Belgian F1 GP: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton extends pole streak at Spa
Lewis Hamilton claimed his 10th pole position in 11 Formula 1 races this year by comfortably defeating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Rosberg was narrowly faster than team-mate Hamilton in Q2 at Spa, but the reigning world champion reversed the situation by a massive 0.446 seconds after their respective first runs in Q3, then lowered his benchmark time to a 1m47.197s on his second run to secure pole.
In doing so Hamilton became the first driver to score six pole positions in a row in a single season since Mika Hakkinen in 1999 and also clinched the FIA pole trophy for 2015.
Rosberg also improved on his second run, but he dropped almost half a second to his title rival in sector two of the circuit, which runs from Les Combes through the double left-hander at Pouhon to the right-hander at Stavelot, so wound up second best again.
Ferrari would normally be expected to fill row two of the grid, but Sebastian Vettel could only lap ninth fastest in his SF15-T, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen failed to make it into Q3 at all after his car broke down on track with what the team believes was a loss of oil pressure.
Mercedes-powered Williams, Lotus and Force India thus filled the next three places on the timesheet, as Valtteri Bottas, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez all lapped to the same tenth of a second, but well over a second adrift of Hamilton.
The Renault powered Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top six, ahead of the second Williams of Felipe Massa and the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado.
Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso rounded out the top 10, albeit well adrift of the rest of the Q3 runners.
Perez had set a stunning fourth-best time in Q2, but Nico Hulkenberg failed to make the top 10, finishing up over three tenths adrift of his Force India team-mate in 11th.
Red Bull’s Daniel Kvyat was another surprise failure in Q2, finishing up 12th, ahead of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.
Raikkonen ended up 14th, ahead of the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen, who took not part in Q2 after suffering a suspected loss of power with his Renault engine in Q1.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr was the big loser among the tight midfield battle in Q1.
Verstappen’s Toro Rosso was vulnerable thanks to a suspected loss of power early on in his final flying lap, but Nasr fell short of beating the Dutch teenager by 0.121s, so wound up 16th.
Jenson Button was a second further back in the best of the two McLaren-Hondas.
The 2009 world champion described his 1m50.978s effort as "the best lap I’ve done for a long time", but it was only good enough for 17th place.
Team-mate Fernando Alonso was nearly half a second adrift in the other MP4-30, after sitting out the final practice session with an exhaust leak.
Will Stevens won the private battle of the Manor/Marussias at the bottom of the timesheet, beating team-mate Roberto Merhi by 0.151s.
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.599s||1.402s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m48.639s||1.442s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m49.771s||2.574s|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m49.121s||–|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m49.228s||–|
|18||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–|
Belgian F1 GP: Lewis Hamilton heads practice three for Mercedes
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton set an impressive pace as he topped the timesheets in final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg.
The reigning F1 world champion clocked a 1m48.984s to finished 0.498 seconds quicker than his title rival, who was fastest in both practice sessions on Friday.
Ferrari proved to be Mercedes’ closest challenger at a gloriously sunny Spa Francorchamps, with Sebastian Vettel third and his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth.
Sergio Perez set the fastest final sector as he ended up fifth, two tenths and three places clear of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg to suggest Force India can aim for the final part of qualifying later on Saturday.
The Red Bull drivers and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, who will start towards the back of the grid because of a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change, completed their soft tyre qualifying-simulations early in the session.
That allowed them to spend the rest of the session to gathering long-run data, making up for the red flag disruptions in Friday’s second practice.
Daniel Ricciardo was sixth quickest, 0.050s ahead of Red Bull team-mate Daniil Kvyat, with Verstappen 13th overall.
The Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa completed the top 10 ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr in 11th and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado in 12th.
It was a difficult day for McLaren-Honda, whose cars are already destined to stat at the back of the grid following a host of engine penalties.
Fernando Alonso managed just a single installation lap before returning to the garage.
The team stripped down the car in a bid to get to the root of the problem, which chief operating officer Jonathan Neale suggested could be an exhaust gas leak, and failed to get him back out..
