Nico Rosberg upset the formbook by beating Lewis Hamilton to pole at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, on a track where the Englishman has long been acknowledged as a force to be reckoned with.
Rosberg aced his first lap in Q3 before delivering an even quicker time on his second run, pushing the margin beyond the reach of Hamilton who locked up at turn eight; it cost him the 0.07 needed to beat the German but ensured a Mercedes 1-2 on the front row of the grid, ahead of an equally impressive Sebastian Vettel, who bounced back from criticism and below-par performances in Q1 and Q2 to end the session as best of the rest.
Williams were a little disappointed to end the day in 4th and 5th as opposed to locking out the second row of the grid, but managed to out-qualify the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, who in turn beat Fernando Alonso, Jean Eric Vergne, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen who rounded out the top ten.
Both Force India’s fell during Q2, along with Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren who split Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in 12th. Romain Grosjean struggled to recapture the form Lotus showed in Barcelona two races ago and starts 14th, with Daniil Kvyat and Adrian Sutil struggling to 15th and 16th.
Max Chilton beat Jules Bianchi in the battle of the Marussia’s in Q1, both men fired up after the team’s first points in their history in Monaco and only just missing out on beating Pastor Maldonado to 17th. The Venezuelan suffered yet another mechanical failure that eliminated him from further participation, while Esteban Gutierrez will start last behind the Caterham’s as damage sustained in his FP3 crash could not be repaired in time for qualifying.
Marcus Ericcson crashed his Caterham with 16 seconds left on the clock in FP1, meaning the session was briefly red-flagged to a halt.
CLASSIFICATION – Qualifying – Canadian Grand Prix – 7th May 2014