a late spin which backed his Sauber into the wall in Turn 1. That didn’t help McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, local hero Lance Stroll in the Williams or Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, who were left in the lurch, as was Marcus Ericcson in the other Sauber.

    Hamilton headed Q2 initially from Raikkonen, Bottas and Vettel, who had a big slide in the chicane. Hamilton’s 1m 12.496s was the fastest lap thus far this weekend.

    Carlos Sainz didn’t help himself by spinning in Turn 1 early on, and neither he nor Toro Rosso team mate Daniel Kvyat, who hit a wall and punctured a tyre, made it through to Q3. The Russia finished just ahead of Fernando Alonso’s down-on-power McLaren, Sainz, Romain Grosjean’s Haas, and Jolyon Palmer’s Renault.

    Hamilton’s first run in Q3 smashed Ralf Schumacher’s qualifying lap record from 2004 of 1m 12.275s, with 1m 11.791s, and left his rivals reeling, as Bottas lapped in 1m 12.177s, Raikkonen in 1m 12.341s and Vettel in 1m 12.423s.

    Vettel’s response on his second run was equally stellar, though, coming up just four-thousandths short at 1m 11.795s.

    Hamilton, however, had an answer – 1m 11.459s – to seal the deal, even though Vettel did a third run and trimmed his time fractionally to 1m 11.789s. It was all brilliant stuff and further endorsement of how close F1 is these days.

    Thus the provisional grid will line up: Hamilton, Vettel; Bottas, Raikkonen; Verstappen, Ricciardo; Massa, Perez; Ocon, Hulkenberg; Kvyat, Alonso; Sainz, Grosjean; Palmer, Vandoorne; Stroll, Magnussen; Ericsson, Wehrlein.

  2. Lewis Hamilton has admitted that this Senna helmet gift eclipses “all my trophies” following his record-equalling pole position. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton says receiving an Ayrton Senna Formula 1 helmet from the Brazilian legend’s family after equalling his pole position record in Canada has eclipsed “all my trophies”.

    Hamilton defeated his championship rival Sebastian Vettel in a tight qualifying session to take the 65th pole position of his F1 career, tying with Senna in second place on the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher.

    After conducting his post-session interview in front of the fans at Turn 2, Hamilton was given a genuine race helmet used by Senna in the 1987 season when he drove for Lotus.

    A “speechless” Hamilton kneeled on the ground and immediately took the helmet out of its presentation case, kissing it before taking it back to the paddock under his arm and hanging onto it during the mandatory photos for the top three, and the FIA press conference.

    “Wow, I am shaking,” said Hamilton. “Ayrton is the one who inspired me to be where I am. To match him and receive this is the greatest honour.

    “For the Senna family to send me this, I don’t possess any of Ayrton’s artifacts, this is the most special thing I have above and beyond all my trophies and everything.

    “I am honoured to be honoured by that family and honestly I couldn’t be happier.”

    Hamilton admitted he had set a target of matching Senna’s record since he surpassed his hero’s tally of 41 race wins.

    “I have equalled Ayrton in race wins a while ago so this has been my focus, literally as a kid I thought if I was lucky I could emulate Ayrton and I can’t believe it,” he added.

    “I remember coming home from school and putting on video tape of Ayrton so it is really strange to think that now I’m here and I have that many poles.

    “And being that it is the most difficult season of my career, racing these great guys [Vettel and Bottas] and Kimi [Raikkonen], and having us so close, it pushes us all to the limit, it relies on us to be perfect.

    “Of course we can’t always be perfect but today I got as close as I could get.”

    With Schumacher’s poles record standing at 68, Hamilton has set his sights on matching the seven-time world champion as well.

    When asked if equalling Schumacher would mean as much, he said: “I haven’t got there so I cannot really say… I cannot really look that far ahead I have to be grateful and appreciate this moment.

    “Ayrton was the guy who I knew at the beginning, it was the colour of the helmet, it is what you notice as a kid.

    “To think I am close to Michael’s incredible record, I plan on getting there, that will be an honour it itself at that moment, but that is all ifs and buts.”

  3. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel feels Ferrari has the pace to win despite pole defeat. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari has the pace to win the Canadian Grand Prix, despite having been unable to match Lewis Hamilton in qualifying.

    Vettel, who had been quickest in final practice, had to settle for second place on the grid after his Mercedes rival flew to his 65th career pole position by over three tenths of a second.

    Hamilton found over 0.3s in his final run, having previously been just 0.004s faster than Vettel heading into the closing stages of the shoot-out.

    The German, however, still feels Ferrari will be competitive enough to fight for victory on Sunday.

    “I think we have [the pace to win],” said Vettel, who failed to improve his time in his final attempt in Q3.

    “I’m not so happy with the last run I had in qualifying. I would have loved to repeat the second run and find a little bit. I tried to push a bit hard, but then pushed too hard. I knew I had to improve, even if just by five thousandths.”

    While Hamilton opted for a two-lap run to prepare his ultrasoft tyres in Q3, Vettel chose to do just one flyer, but, despite missing out on pole, the Ferrari driver believes it was the right strategy.

    “I was confident to go with the first lap,” he said. “You saw the laptimes getting better. I was confident we made the right call.”

    The championship leader conceded Hamilton had simply been “the better man” today.

    “I think we always expected Mercedes to be very quick, especially in the last segment,” Vettel added. “Lewis did a better job today and got a good lap. He was the better man today.

