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Rosberg edges Hamilton to claim Montreal pole
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  07 Jun 2014   |  7:35 pm GMT  |  61 comments

Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just seven hundredths of a second in the final runs of the day.

It is Rosberg’s first pole in Canada and his third this season.

“I am very happy with starting from pole tomorrow,” said Rosberg. “That was very important as there aren’t many opportunities to overtake here, particularly if you are in the same car. I think it will be a battle between the two of us out there tomorrow as the gap to the other cars was quite big in Qualifying today and also on our long runs on Friday were strong.”

Sebastian Vettel claimed an excellent third place on the grid for Red Bull Racing ahead of the twin Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

Before the start of Q1, Esteban Gutierrez was ruled out of the session. The Mexican had crashed into the barriers in FP3 on the exit of turn three and the damage sustained to the rear-left of his car was bad enough to warrant a change of chassis.

Kamui Kobayashi was also in trouble before the start of the session. The Japanese driver was ordered to stop his Caterham at turn 10 in the late stages of final practice and the later need to replace his car’s gearbox means he will take a five-place grid penalty tomorrow.

Unsurprisingly, it was Mercedes that set the pace in Q1, on soft tyres, with Hamilton edging Rosberg throughout the opening exchanges, before the Briton fired in a lap of 1:15.750 to move seven tenths clear of Rosberg.

Behind them everybody was switching to the supersoft Pirellis, with only the two Mercedes, the Williams cars and the Red Bulls staying on the soft rubber until the end of the session. The Red Bulls dropped back quickly and Vettel looked to be at risk in P13. His race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin was more confident, however, assuring his driver that he would be safe. ‘Rocky’ was proven as good as his word moments later when Marcus Ericsson lost control of his Caterham and clattered into the wall at turn nine. The incident brought out the red flags with 16 seconds left on the clock.

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 19.30.51

It meant that out went Pastor Maldonado, who had steered his Lotus off track and out of the session shortly before the Ericsson incident. Also out were Max Chilton in P18, followed by team-mate Jules Bianchi, Kobayashi, Ericsson and the non-starting Gutierrez.

At the top Hamilton claimed P1, seven tenths clear of Kevin Magnussen who had snuck into P2 on his supersoft tyres. Rosberg was third ahead of Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg.

Daniil Kvyat was the fastest non-Mercedes-powered driver, the Russsian taking eighth place ahead of the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Kvyat was 1.2 seconds adrift of Hamilton despite taking on supersoft tyres.

In Q2, the Mercedes drivers bolted on supersofts but surprisingly failed to make a significant step forward and as the session approached the final runs it was Massa at the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:15.773, a tenth ahead of Rosberg in P2 and 1500ths ahead of Hamilton in P3.

On the final runs, however, the Mercedes duo finally stretched their legs, found the extra dose of pace needed and Hamilton threw in a final lap of 1m15.054 to take top spot, two tenths clear of Rosberg. Massa held on to third with the lap that had seen him hold top spot earlier.

Bottas confirmed Williams’ competitiveness with fourth place ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo. Sebastian Vettel jumped from P13 to P6 with his final run, the champion setting the fastest final sector of all to claim his spot in the top-10 shootout.

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 19.31.47

Alonso finished seventh ahead of Button, with Raikkonen ninth. The final Q3 berth went to the impressive looking Jean-Eric Vergne whose final lap was good enough to dump Hulkenberg out of the final segment.

And so, once again, Q3 came down to a battle between the Mercedes drivers. After the first runs of the final 12-minute segment, it was Rosberg who held sway, the German putting in a lap of 1:14.946 to lead from Hamilton by five hundredths of a second. Behind them Bottas moved ahead of Massa to claim P3, half a second back from Rosberg. Ricciardo was fifth, two tenths ahead of Vettel.

The expectation beforehand had been that on a circuit he loves and where he has been on pole three times in the past, Hamilton would have the edge over his team-mate. Rosberg, though, clearly hadn’t read the script and confidently went out and set a benchmark of 1:14.874. Hamilton failed to match it, finishing seven hundredths of a second adrift of the Monaco Grand Prix winner.

