Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole by narrow margin

2014 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014Nico Rosberg prevailed in a tight battle with team mate Lewis Hamilton to claim pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix.

There was no repeat of the controversial circumstance of qualifying in Monaco as Rosberg edged the other Mercedes by less than a tenth of a second.


Hamilton and Rosberg exchanged fastest times at the beginning of Q1, until Hamilton found seven-tenths of a second with his final effort to end the session well clear of Rosberg. The pair were eventually split by Kevin Magnussen, as the McLaren driver used a set of super-soft tyres to ensure his passage to Q2.

Behind them seven of the eighth Mercedes-powered cars filled the top seven places, with Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso the highest-placed non-Mercedes car.

However the eighth Mercedes-engined car, belonging to Sergio Perez, nearly didn’t make the cut for Q2. He ended the session 16th after spinning at turn eight.

He was in good company, as several drivers were caught out by the low-grip track, including Hamilton who went across the turn one run-off on his first lap. However Marcus Ericsson was the only driver to hit the wall, bringing out the red flags with 16 seconds remaining.

That meant none of the other drivers could complete their laps. But Pastor Maldonado’s session was already over as Lotus had advised him to pull over in the final moments. The Marussia pair were out too, Jules Bianchi unable to do a second run due to a problem with his car.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’18.329
18 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’18.348
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’18.359
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’19.278
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’19.820
22 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari


The Williams drivers showed they had the pace to challenge the Mercedes on the super-soft tyre in Q2 as Felipe Massa headed the times to begin with.

But when the Mercedes drivers took to the track for their final runs they bumped the Williams back to third place, Hamilton leading Rosberg by over two tenths of a second.

Sebastian Vettel was languishing outside of the top ten before the final runs, but a clean final lap carried him through into Q3.

But with less than a tenth of a second covering Jenson Button in eighth to Magnussen four places behind him, the margins were incredibly fine. Nico Hulkenberg missed the final ten by less than five hundredths of a second, and was eliminated along with the other Force India of Sergio Perez.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’16.300
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.310
13 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’16.472
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’16.687
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’16.713
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.314


Hamilton flew through the first two sectors on his first run in Q3, lighting up the timing screens with the fastest times.

But he began to close on a Red Bull towards the end of his lap and crossed the line slower than Rosberg – by less than a tenth of a second. “Just that last sector with traffic by the look of it,” said race engineer Peter Bonnington.

The Williams drivers were next, followed by the two Red Bulls and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen then put his car eighth after single run in the final minutes of the session.

As in Monaco Rosberg was the first of the two Mercedes drivers to set a time but this time it was a clean lap. Not far behind him Hamilton set a new fastest time in the first sector but Rosberg responded in the second.

Hamilton locked his front-right wheel at turn eight and this proved costly – his middle sector time was slower than Rosberg and that made the difference at the finishing line. Rosberg set a 1’14.874 and Hamilton was less than a tenth of a second slower.

But behind them it was even closer – Sebastian Vettel claimed third place with just 0.041s covering him, the two Williams drivers, and Daniel Ricciardo.

Top ten in Q3

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’14.874
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’14.953
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’15.548
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’15.550
5 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’15.578
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’15.589
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’15.814
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’16.162
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.182
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’16.214

2014 Canadian Grand Prix

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137 comments on Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole by narrow margin

  1. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 7th June 2014, 19:51

    Very similar situation to Bahrain with Hamilton mucking up his final attack. Let’s hope tomorrow is just as exciting! Top performance by Vettel, too. He seemed to be a little anonymous this weekend and I expected Ricciardo to firmly beat him again. It’s going to be interesting to see whether he can hold off those powerful Williams cars at the start.

    • Damonw said on 7th June 2014, 19:59

      Loving the excuses of Hamilton mucking up. I bet you can count the number of times a driver does a perfect lap on one hand. The lockup barely cost him any time at all, plus didn’t he already get a banker in which was also slower than Rosberg’s first lap??

      • Dan said on 7th June 2014, 20:13

        You’re posts are hilarious you sure cant hide the hate lol you have commented like 5 times on the same topic get over it Nico is so good in the dry he as finshed 1 dry race infront of Hamilton, enjoy that fact.

        • Haha it’s hate because I dare say to you that possibly Rosberg is the quicker driver of the pair.

          • Dan said on 7th June 2014, 21:15

            How is he quicker lol Ham has more poles in their time together lol and more wins. And if Ham is so slow in dry how come Nico cant beat him lol.Ham has dominated Ros in 2 races, Ros has not done the same. Monaco was won at 1st corner

          • Brian (@bforth) said on 7th June 2014, 21:40

            That’s just an irrational thing to say. Hamilton has four wins to Rosberg’s two. One of Rosberg’s wins was courtesy of a mechanical failure in Oz–where he failed to put the Merc on the front row.

            In Malaysia Hamilton beat Rosberg to pole by half a second, and Rosberg failed to make the front row a second time. Then Hamilton proceeded to beat Rosberg in the race by a seventeen second margin.

