MONTREAL: Defending champion and current series leader Lewis Hamilton bounced back to his best on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to claim pole position ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) Canadian Grand Prix.
Two weeks after his and Mercedes’ Monaco pit-stop fiasco, the two-time champion recovered from two days of erratic form in practice to produce a smooth and fast demonstration of single lap speed and a best lap in one minute and 14.393 seconds.
This lifted him 0.309 seconds clear of 29-year-old German Rosberg who was a disappointed second fastest ahead of Finns Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari and Valtteri Bottas of Williams.
“It felt amazing. It wasn’t the easiest of days for me,” said Hamilton.
“FP3 was quite tough this morning. I didn’t get any laps, mostly through my own fault, but I got the set-up where I wanted it to be in the end.”
Rosberg meanwhile reflected: “That was a rubbish qualifying.
“I was on a roll, feeling good and in the end it didn’t come together at all.”
“We need to analyze what it was, but anyway, fair play to Lewis. The race is tomorrow and there’s good chances to overtake. It’s not over yet.”
After two successive wins, including his gifted triumph in Monte Carlo, Rosberg has moved within 10 points of Hamilton in the championship ahead of Sunday’s race. He has 116 and Hamilton, who crashed in Friday’s rain-hit second practice, 126.
Hamilton’s lap was nearly half a second faster than last year’s pole lap by Rosberg at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, one of the 30-year-old Briton’s favorite tracks where he is seeking a fourth win in Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) race.