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 19.31.13

Williams’ hold on P3 was broken too. Sebastian Vettel put in a superb second sector to squeeze out Bottas and claim his best qualifying position since China. That he was just over six tenths adrift of Rosberg will also be encouraging at a circuit on which Renault are power deficient.

Bottas finished fourth ahead of Massa, with Ricciardo sixth, the first time since Bahrain that he will start behind team-mate Vettel. Fernando Alonso will start seventh, ahead of Vergne who beat out Button and Raikkonen to claim eighth place.

2014 Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying Result

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:16.471 1:15.289 1:14.874 19
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:15.750 1:15.054 1:14.953 20
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:17.470 1:16.109 1:15.548 18
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:16.772 1:15.806 1:15.550 21
5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:16.666 1:15.773 1:15.578 21
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:17.113 1:15.897 1:15.589 20
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:17.010 1:16.131 1:15.814 17
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:17.178 1:16.255 1:16.162 24
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1:16.631 1:16.214 1:16.182 20
10 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:17.013 1:16.245 1:16.214 17
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:16.897 1:16.300 21
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:16.446 1:16.310 15
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:18.235 1:16.472 19
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:17.732 1:16.687 19
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:16.938 1:16.713 19
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:17.519 1:17.314 16
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:18.328 10
18 Max Chilton Marussia 1:18.348 6
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:18.359 5
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:19.278 8
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:19.820 10
DNS Esteban Gutierrez Sauber

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Rosberg must be grinning like a Chesire cat knowing how much time he has in his pocket for Practice One and Practice Two. Hamilton hasn’t got the sense to sandbag, he even mentioned it on Friday that he goes out and drives flat out from the get go.

It should be an exciting race, don’t like Hamiltons answer to the question of how he will win. If you’re faster do the overtaking on the track, split strategies never work out. I can’t see the super soft getting used in the race at all after the first stops and a one stopper isn’t possible for Lewis.


I’ll have to take back my words thinking Lewis will thrash Nico this year.

Pressure is on Lewis now and he must learn from Nico how to keep his emotions under wraps.

From the Monaco accusations I felt Nico took it very well with his composure.

Well we’re in for a very close two horse run, that’s a huge consolation for me.

Ferrari, same old story. Alonso and Kimi must be the two most frustrated driver on the grid, imagine what you see and feel does not transpose into reality like a nightmare that won’t go away.

Vettel’s coming to grips with car, hope no gremlins will haunt him again.

Williams are strong and wish them well in the race as they haven’t been really able be in the position they wanted when the checkered flag is drawn.

The wall will claim a few victims but how many? Should be a very good race I feel and looking forward. And who’ll take the flag, can’t be guaranteed Lewis will. My guess, two SCD.

(James, posting has been a bit of problem as always with the latest html jargon, it will go away after your technical team solves it.) But I like the new format alot.


It was an interesting qualifying session, and that some of the drivers who have had the advantage over their teammates for the majority of the weekend weren’t able to qualify ahead of their teammates. I think some of the results in qualifying won’t reflect what will happen in the race.


Ferrari have become a joke. They bring upgrades that can work only in cooler temperatures. So how come all others bring their upgrades don’t face such issues?


Pressure mistakes from Lewis this time…with Rosberg pushing him perhaps harder than he expected on his favorite track. Race could still be interesting though unlike Monaco, where overtaking is impossible. Perhaps this will be more than single stop race, and if fuel saving comes into the picture again, it could be a turning point. But track position is critical and the run to turn 1 is short, so it is clearly advantage Rosberg. Glad there was no controversy or bitterness this time.

Interesting how often this year that Hamilton starts the weekend stronger but as the track evolves towards Saturday/Sunday, there is very little in it come Q3/race. This is the kind of pressure that’s going to be on from now until the end of the year, and its going to be fantastic viewing.

Let’s hear it for Seb though! Fantastic that he turned the tables on Ricciardo at a time when people have begun questioning his pedigree.


Given that, car-wise, this is the most one-sided season in history, I have a 3 step process for getting maximum enjoyment from watching F1 this year.

Step 1. Imagine what it would be like if the Mercedes F1 team were managed by Jean Todt. And then thank god that the multi-national, monolithic corporation that is Mercedes respects their drivers enough to let them race. Or maybe they realize the PR value.

