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Stage set for epic battle in Montreal after Silver Arrows edge tight qualifying battle

Stage set for epic battle in Montreal after Silver Arrows edge tight qualifying battle

  • Lewis took his 53rd Formula One pole position today – his fifth at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
  • Nico completed a fourth Silver Arrows front row lockout of the season in P2 – less than a tenth shy of his team-mate
  • Both drivers completed two runs in Q1, Q2 and Q3, using the UltraSoft Pirelli tyre compound throughout
Driver Chassis No P3 Q1 Q2 Q3
Lewis Hamilton F1 W07 Hybrid/01 1:14.334 P04 1:14.121 07 Laps P01 1:13.076 06 Laps P01 1:12.812 08 Laps
Nico Rosberg F1 W07 Hybrid/03 1:14.316 P01 1:13.714 06 Laps P02 1:13.094 06 Laps P02 1:12.874 07 Laps
Weather Overcast, intermittent light drizzle, cool
Temperatures Air: 14.4 – 15.7°C Track: 18.7 – 22.3°C
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Lewis Hamilton

That’s not necessarily the way you want it to turn out, getting pole without a real battle on the final lap – but you take it whatever way it comes! I think there was more time to be found out there but I’m happy to have done enough on that first run. This always tends to be a good track for me. It’s all about braking and since I was a kid I’ve always been last of the late brakers, so I guess that’s why it’s always suited my style and why I’m strong in sector one in particular. It’s such a great track to drive – like a Formula One kart track, with the high speeds and the way you’re jumping over the kerbs. It’s always special coming back here as it’s where I won my first Grand Prix – plus the fans are incredible. Every year, without fail, they turn up in their thousands and create a great atmosphere at the track and in the city itself. In terms of the race, it’s going to be tight. I need to study hard tonight to get myself back to where I was yesterday, as I didn’t actually feel quite as strong in the car today. I was killing it out there yesterday – but I lost a bit of feel with the setup changes I made for today. I wasn’t always able to put the car exactly where I wanted, which means you have to step back and not quite push to the limit. Ferrari look strong on the long runs so we’ll need to be on our toes.

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Nico Rosberg

Even if I just missed out on pole, the front row is still a good position to start the race tomorrow. Today, Lewis was just a little bit quicker on the first flying lap, so I gave it an extra push on the second run to close the gap – but I got it wrong and had a lockup at the first corner. With no time for a second lap, that was the chance gone. Nevertheless, there will be a few opportunities to overtake Lewis in the race. I’ve made some good starts recently which is a positive – and also with tyre strategy it could be worth trying something different. It should be exciting either way, as the weather forecast is interesting for tomorrow. I’m excited in any case. Canada is always a special one, so I can’t wait for the race.

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Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

A very close qualifying session with less than a tenth between Lewis and Nico – and Vettel just a little more than a tenth behind them. Ferrari were ramping up their game through qualifying, we could see that, but our guys just kept stepping up as well. Sometimes on a Saturday, we see the results from FP3 and have some concerns about the pace – and today it took a while to understand how to best prepare the ultra-soft tyres for the timed lap. But then the boys both push each other to dig deeper and find the performance when it really counted. It was a mega performance from both of them and another great pole for Lewis. Looking to the race, if it rains then the result of qualifying is not really relevant for what will unfold. But, if it stays dry, I think we can expect a very close race with both Ferrari and Red Bull. Whatever happens, it’s Canada – so we know it will be exciting and unpredictable right to the finish.

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Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

Looking at the relative performance of the teams in FP3, it was clear that this was going to be a very close qualifying session between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull – and so it proved to be. While the anticipated rain eventually turned out not to be a factor, the red flag in Q2 put everybody on slightly different programmes. Some opted to re-use a used set of tyres during the second run of Q2 and others the first run of Q3 – which is why we didn’t see a true showdown until right at the very end, with everybody on fresh rubber. It was a great job by Lewis and Nico to lock out the front row against very strong opposition and top work from the team to get the cars in the right place for them to do so. We now look forward to an exciting battle in the race tomorrow.

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