Hamilton beats Red Bulls for third pole in Canada (Canadian GP qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

It's three out of three for Hamilton in Montreal
It's three out of three for Hamilton in Montreal

Lewis Hamilton claimed his third pole position on his third visit to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

But he cut it very fine on fuel and had to switch his engine off as he returned back to the pits as McLaren feared they wouldn’t have enough to give a sample to the FIA.

The two Red Bulls, who had dominated qualifying previously this year, line up behind Hamilton on the grid for tomorrow’s race.


Qualifying began on a dry track in slightly warmer temperatures than at the end of final practice.

The teams wasted no time getting started, with Timo Glock queueing up at the end of the pit lane ready for the start, and quickly being joined on the track by the Lotuses, Vitaly Petrov and Karun Chandhok.

Most of the front-running teams used the medium compound tyres including the McLarens and Ferraris. But Red Bull began the session on the super-soft tyres, and Sebastian Vettel’s best time put him second, just 0.3s slower than Lewis Hamilton’s.

Kamui Kobayashi faced the threat of elimination at the end of the session and his last lap wasn’t good enough to reach Q2. He only narrowly beat Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus.


Hamilton was the fastest driver again in Q2, but Jenson Button did not look as comfortable in the McLaren. The pair did lap times at the same time and Hamilton was a second quicker than his team mate.

The McLarens started the session on the medium tyres while most other teams ran the super softs. Button improved his time on the super softs but Hamilton didn’t need to improve his time and came back to the pits.

Vettel in the Red Bull was second, just three hundredths of a second slower than Hamilton, having used the super softs. Fernando Alonso was third, as he had been in Q1.

Button’s late improvement pushed Michael Schumacher deeper into the drop zone. He needed an improvement on his final run but braked too late at the final chicane and had to abort his run.

That left him 13th behind the two Williams cars while his team mate made it into Q3.


Only the McLaren drivers did two sets of laps in final qualifying. Hamilton’s first effort was again a second quicker than Button’s.

As they came back onto the track their rivals had joined them. And three of them, unusually, were using the medium compound tyre instead of the super-softs: both Red Bulls and Robert Kubica.

Red Bull found plenty of speed on the medium tyres, Mark Webber beating Hamilton to set the fastest time with a 1’15.373.

Sebastian Vettel look set to beat Webber’s time but repeated Schumacher’s mistake of cutting the chicane at the end of the lap and had to abort his lap.

McLaren cut Hamilton’s final lap very fine in more than one way. He had just six seconds to spare as he begun his lap, but set a 1’15.105 to beat Webber by more than two-tenths of a second.

But on his cruise back to the pits his team instructed him to stop the car as they were concerned he was short on fuel. Hamilton switched the engine off and stood up in the cockpit as the car rolled along, eventually getting out to try to push the car home.

McLaren will have to give a fuel sample after the session and if it turns out there is too little fuel in the car Hamilton could receive a penalty.

Assuming he doesn’t, this wasn’t just the first time Red Bull had been beaten in qualifying this year. It was also Hamilton’s third pole position in as many attempts at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.889 1’15.528 1’15.105
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.423 1’15.692 1’15.373
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’16.129 1’15.556 1’15.420
4 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.171 1’15.597 1’15.435
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.371 1’15.742 1’15.520
6 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’17.086 1’16.171 1’15.648
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.673 1’16.314 1’15.688
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’16.370 1’15.682 1’15.715
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’16.495 1’16.295 1’15.881
10 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’16.350 1’16.001 1’16.071
11 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’16.880 1’16.434
12 10 Nico H?â??lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’16.770 1’16.438
13 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.598 1’16.492
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’16.569 1’16.844
15 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.356 1’16.928
16 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.027 1’17.029
17 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.611 1’17.384
18 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.019
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’18.237
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’18.698
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’18.941
22 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’19.484
23 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.675
24 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’27.757

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

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87 comments on “Hamilton beats Red Bulls for third pole in Canada (Canadian GP qualifying)”

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  1. Stuart Hotman
    12th June 2010, 20:49

    I think you need a litre available for sample at any time during the weekend, but thats just from memory. It is not sufficient to just let the vapour condense as Jordan indicated, cos you still may not have enough.