His team-mate Jenson Button managed more running, completing 12 laps, but finished 17th, 2.997s off the pace.
Sauber, which has the 2015-spec Ferrari engine for the first time this season, was quick on Friday, but Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson failed to repeat that form, ending practice three 14th and 15th respectively.
Romain Grosjean was 16th quickest, but complained to his team on the radio that he was baulked badly by Raikkonen, who was cruising slowly back to the pits.
Following Rosberg’s rear tyre failure at high speed in second practice, which Pirelli determined not to be a structural integrity issue, final practice passed without further incident.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES:
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m49.866s||0.882s||15|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m49.930s||0.946s||20|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m49.980s||0.996s||19|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m50.000s||1.016s||15|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m50.552s||1.568s||20|
|13||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m50.599s||1.615s||21|
Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was consistent in qualifying, securing fifth on the grid having also achieved the position in the first two segments of the session.
The Finn, who lost time with a technical problem in final practice and was unable to do a qualifying simulation, felt he should have been higher up the grid but remained positive for Sunday.
"We are third and fifth so I don’t think it was a disaster," said Raikkonen.
"We missed time in the morning because of an issue so it was a bit unknown for qualifying.
"It wasn’t too bad but I should have been higher up.
"Mercedes will be strong, but we will try to be second best if we can.
"At least we are not on the inside [of the grid], I can try and get a good start and see what happens from there."
Hungarian GP qualifying: Lewis Hamilton takes comfortable pole
Lewis Hamilton comfortably claimed pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, by beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for the ninth time in 10 Formula 1 qualifying sessions this season.
Rosberg complained about the handling of his car throughout the different stages of qualifying and couldn’t recover sufficiently to put up much of a fight.
Hamilton and Rosberg were separated by 0.358s after the first runs in Q3, and the German ended up over half a second adrift of Hamilton, who set the fastest lap of the weekend so far on his final effort to claim his fifth career pole in Hungary.
The expected close fight for best of the rest behind Mercedes materialised, as less than half a second covered Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams in Q2.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ultimately claimed third on the grid, but he ended up only 0.035s clear of the improved Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen finished up 0.246s further back in fifth, while Valtteri Bottas was fastest of the two Williams drivers in sixth.
The second Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat joined the second Williams of Felipe Massa on row four, just ahead of Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso, which only made one run in Q3.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus rounded out the top 10, over half a second adrift of the next fastest car.
Neither Force India made it through to the top-10 shootout, along with the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz and Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus.
Hulkenberg and Sainz were less than a tenth away from Grosjean’s 10th placed Lotus in Q2, while Perez was almost six tenths further back in 13th.
Maldonado was top-10 fast in Q1, but he locked up at Turn 1 on his final flying lap in Q2, which contributed to him missing Q3 by 0.804s.
McLaren headed into qualifying hoping to challenge for a place in the top 10, but could do no better than 15th and 16th after both drivers encountered technical trouble.
Fernando Alonso made it through to Q2, but stopped at the entry to the pitlane during his first run, bringing out the red flags and ending the Spaniard’s session early.
An earlier problem with ERS deployment on Jenson Button’s car meant the Briton missed the Q2 cut by lapping just over a tenth of a second shy of Sainz’s Toro Rosso.
The Briton estimated his problem cost him 0.3s on his final flying lap.
The 2009 world champion joined the Saubers and Manors in dropping out during the first phase of qualifying.
Felipe Nasr felt he "lost it in the last two corners" and finished up 0.154s adrift of Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who felt he drove a good final flying lap in the sister C34.
Roberto Merhi comfortably out-qualified his team-mate Will Stevens by 0.533s, as the Manor cars filled their customary place on the final row of the grid.
HUNGARIAN GP GRID
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.754s|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.312s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.659s|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.806s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.849s|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2.441s|
Hungarian GP FP3: Lewis Hamilton marginally ahead of Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton goes into this afternoon’s qualifying session for Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix as favourite for pole position after setting the pace in third free practice.
