Six highlights from Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying

Photo courtesy of Jamey Price,

Saturday in Montreal brought a touch of rain for, at times, a mildly damp track, which added to the drama, but not the lap time. Here are six highlights:


  1. Fernando Alonso made it to Q3, if only just. Jenson Button did not. During his last Q2 lap he locked up, which cost some time, but Button blames his P12 on not getting a tow (a draft) from another car. Instead, Alonso got Button’s tow, the Britain claims.


  1. Ricciardo ahead of Verstappen, for now. Once again Verstappen seemed to have the edge on Ricciardo in qualifying. But, as in Spain, the Australian pulled out a killer time in Q3 to take P4 and it took a brush of the Wall of Champions to do it. Lucky for Ricciardo, it didn’t damage the car.


  1. Gutierrez edged Grosjean to take P14. Grosjean complained of his car’s balance as “miles off,” which “means you can’t drive the car as you like.” No matter, his fast lap was a quarter of a second longer than his teammate, only good enough for P15. Far from the early form Haas began the season, but more akin to what everyone expected.


  1. Kvyat bests Sainz by six seconds to start 13th on the grid. Of course Sainz hit the wall of champions early on in Q2, so never set an actual lap. His lap in Q1 was a 1 min 14. 714 sec, over a tenth quicker than his Russian teammate.


  1. Mercedes back in front, but by less of a margin than many expected. Hamilton won pole with his first flying lap as Rosberg couldn’t quite match it and suffered a big lock up on his second attempt.


  1. Pole time last year, Hamilton at 1 min 14.393 sec, this year: 1 min 12.812 sec, that’s 1.6 seconds faster! (1.581 seconds)


This is the tightest run for pole we’ve seen in a while. It’s very encouraging to see six tenths of a second cover the top five. Enough so, we may see an honest to goodness fight for the lead in the race. And not just between teammates, either Ferrari or Red Bull could challenge. For full results click here.