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

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)

  1. Jameson said on 12th June 2010, 21:35

    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.

  2. Jhonnie Siggie said on 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.

    • bosyber said on 12th June 2010, 21:59

      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.

      • Jhonnie Siggie said on 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!

  3. gaz said on 12th June 2010, 22:10

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

  4. Florida Mike said on 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?

  5. Indian said on 13th June 2010, 1:38

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

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th June 2010, 2:27

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

  7. wasiF1 said on 13th June 2010, 2:34

    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?

  8. pitt layne said on 13th June 2010, 8:36

    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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