The Mercedes driver set the pace early in the session when everyone was lapping on the slower medium-compound Pirellis, just over a tenth faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg.
With most leaving it until the final 15 minutes before bolting on the softs and completing qualifying simulations, Hamilton was then knocked off top spot by Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Hulkenberg was shuffled down to sixth by the end of the session, with Rosberg the first to relegate him after setting a 1m22.997s lap with 12 minutes remaining.
Three minutes later, Hamilton completed his ‘qualifying’ run, outpacing Rosberg by 0.098s to complete the preparation for his bid for a fifth Hungarian GP pole position.
Rosberg’s session ended with two minutes remaining when his engine stalled at the end of the pitlane when he was about to attempt a practice start.
The two Mercedes drivers were untouchable at the front, with Sebastian Vettel best of the rest in third, nine-tenths off Hamilton’s pace.
Daniil Kvyat edged the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz with his final lap of the session, putting the Red Bull fourth ahead of its sister car.
Kvyat’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was unable to match the Russian, ending the session ninth after both Red Bulls started late to manage their engine mileage.
Max Verstappen also performed well, ending up seventh behind Hulkenberg and one place ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso.
Alonso had been among the earliest drivers to set a time on the soft Pirellis, which put him third for a spell before he was shuffled back.
Behind Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean completed the top 10 for Lotus, 12-thousandths of a second ahead of team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
Williams had a quiet session, with Felipe Massa 12th and Valtteri Bottas – running the latest-specification front wing – 14th.
Perez, who had been as high as fourth by taking the soft tyre early, was 15th fastest ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn was unable to complete a qualifying simulation run because of a water leak, but he would have been comfortably in the top six had he done so given the performance gain of soft tyres.
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.218s||17|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.329s||22|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.486s||30|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.681s||22|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.932s||12|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2.396s||25|
British Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari isn’t falling back
Kimi Raikkonen has dismissed suggestions Ferrari is falling back in Formula 1’s competitive order after being outperformed by Mercedes and Williams in British Grand Prix qualifying.
Ferrari lost out in the battle to be best of the rest behind Mercedes at Silverstone, with Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel ending up on the third row behind Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
When asked if Saturday’s performance showed Ferrari is losing ground, Raikkonen said: "I don’t think so – I don’t see that we are sliding back.
"Every race is different. We didn’t get exactly what we wanted today, but in these windy conditions we know it’s not easy for us.
"But it’s not like a disaster. There’s no point to talk about if we are sliding back."
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene hinted last time out in Austria that Pirelli’s tyre compound selection for Silverstone would hurt his team, and Raikkonen believes that is one of the factors behind its performance this weekend.
"It depends on the conditions, the circuit layout, and which tyres are used," said the Finn.
"It wasn’t an ideal day for us but I don’t expect this to suddenly be the true story.
"It’s not something to worry about like it’s going to go on all year, but we can see that we have big work to do."
Vettel accepted Ferrari does not appear to have enough pace this weekend, and he expects the Mercedes-powered Williams cars to be tough to battle with in the race.
"We were simply not quick enough," he said. "We didn’t extract the best out of our car.
"We know it’s difficult to pass a Williams on track – they are very fast on the straights.
"We’ve had races where we were quicker but we’ve been desperate to pass.
"They are not the best cars to have in front, but hopefully we can have a good opening lap and turn it around."
Raikkonen also played down the significance of defeating Vettel in a straight fight in qualifying for the first time this year.
"I’ve always said it doesn’t make me any happier – I don’t care if he’s in front of me when we are in these positions," said Raikkonen.
"Yes, it makes a difference if you are P1 and P2, but it doesn’t make me happy to be in front of him in the positions we are.
"Maybe people look at it differently but it doesn’t matter."