    “I thought we could step it up and find a bit of time. I lost a bit into Turn 2, and then lost two tenths out of the second corner and then I knew I had to catch up, which I did until the end of the lap.

    “Nevertheless the car was very good, I was happy this morning, and we should be good in the race.”

  4. Kimi Raikkonen said he “paid the price” for making a mistake when it counted in the closing moments of Formula 1 qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

    The Finn, who set the pace during Friday practice, had to settle for fourth on the grid, and he believes he was capable of more than that if he hadn’t made an error on his final run.

    “There was a lot of speed on the last lap, but I made a mistake in corner two,” said Raikkonen.

    “I improved a little bit, but I couldn’t make the lap very good, and I paid the price for it.

    “It was a little bit more tricky today than yesterday just to get a good feeling with the tyres, but that’s how it goes.”

    While his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel ended up three tenths of a second adrift of an inspired Lewis Hamilton in the fight for pole, Raikkonen was nearly eight tenths back, which he described as “not a surprise”.

    “At places like this, if you get one corner wrong, you’re going to lose massive lap time,” he said. “Our car has been good, but for whatever reason we’ve struggled a bit in qualifying.”

    However, Raikkonen believes the race “will be a different story”, with the Montreal venue traditionally throwing up unexpected circumstances and incident-packed grands prix.

    “Often it’s quite a hectic race here, a lot of things happen,” he said. “You never know here, it’s one of those places things can change quite quickly.

    “We’ll try again, we’ll see what happens. We should have good speed.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  5. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo commented that having Mercedes power might be “scary”. Motorsport.com has the story.

    Daniel Ricciardo has joked that it would be “scary” to have the amount of engine power the Mercedes Formula 1 team has with its qualifying engine modes

    The Renault-powered Red Bulls of Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were 0.2-0.3 seconds off the pace set by Lewis Hamilton in the second segment of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, but in Q3 they were 0.9-1.0s off the pace – a deficit that the team has frequently put down to Mercedes having special engine modes for the final part of qualifying in the V6 turbo hybrid era.

    “Q2 we all looked pretty close, even to the leaders, but then in Q3 they all turned it up,” Ricciardo told reporters on Saturday.

    “They’ve got something special in Q3. We’d love to have the Mercedes power, what they had in Q3, that might be scary, actually!

    “Going down the straights, we might brake really early because the speed is so high. It would be nice to have more, but I guess we’re used to this position.

    “We’re still trying to do what we can with the chassis, we’ve brought quite a lot to the car this week and I think it is working but it’s still hard to quantify when we’re down [on power] in Q3 like that.

    “Mercedes are strong, I’m not convinced they can hold that in the race – I’m sure the power they have to turn down a bit and on tyres they don’t seem as comfortable as last year.

    “I don’t think they’ll have it easy against Ferrari, and I feel like we will be closer than we were on one lap.”

    Verstappen, who narrowly outqualified Ricciardo to take fifth on the grid, said there was no point dwelling on the engine deficit.

    “In Q2 everything was very close, but in Q3 we know they can turn up their engines, and then it was quite a big gap,” he said.

    “You can’t change the situation. You would like to have it, but if it’s not there, it’s not there. You can be disappointed, you can get angry, but that will not solve anything.

    “It’s better to be positive and make the best of the situation you’re in. Every track is different, but here you can clearly see from Q2 to Q3 what the difference became.

    “This is not our track, so with the long straights of course the gap will be bigger than in Monaco, for example.”

  6. Sauber is set to change Pascal Wehrlein’s Formula 1 gearbox after his Canadian Grand Prix qualifying crash, meaning the German will be handed a five-place grid penalty.

    In Q1, Wehrlein touched the grass on his approach to Turn 1 and was pitched into a spin, with the car sliding into the barriers and breaking the rear wing.

    Motorsport.com understands there was significant damage to the rear of the car and, after an inspection of the gearbox, Sauber decided a fresh unit was required.

    Under F1’s sporting regulations, drivers need to run the same gearbox in six consecutive events or take a five-place penalty.

    Wehrlein was already set to start from the back but the team has yet to decide whether he will take up the final grid slot or start from the pits.

    Wehrlein took the blame for the incident, admitting it was his mistake as he was “overdriving” the car.

    “I tried to push to extract the maximum but obviously it was my mistake in Turn 1,” he told Motorsport.com. “I’m sorry for the mechanics because at the moment they are working so much – it was simply my mistake.

    “I was overdriving the car because already the lap before I had a few moments our of the corners. I’m just trying really hard to extract the maximum out of the car.

    “We can see the gap to the cars in front, I’m just trying hard, and the last lap it was too much.”

    Wehrlein has reverted to an older version of the team’s Canada-spec rear wing, as the team does not have a spare of the new version it brought to Montreal.

    Teammate Marcus Ericsson will continue to run the latest version but it is believed the part has not delivered the gains Sauber had expected.

    Sauber was also hoping to unlock the potential of its Monaco upgrade package in Canada, but so far is at a loss as to why it is not delivering the performance the data has suggested it can.

    “Since Monaco, we have had the new aero package and we expected a good step but at the moment we can’t see it,” said Wehrlein. “We don’t know if it is track-related or if it is tyre-related.

    “From the numbers, everything is working, as expected. We can see the gains, but we can’t see the lap times. We’re half a second off the teams ahead of us.

    “If it’s a normal simple race without DNFs or issues on other cars, it will be difficult.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

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