Step 2. Thank that same god that Nico is fast enough to challenge Lewis. No matter what you think of the brilliant/troubled child, if you can’t admit he’s very, very fast, you should take up some other sport. And give Nico some credit for the way he’s approached a daunting challenge. Positive attitude, incredible work ethic, no bitching. This too deserves respect.

Step 3. Enjoy the races. They are surprisingly entertaining.

Another point: It might be that something novel is happening with these 2 drivers. In 2007 Fernando was pissed because Lewis was beating Fernando with Fernando’s set-ups. It has been suggested that Lewis gets the same benefit from Nico’s excellent set-ups. The trick this time is that Nico has the humility to study Lewis’ driving technique and copy it. I think it’s working. Not only is Nico getting faster (I think), but Lewis is bothered about it. If there is anything worse than someone stealing your hard work, it might be someone stealing your “talent”!


Good for Rosberg to outpace Hamilton albeit by a millisecond, after Monaco and all. But come on Ferrari, Toro Rosso out qualified you. Give me something to cheer for please.


Actually it was 79 milliseconds 😉 AND, both of NR’s runs were good enough for pole.


James aswell as many others predicted Hamilton would wipe the floor with Rosberg at Montreal. There’s nothing between these two at all and surely you’ve got to favour the more calm and sensible over the season.

[mod] Hamilton is doing no better against Rosberg than an old Schumacher did in 2012. Hamilton will need to use all of his great wheel to wheel racing skills this year because he hasn’t got the speed on him.


Very well said. Sums up all of my points. What a lot of people failed to see was Nico Rosberg unmoved by Lewis beating him at the fly-aways up until Spain. He has a very strong head and it reflects through his face. It is a treat to watch him at press conferences. The confidence is there with zero intimidation.


That’s what I’m talking about baby! That is what I am talking about. Where are all the excuses now? Hoping tomorrow Nico’s gonna convert that to a win!

Sad for the Ferraris. But will be interesting to see what they can do during the race.


Using ONLY this season as empirical evidence, this is what is obvious to me: Hamilton is hugely behind Rosberg in terms of mental fortitude when the pressure is very high, Rosberg is less than, but not hugely less than Hamilton in terms of driving ability when the pressure is very high. In most situations in life as in sport, clear decision-making and mental dexterity when it really matters is what gives someone an edge over all other perceived edges. I declare then that Rosberg is WDC from this point onwards, and this turn-of-events started at the exact moment Lee McKenzie repeated to Rosberg that Hamilton had said he wanted to ‘destroy him mentally’; Rosberg’s body language from this point on has been of a man who has a greater natural advantage than emotional charging.

On a different-but-slightly-related note, Williams once again demonstrated that although their machinery is strong, unfortunately, the will of the pilots is not quite strong enough. When it really, really matters, all through the season, both Bothas and Massa have blinked.


Didn’t Rosberg make an error under pressure in qualifying for Monaco that ended the final runs for the other 9 drivers?

If we’re to understand that Rosberg is immune from pressure, does that mean what happened in Monaco was intentional on his part?


Being completely objective about a) my own comments; b) your question; and c) Rosberg, I will have to answer ‘yes’, it was intentional.


SebVet is quicker than DR for the third GP. Sequence and logic. Nico will have a hard time tomorrow, if he wins, he’ll shut up many of the British contingent.


Ha, ha, that will never happen. The ‘contingent’ have an excuse for every conceivable scenario, plus a few more. I’m guessing it was a mechanical failure that locked tbat wheel in quali.

Still, we should be treated to a great race sunday with Lewis starting behind. I’m not his biggest fan but he is at his most exciting when hunting someone down. Interested to see who else will make up the podium.


So much for destroyin his team mate. Hamilton really needs a big dose of humility.


Well done Seb!! Once the chassi and the electronics are ok he is right there !


James, what’s happened to your website? It’ll take some time to get used to it.

For me, Nico is the favourite for the win tomorrow


Watching Lewis Hamilton over the years struggle with,and still persevere to better his rare yet confused personality,is just as wonderful as his supreme ability as an f1 pilot.


wow, that was close.

4 cars within .051 between rbr and williams.