Kimi Raikkonen Q&A: Qualifying a true reflection of Ferrari form
With media speculation about his Ferrari future swirling once more, Kimi Raikkonen has looked on the ascendant at Silverstone this weekend, out-qualifying team mate Sebastian Vettel fair and square. The bad news for Sunday’s race is that as well as the leading Mercedes, Raikkonen also has two Williams ahead of him on the grid…
Q: Kimi, would you say that it was good weekend so far? At least from the outside it has looked pretty smooth…
Kimi Raikkonen: No, not really. There were many things that we were running through and today, for example, there was one lap that was super and then the next lap was cr*p. So we had to get our game together at some point. In Q3 finally I was able to put all the sectors together – and it was okay. We did our best.
Q: Were there higher expectations after Q1 when you were quickest?
KR: No, because we ended up on the grid pretty much where we thought that we are. We keep our expectations realistic. And Q1 is never decisive, as we are all know, so to think that this could be the grid position would have been pretty blue eyed. And we are very down to earth with our expectations.
Q: You got one lap in Q2 deleted. Was there a misunderstanding on your side as to what was allowed in terms of track limits?
KR: No, not at all. We have to analyse what happened and see that we do not run into the same issues again. But it was no big drama.
Q: From what we’ve seen lately – including today – would you say that Ferrari are moving backwards in terms of relative performance?
KR: No, I definitely don’t think so. But every track produces different racing conditions – it is nothing more than that. Our car likes certain conditions and if these conditions are not there – just like the relatively windy conditions here – then we are struggling probably a bit more. Maybe you could say that we haven’t been too happy today, but tomorrow is the race and things can change pretty rapidly.
Q: What do you expect in terms of race pace compared to the Williams? They’ve shown that they will be a factor to consider this weekend…
KR: I have not looked at what they’ve done in qualifying. I was basically focusing on myself. But from my position I think it should be possible to gain some positions. But that is something that will – if at all – happen tomorrow! (laughs)
Q: It is the first time that you have outperformed Sebastian Vettel in qualifying in a situation where he didn’t have a problem. Are you dealing better with the fast corners – or what do you put it down to?
KR: Well, starting one position better than Seb doesn’t make my any happier. I don’t care whether it is fifth or sixth, this doesn’t have any impact on me. Yes, if it were first or second – that is something different. But fifth or sixth – no. That just shows that we have to work on the gap!
Q: The gap to the Mercedes is still somewhat significant for a team that wants to fight for wins. Are there any updates in the pipeline that will help you get closer?
KR: There are always bits and pieces that are new on the car at every race. Other than that I will not go into detail. We know that we have things to improve – and Ferrari was never a team that ‘forgets’ to develop. We have a clear goal and that is to fight for the championship. We know that it will not be this year, but everything that we learn and do this season will help us be more competitive in 2016. I have no worries that we will get there and improve to the point where we can challenge them.
Austrian GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to pole, both go off
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, as both Mercedes Formula 1 drivers went off during their final laps of the session.
Hamilton led the way after the first runs in Q3 by two tenths of a second from team-mate Nico Rosberg, but spun under braking for Turn 1 when attempting to make sure of the top spot.
Rosberg set a personal best time in the first sector, then the fastest time of all in the second sector, before going off at the final corner, which consigned him to second on the grid.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel improved on his final run in Q3, but his lap was only good enough for third, 0.155s slower than Rosberg’s earlier effort.
Last year’s Austrian GP poleman Felipe Massa was fourth fastest for Williams, while Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nico Hulkenberg superbly split Massa from his Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas by recording the fifth fastest time for Force India.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen shaded Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat by less than a tenth of a second to post the seventh fastest time, as behind him Sauber’s Felipe Nasr recorded his best qualifying result since April’s Chinese GP by going ninth fastest.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus failed to set a time in Q3, after a suspected brake by wire problem forced him back into the pits early on.
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado missed out on the top-10 shootout by 0.187s as track conditions improved in Q2, while Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber, the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz, and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull qualified on the same tenth of a second in 12th, 13th and 14th but some way adrift of their respective team-mates, who all made Q3.