            In Bahrain, Nico would have been nowhere near Hamilton at the end were it not for the safety car, and Rosberg still couldn’t have him in spite of having fresh option tyres and DRS at his disposal.

            At China, Rosberg qualified a miserable 1.3 seconds behind Hamilton and trailed him home by eighteen seconds.

            In Spain, Hamilton was unhappy with the car and was dealing with higher tyre degradation but beat Rosberg to pole and in the race.

            Rosberg did great in Monaco, and he has done well to beat Hamilton here. Obviously he is a top driver, but trying to portay Rosberg as utterly superior to Hamilton when the results prove the opposite is idiocy. When Hamilton qualifies over one second behind Rosberg and finishes a couple of races nearly 20 seconds down, then you can tout Rosberg as the better driver. Right now, it’s a lot of claptrap.

          • Damonw said on 7th June 2014, 22:17

            Most of Hamilton’s poles when teammates with Rosberg have been in the wet, Rosberg has out qualified Hamilton in the dry where their ultimate pace is shown.

          • Dan said on 8th June 2014, 0:04

            Ok then damonw maybe Ros is a great what are you trying to prove like you would not have signed Hamilton. Judging by you’re comments i think you’re hurt thats why you would rather Schumi in the other car.

  2. Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 7th June 2014, 19:54

    Can anyone confirm that Ferrari went back to their old floor after FP2 yesterday? Seems regressive, considering they had good pace uptil that point.

    • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 7th June 2014, 20:17

      Oskari Saari (Finnish commentator) said that both Ferraris used the upgrades today.

      • evered7 (@evered7) said on 7th June 2014, 20:35

        Strange. BBC says they used old configuration in FP3 and didn’t use the upgrades since it made the car too hot to run reliably.

        Alonso Quote:

        “Some of the package and some of the new pieces we brought here, with the hot temperatures, we need to come back to the old ones because they run too hot so we lost a bit of the advantage we expected here.”

  3. CarlD (@carld) said on 7th June 2014, 19:55

    Once again, Nico pocketed Lewis. It´s Monaco all over again in a different, subtle way.

    Just like Monaco, Rosberg set a very good early time which Lewis did not immediately try to beat. This was left for the dying moments of qualifying. Both times it has proven to be Lewis’ undoing during these and previous qualification runs.

    Neither in Monaco nor Montreal did Nico beat his early times. Both second tries were slower than the first ones or Lewis’ last one.

    The question is, why (in those instances) didn’t Lewis give himself a little leeway with two possible attempts instead of just one? Why did he wait for Rosberg to go out first? Was that due to team orders?

    Seb always gave himself enough time for three tries and it paid off.

    Can’t Ham see the light?

    • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 7th June 2014, 20:04

      Seb had 2 tries. As he always does…

    • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 7th June 2014, 20:12


      Not exactly a fair analysis. On his first Q3 lap Hamilton was quicker through the first two sectors, but lost all that in the third sector when he hit traffic. I don’t think you can really say he didn’t try.

      Secondly I believe Nico DID improve his second lap, so your statement of it being the same as Monaco is incorrect. As a result, even if Hamilton’s first lap had been clean, it’s unlikely (although not impossible) that Hamilton would have been able to claim pole with just that first lap.

      In either scenario, Hamilton would likely have needed to make his second lap a good one, but he made a mistake in the middle sector. This is the same area that Nico was locking in frequently during the practice sessions, so isn’t particularly telling one way or another. In Lewis’s case however, it was particularly damaging.

      Overall I don’t think this was a “dominant” showing by anyone (other than Mercedes!) not a catastrophic failure. Lewis was a bit unlucky with his first run, and Nico did a better job on their second runs. From what I saw of the sector time, Lewis did have better ultimate pace, and his perfect lap would have seen him on pole, but we never saw that perfect lap (in Q3 at least). There’s no massive life lesson to learn here.

    • They all do the same amount of laps in a team, it’s upto the driver to perform when it counts. Nico must be smirking underneath that helmet going into Q3 knowing how much time he has in his pocket.

  4. Fun (@functor) said on 7th June 2014, 19:59

    May the better driver win. Would be interesting when the Safety car will come out. I would want a race without any SC, just pure sheer racing + strategy

  5. davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 7th June 2014, 20:03

    Hamilton was the quicker of the 2, he just made a mistake in sector 2 and lost 3 tenths. Nico did what I expected and put in a solid lap time. Last time in Monaco it was Nico who made the mistake but benefited from it. This time Hamilton was the one to make an error but as you would expect, it cost him dearly.
    As usual people are getting over excited about qualifying. I think you’ll see in the race that Lewis has the legs on Nico, particularly on the soft tire.

    • Damonw said on 7th June 2014, 20:06

      Yeah Hamilton was the quicker of the two, who was quickest again on their first flyer?? Rosberg also made a mistake so we can all make excuses.

      • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 7th June 2014, 20:16


        Lewis was the quicker of the two on their first flyer, as the sector times clearly show. Unfortunately he met traffic at the end of the lap, which cost him dearly.