Hamilton was faster in all practice session and also in Q1 and Q2….but Rosberg did it when it mattered the most and will go to the race with a tactical advantage and will be able to get a better strategy. It is tough for Lewis and he might be showing a sign of a weakness. Everybody, including James, were thinking that on this track Hamilton with destroy Nico….but look what is happening…


Ferrari updates seem to be moving them backwards, not forward. So will they now make a decision to shift resources to next year?


Their new floor seemed to work.. But they said it was too hot to use them.. A bit odd


Could be something tricky with the new turbo that they didn’t want to risk with more restrictive cooling without data from a race first. The new floor may only properly work with the new engine cover, so that means little stays even though it worked.


cannot post….always giving an error message


Sorry, we are on it


James, ever since the new version, I am having problems posting. I am using Chrome….yesterday was OK, just had problems with Caps Lock…today I cannot post at all. Always getting an error message that I am typing to fast, need to slow down…whereas I did not post anything. Trying Firefox now


Got this one


William eh? You may want to take that be goferet.


So strange that the NBC ‘lead’ broadcaster wants to attribute Rosberg’s pole to the other guy’s “mistake” — why can’t he give credit where credit is due? The fact is one of them was faster. Sad that many in “the media” use their privileged positions to spin things to their own personally biased views and have so much difficulty accepting facts, such as the Steward’s conclusions from Monaco.

Interesting new format, James, appreciate the effort.


Bravo Rosberg, Vettel, Bottas, Massa and Vergne. That was exciting. If it is not down to a problem of sort for Hamilton, this shows that things are actually closer between Hamilton and Rosberg than many might accept.
Vettel will be well pleased with 3rd. Being ahead of Ricciardo will help the mental a bit as well, my guess.
Having Hamilton doing the chase here seems a much better script for the race itself to me.
Well I am looking toward a fun race tomorrow.Marc


Pretty surprising result with Rosberg on pole especially so for keeping his best for last.

For sure, Rosberg has been doing better ever since his brakes got sorted, and now I know understand what Lewis meant when he said that the 2014 season is the one not to miss.

Super human effort from Vettel to plant the car in P3 ahead of the Williams cars considering the long straight in Montreal.

Having said that, it was also a great job by both Williams cars by securing their best starting position in 2014.

As for Ferrari, it would appear their new floor upgrade didn’t work for why would the team go back to the old specification.

Another star of the day was Torro Rosso’s Vergne for not only beating his rising star rookie teammate but more importantly for beating the Mercedes powered Force Indias.

Well played from Jenson too for with the packed midfield, it was all too easy to get knocked out in Q2.

Last but not least, sorry for the Lotus team for by this time in the game, they should be moving forwards and not backwards.


Perhaps Rosberg Junior has literally (and metaphorically) turned the corner, with regards to not being mentally defeated by Lewis? Still, long race, that’s what counts, but yes, very surprised Lewis being outqualified at one of his domains…………


Alonso said it was due to the high temperatures as to why they didn’t use them.


@ NickH

Oh I see.

Well, too bad for the team.


Kimi is really behind Alonso is qualifying. The gap between the two is yawning more and more with each race.

Great lap from Seb. Glad he is getting the feel of the new car. I think Williams under-performed a bit, given their pace in the earlier sessions.

James, predictions for the race? Another titanic battle between Nico and Lewis, with Lewis nicking it towards the end? And whats your prediction for the final podium spot?


Kimi did 1 lap in Q3. Alonso did 3, laps in Q3 and it was his last lap that got him 4 tenths ahead. Not exactly a giant margin


Both did their final run at a similar moment, and if Kimi had no more tyres its because he had to use them to survive Q2, as he was beeing slower than Fernando.


On a short-lap like Montreal, I am sorry but it is quite a margin. Also, look back at the gap in Monaco (~8 tenths) between the two.


You are categorically wrong. Alonso did 2, because he saved a second set of tyres from q2, because his time in q2 was good enough. Kimi’s q2 time was not good enough and he had to run a second time in q2 just to make it. That’s not Alonso’s fault so why you phrase it like he had an advantage is pointless.


True, but he did have another bad Friday. Always problems on Friday for Kimi but not Fernando




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