  2. Anyone else think Bruno Senna is doing an excellent job in qualifying this year?

  3. I missed nearly all of the qualifying.The Irish teletext service(Aertel)said it began at 20 past 7.
    Anyways good on Lewis on getting pole position.

  4. Red Bull has the advantage over Hamilton.
    hamilton to go with the heavy car and with the softer tires will eventually destroy them.
    Red Bull and Renault left when they have these tires for the car lighter.
    the red bull abdicated from pole to try a better race.

    1. If Hamilton is infront of the Red Bull until he pits for better tyres, and is quicker down the long straights, such that there isn’t a cats chance in hell of an overtake unless they take him off the line, I really fail to see where Red Bull’s advantage lies.

      That is, of course, before we factor in the standard 0.5s McLaren race pace effect.

  5. That final lap from Lewis was a stormer. For a minute there I thought ‘oh no, not another Red Bull lockout…’ but when I saw the big ‘1’ pop up at the end of his lap I actually cheered.

    Gutted for for Schumacher and Kobayashi.

  6. Sure enough, the FIA are looking into Hamilton’s lap:


    1. That will be extremely disappointing if they penalise him after he put in such a good performance there. I really hope nothing happens.

    2. If he finally got a penalty my prediction is gonna be screwed up completely!!!

      FIA give Lewis a chance

    3. he should be penalised, as an example. teams mistake – they should pay for it. i think -5 places on grid would be fair :)

    4. Apart from the 30% over-time in the first two sectors, rule 30.13 states: “If a driver has serious mechanical difficulties he must leave the track as soon as it is safe to do so.” Low (or no) fuel must be seen as a “difficulty”; coasting along half out of the car, then pushing it is hardly “leaving the track” let alone “as soon as…”.

      I’m concerned that if this had happened just a few minutes earlier, there could well have been a [potentially major] safety problem – yellow, even red, flag. If the stewards do nothing, are we going to see a proliferation of *ultra* low fuel loads during quali?

      Every driver/team should push the envelope to the maximum, but I’m not convinced that McLaren didn’t take matters a tad too far with Hamilton today (nothing personal, just general safety.)

  7. Also nice to see Lotus doing well, really pushing ahead. In a few races time I’m willing to bet they’re going to overtake the Saubers in qualifying.

    Great to see Liuzzi doing really well too.

  8. Adam Cooper on his blog site is nearly 100% certain to lose his pole time due to the low fuel issue on his in-lap. His in-lap time was also outside the allowed 30% limit for Sector 1 & 2.

  9. One of the best qually hours I’ve seen in a long long time. Great to see a vast improvement by Williams and to have MSC behind them I bet will make it seem even better, despite not quite getting into the top 10.

    They need to work with Cosworth though as that does seem to be the achilles heel again, losing around 2/3 tenths in the final sector compared to the drivers around them.

    Safety car is pretty much standard practice, but I cant see those soft tyres working at the start for very long at all, so I think RBR have still got the ball in their court.

    1. I was rooting for one of the Williams to make it to the last Qualifying round, but 11 and 12 ahead of MSC is indeed a good result for them. Maybe they had a point in wishing for both cars in the points after all. Until today I was really skeptical of that coming true.

  10. Younger Hamilton
    12th June 2010, 21:34

    Lewis on Pole YES!!! Thats what im talking about i knew Redbulls pole streak would end i knew it.But a lot of Hard work tomorrow in the race for Lewis.He’s on the options but Redbulls are on Primes so hoping for a safety car period but its not actually all Red Bull Tyre advantage,they struggled on the Options as well so they might find themselves at a 2 stop strategy as well as everyone else besides i think Lewis coped with the options the best of everyone so Lewis still has a big chance of winning the race.

    1. it did not ended? only teoretically. rbr gave away the pole but now they have hard tyres and will win the race.