Sainz complained of traffic on his fast lap, while Ricciardo briefly ran off the road at Turn 3 before failing to make the top-10 shootout for the first time this season.
Fernando Alonso managed to squeak his McLaren-Honda through to Q2, but the MP4-30’s lack of power left him adrift of the rest in 15th.
Improving track conditions throughout a Q1 that began damp meant laptimes tumbled as the session reached its climax, creating the potential for upsets.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the highest-profile scalp in this segment, the Finn missing the Q2 cut by 0.359s and winding up 18th fastest, much to his own surprise over team radio.
Force India’s Sergio Perez also missed out, just 0.014s slower than Alonso’s McLaren at the death, while Alonso’s team-mate Jenson Button had been fastest at one point, before slipping back to 17th at the end.
Roberto Merhi outqualified his team-mate Will Stevens, who went off early on in the wetter conditions, by more than 1.3 seconds as the Manor Marussias again qualified slowest of all 20 cars.
Both McLarens and both Red Bulls will be hit with grid penalties for unscheduled engine changes this weekend, so will drop to the back of the grid when it is finalised.
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.278s||0.823s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m09.612s||1.157s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.465s||–|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.522s||–|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m09.694s||–|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m10.482s||–|
Note: Kvyat, Ricciardo, Alonso and Button all have penalties
Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP3 before rain hits
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was quickest in final Formula 1 practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, with rain mid-session preventing the leading teams from completing qualifying simulations.
The four-time world champion clocked a 1m09.994 on the soft compound tyres, 0.017s quicker than Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen third in the other Ferrari.
With rain a distinct possibility for qualifying, several drivers went out on the full wet tyre when rain hit halfway through the session – although Hamilton was the only one of the frontrunners not to do so.
A number were caught out by the slippery conditions, with Vettel running off track at Turn 2 before recovering while Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz spun down at Turn 6.
Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg traded times at the top of the timesheets in the early part of the session before Vettel usurped them both.
Hamilton was on course to reclaim top spot, having clocked the fastest first and second sectors, but he ran wide after getting out of shape in the final corner.
Drivers were told rain was expected at the midpoint of the one-hour session, with Force India’s Sergio Perez – who had a puncture that Pirelli said was rim-related early on – reacting immediately.
The Mexican clocked the fourth fastest time on super-softs, but before Mercedes and Ferrari could get out on track on the softer tyre, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso brought out the red flag when he stopped on the pit straight.
As the marshals cleared Alonso’s car, which is heavily upgraded this weekend but will incur a penalty of at least 20 places due to engine component changes, rain began to fall.
Both Mercedes and Ferrari queued up at the end of the pitlane on the super-soft tyres, but by the time they headed out, the rain had intensified.
Rosberg and Raikkonen skated off track but kept their respective cars out of the barriers before retreating back to the pits.
Rosberg ended up fifth fastest, three tenths slower than team-mate Hamilton, ahead of the Williams’ of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was eighth with Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg – who said on Friday that it took him some time to get used to driving the car following his victory at Le Mans, was 11th with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson’s 12th.
Sainz was 13th, and was told by his engineer that he was the fastest car on the wet tyre in the closing stages, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Alonso.
Daniel Ricciardo had a quiet session in the other Red Bull, managing just 10 laps for 16th, but that was two more than Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completed in 17th.
McLaren’s Jenson Button was 18th, with the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi bringing up the rear.
|4||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||0.227s||14|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||0.442s||23|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.015s||14|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.145s||18|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.145s||14|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.825s||10|
Kimi Raikkonen: We learned from our mistakes
“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”.
Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton comfortably beats Nico Rosberg to pole
Lewis Hamilton comfortably defeated Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to claim pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel failed to escape Q1.
Rosberg described the conclusion to his session as "rubbish", as he ended up second best to Hamilton by three tenths of a second.
The Mercedes drivers were the only ones to lap below 1m15s around Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and Hamilton’s 1m14.393s best on their first runs in Q3 stood as pole when neither he nor Rosberg improved on their second attempts.
