F1: Hamilton scoops Pole for Canadian Grand Prix

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Montreal, June 6, 2015 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, carrying race number 44, has set the 44th pole position of his career in Montreal. His team mate Nico Rosberg completed a Mercedes monopoly of the front row.

The teams did not have much opportunity to get used to the performance of the supersoft, with yesterday’s FP2 interrupted by rain, and FP3 this morning delayed with red flags. As a result, there were a number of unknowns as the teams headed into qualifying, with the Lotus of Romain Grosjean emerging fastest in Q1, using the supersoft tyres.

Although there was no rain today, temperatures remained temperate in the region of 35 degrees centigrade on track. This discrepancy between the track conditions seen yesterday and this morning made it hard to fully understand tyre degradation. With warmer temperatures expected tomorrow, this pattern could change the understanding for the expected strategies for the race.

The two Mercedes drivers as well as the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and Williams of Valtteri Bottas were the only drivers to get through Q1 using just the soft tyres. For the rest of qualifying, the drivers used only the supersoft.

Such is the pace of car and tyre development that last year’s pole position time was already beaten in the opening minutes of Q2 by both Hamilton and Rosberg. The final top-10 shoot out in Q3 again went down to a battle between the two Mercedes drivers, with Hamilton lowering the benchmark still further, right at the end of the session. The rain yesterday meant that the track was washed clean of surface rubber, making it slippery at the start of the day and delivering the fastest times at the very end of each session.

In FP3, which was interrupted by two red flag periods this morning, Rosberg went fastest on the supersoft tyres, setting a time of 1m15.660s.

Lewis Hamilton -“It’s an amazing feeling. This is where I got my first pole and my first win so it’s very special. It wasn’t the easiest start to the day. I didn’t get much running this morning, partly down to me and also the flags, so we went into qualifying a little less prepared than we’d like. But the car felt great this afternoon and the team did an amazing job – especially after yesterday. Ferrari look like they’ve got good race pace and they’re improving all the time, so we have to keep pushing. But hopefully we’ll have the edge tomorrow. ”

Nico Rosberg -“I had a good start to the Qualifying sessions and found a nice rhythm between the walls. But then I had a really bad Q3 and I still don’t know why. I didn’t have the grip like I had before with the last two sets of tyres – it was suddenly gone. It’s very strange and that was really disappointing for me. But tomorrow is a long and difficult race and there are opportunities to overtake, so I’m looking ahead in a very positive way.”

 

Kimi Raikkonen: “The car has been feeling good all weekend. We had no problems, apart from the one Sebastian had in qualifying, and everything ran smoothly. We have been making sure that all the small details were correct, we have learned from the past difficult races how small things can make a big change and enable you to get the result you want .We still have some work ahead, obviously we are not happy to finish third in the grid but in the race we’lll try to do better. It’s hard to say what will happen tomorrow but at least we did a better qualifying than normal and we’ll be in a better position for the race. So far it has been ok but tomorrow is the big day. I expect that we can be stronger and challenge for a competitive race . The weather has been tricky these days, so it will be a bit of uncertain tomorrow. Tonight we are going to analyse a lot of data and will try to make the right decisions”.

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