      1. Please explain how.

        Subject to stewards, they’re behind Hamilton until he chooses to pit, at which point he’ll be on the same tyres as them, except newer.

        1. how rbr will win?
          tonight showers = no rubber tomorow on track.
          heavy car + soft tyres + hard track + hamilton style = no tyres afer 5 laps.
          he pits and outs somewhere after buemi = no podium.

          … but thats only my scenario :)

          1. Yes I think that’s a possibility. Equally likely though is that there is a safety car within the first 5 laps which allows him to change to hards. Then he is in a great position.

            Field spread, how much the track rubbers in and helps the softs later in the race, and safety cars are the imponderables that will decide the result of the race. It’s exciting to have a split of strategies. I have no idea how the race will go. High tyre wear should make the race much more exciting and unpredictable as will the 2nd stop if they are going to do one.

  11. NASCAR Camping World is eating into the delayed SPEED TV coverage of qualifying. What did I tune into at 1:30 PM PST? Nelson Piquet Jr spinning into the grass. Brilliant.

  12. Jhonnie Siggie
    12th June 2010, 21:47

    I think the Red Bulls were cowed by Mclaren into choosing the prime tire. They didn’t think that Lewis would use the option based on his performance in Q2. They had a couple of tenths in the bag and probably believed based on Lewis’ whining during FP2 that he would be on the prime also. Well played by Mclaren having Lewis set a solid time on the prime and then waiting till the last moment to switch him to the option.

    1. Yes, it did seem like that was the case. And Vettel definitely felt pressured by both Webber and Hamilton, causing him to make that mistake to come third.

      1. Jhonnie Siggie
        12th June 2010, 22:30

        The different tire strategies will make for a real interesting race. There is also the element of teams possibly two stopping. I think the Bulls would have taken pole if they had used the same tire as HAM and by not splitting their strategy they have handed HAM a real opportunity to control the race. Of course with possible rain, anything could happen. Can wait for what should be an intriguing race!

  13. hamilton = a class act but for somer reason i fear mr alonso tomorrow
    best two racers on the track by a country mile

    1. The fight will be between Alonso & Hamilton the soft with the Red Bulls hard.

  14. Florida Mike
    13th June 2010, 1:13

    I understand the rules require a top-10 qualifying driver to start the race on the tires he set his qualifying time with, but as in Weber’s case today, can he change the wheel the tire’s mounted on? It looked to me like he clipped the wall with his right-rear wheel on his last lap, and I wouldn’t be suprised if that wheel is damaged.

    And what happens if the tires are damaged after the lap time is set, say by running over debris (or hitting a wall), and they are deemed to be unusable or unsafe?

  15. Keith, why don’t you mention at all about the great performance by Force India? Any egos? Sorry Kidding…

  16. Hoo-ray. To say I was getting sick of seeing Red Bull dominating is an understatement.

  17. Some disappointing performance by Kobayashi, Schumacher & Petrov.It was nice to see for the first time any car but Red Bull are on pole which I predicted in the prediction championship.
    Great lap from him & it was nice to see that at the end of the qualifying he gave something to the crowd by pushing his own car & trying to get it in the pitlane.
    But I think if they were given the soft tyres then the Red Bull could have been faster then Mclaren, Webber shouldn’t be surprise to see white mark on his right front tyre as he was the only driver ( as see from TV) that have rubbed his car to the champions wall.

    Question remains what will happen in the race where Hamilton’s tyre will deteriorate whereas the Red Bulls tyre will develop grip, still I favour them as they will have the soft compound tyres to charge in the later stages of the race.& can the fourth place man put up a surprise for us?

  18. No matter what, we’ve got whole host of champions and future champions on the grid tomorrow. It’s been a while since we had this many competent and exciting drivers on the roster. Formerly a lot of the drivers were in their late twenties to mid thirties. I remember Keke smoking a cig during the end of race interview. I remember Prost pushing his car across the line when he ran out of fuel. Mansell won his first and only WDC in his late thirties. Today’s young guns should hopefully, give us a great show for years to come. The nucleus of it all is safety. RIP Senna.

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