With Vettel relegated to 16th place thanks to a suspected MGU-H problem, Kimi Raikkonen was the sole Ferrari representative in Q3.
The 2007 world champion had a big moment exiting Turn 4 on his best lap but it was still good enough for third on the grid.
Fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas managed a big improvement on his final run to join Raikkonen on row two for Williams and edge out the impressive Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg produced his best qualifying effort of the season to qualify seventh, comfortably beating both Red Bulls and team-mate Sergio Perez, who rounded out the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat got the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by less than a tenth to be best of the Red Bulls in eighth.
Carlos Sainz Jr was highest placed of those to miss out on the top-10 shootout by just 0.036s in a tight fight in Q2.
The Toro Rosso driver looked on to squeak into Q3 by splitting the Red Bulls until a late improvement by Kvyat.
The sister Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen was 12th fastest, but the Dutch teenager will start last on account of a 15-place grid drop for a combination of driving standards and engine penalities.
Verstappen was just 0.017s faster than Marcus Ericsson, who was 13th fastest and well clear of Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr.
The Spaniard fell just 0.016s shy of beating both in the end and was over three tenths clear of Nasr, who qualified 15th fastest after crashing heavily in final free practice. Sauber managed to repair his car for him to join in halfway through Q1.
Jenson Button’s engine problem in final practice forced him to skip qualifying, which meant only four cars were eliminated in Q1.
Vettel swore over the radio when Ferrari told him his sole run in Q1 was only good enough for 16th spot, over three tenths adrift of Alonso’s McLaren as he limped around significantly down on power.
Felipe Massa was the other shock loser in this segment, half a second further back.
The Brazilian complained of a lack of power from his Williams’s Mercedes engine and he could do no better than 17th.
The Manor Marussias were predictably the slowest of the cars that ran in this session.
Roberto Merhi was best of the two for the first time this season with a time just 0.024s faster than team-mate Will Stevens.
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m15.614s||1.221s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.079s||1.686s|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.114s||1.721s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.338s||1.945s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.042s||–|
|19||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.245s||–|
Canadian GP: Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes fastest between red flags
Nico Rosberg topped the times in final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, as two red flags limited running for the second successive session.
Teams had been hoping to gather crucial long-run data on the super-soft tyre after rain washed out more than half of second practice on Friday.
So drivers headed out onto the Montreal circuit early, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen setting the opening pace.
But the action was halted for 10 minutes when Felipe Nasr crashed heavily on the long straight as he appeared to weave aggressively in a bid to generate tyre temperature.
The Brazilian climbed out of the Sauber unscathed, but was taken to the circuit medical centre as a precaution.
There was significant damage to the front end of the car, leaving Nasr’s mechanics with a race against time to get the car ready for qualifying.
The session restarted with a little over 10 minutes remaining, with drivers bolting on the super-soft tyres to do a qualifying simulation.
But it was disrupted again when McLaren’s Jenson Button stopped at Turn 7 to being out the second red flag of the session.
Rosberg was able to get a super-soft run in to go fastest, but his team-mate Lewis Hamilton was not so successful after making a mistake on his first lap.
The session was not restarted after Button’s problem, which meant Rosberg’s time of 1m15.660s was the quickest time of the morning while Hamilton propped up the timesheets having not managed a single clean flying lap between mistakes and stoppages.
With so many drivers unable to complete a super-soft tyre run, teams will have limited data going into qualifying.
Raikkonen was second quickest overall for Ferrari, ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
Force India’s Sergio Perez managed a super-soft run to end up fifth, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat sixth and Williams’s Felipe Massa seventh.
Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jr and Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10.
Fernando Alonso managed just three laps after missing most of the session while McLaren fitted the fourth and final Honda engine of his allocation.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES:
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.993s||1.333s||16|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.021s||1.361s||19|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.396s||1.736s||25|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.876s||2.216s||14|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.892s||2.232s||18|
|16||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.492s||2.832s||18|