        However, as I’ve mentioned above, I don’t think it would have been enough to secure pole, and the mistake on his second flyer is what lost it for him.

        What if: he has not met the traffic on that first lap, and had got provisional pole, maybe he wouldn’t have been trying to push so hard in that middle sector second time round and it would have been enough to clinch it? We’ll never know, that’s motor racing.

        Unfortunately for Lewis, pole is not decided by “what ifs”.

        • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 7th June 2014, 20:21

          @fluxsource good analysis of the qualifying. Sums it up nicely.

        • Hamilton probably benefitted from the slipstream if anything down the pit straight on his first Q3 lap. IMO it shouldn’t be that close to Nico either way, he should have at least a quarter of a second on Rosberg, that’s what they pay him the big bucks for. ;)

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 7th June 2014, 20:27


            It’s pretty clear he lost time in that final sector, which was confirmed by Peter on the radio. As for “it shouldn’t be that close”? I don’t know Mercedes mind on how they decide on salarys, but personally I’d be more inclined to pay a massive salary to someone who can deliver on race day rather than in qualifying.

            Demanding a quarter second gap because he’s paid more seems more than a little churlish to me.

          • @Adam

            Surely you’ve got to agree that there’s nothing between them in qualifying and the race?? Don’t you think that Lewis should be handling Nico easier especially with this years car being designed for him? Mercedes payed Hamilton the big bucks because they thought he’d be their number 1 but Nico has proven to be his equal.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 7th June 2014, 21:33


            I would agree that Mercedes have got two world class drivers, who are both lightening quick. But I’d argue that quick isn’t the only thing it’ll take to win this year.

            It’s going to take that extra something special to win the championship this year. That extra half a tenth exactly where it counts. The overtaking move on the final lap. The ability to make your car twice the width (eg Bahrain) or to be ruthless enough to deliberately hamper your team mates lap (eg Monaco, at least according to some). That’s what Hamilton earns the big bucks for – because he’s proven he’s got that something extra. The biggest reason this year is exciting is because by the end of the season we’ll know if Nico deserves the big bucks too.

            Even with a retirement, Lewis has 4 wins to Nico’s 2, and in a season where you realistically have no other opponents, that’s incredibly important.

            As for your argument that the car is designed for him, I call that BS. Mercedes have made it abundantly clear they have no number one driver, and I believe them. There car is developed for/by the both of them.

          • Damonw said on 7th June 2014, 21:48

            Hamilton stated himself that this years car was designed around him, do you really believe that the team wouldn’t build the car around their star man?? Yeah you’re right that extra half tenth will count but sadly for you it looks like Nico is carrying it.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 7th June 2014, 23:20


            Sadly for me? Why? How does that effect me?

            do you really believe that the team wouldn’t build the car around their star man??

            Do you really believe that the team wouldn’t build the car around both their drivers?

            As for that extra half a tenth, the stats show that Hamilton has it so far. Winning the qualifying battle 4-3, and two of those he’s lost he arguably had the better potential pace (Monaco: if he’d replicated his sector 2 and 3 times from the first lap, it would have beaten Nico’s time).

            Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not a Hamilton fanatic. But that doesn’t make what you’re saying correct. I’m just glad it’s such an exciting season.

        • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 7th June 2014, 21:20

          @fluxsource Don’t waste your energy on this guy called Damonw. He is blinded by hatred so any analysis will fall on deaf ears unless you speak against Hamilton.

  6. neti1 said on 7th June 2014, 20:03

    Good lap from NR, mistake by LH.

    However, given that LH as been ahead in 5 of the 6 sessions this weekend, I suspect he’s still the favorite for the win tomorrow.

    • And in the first of the two sessions that count the most Rosberg was the man yet again. I expect a nice controlled race from the German tomorrow with a comfartable win.

  7. Fun (@functor) said on 7th June 2014, 20:05

    Also, Seems like a “German” Decade – Seb and now Nico Rosberg, and who knows Nico Hulk in future. Hmm…

  8. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 7th June 2014, 20:28

    First time Lewis will be doing the chase on a normal track.
    Can’t wait for the race!

  9. Linda said on 7th June 2014, 20:31

    Can’t wait for the race tomorrow

  10. CarlD (@carld) said on 7th June 2014, 20:57

    Maybe Keith would want to post all Q3 times in sequence, attempt by attempt, for Nico and Lewis along with sector times.

    I think I recall the commentator stating that Nico’s last time was not as good at his previous (best) one.

  11. Miko-Jarvinen (@miko-jarvinen) said on 7th June 2014, 21:10

    I really hope Valtteri can get he’s first podium tomorrow.

  12. Mrbeard said on 7th June 2014, 21:13

    With all the top drivers setting their fastest laps on the super softs in Q2, I’m guessing early pit stops in the race, within 10 laps?

  13. Konstantinos (@constantinei) said on 7th June 2014, 21:16

    Great guali tonight, I think we all enjoyed it! Nico stunning once again in dry qualifying but Lewis very close behind him! It should be an amazing battle tomorrow! The scenario for the Canadian grand prix was supposed to be damage limitation for Nico and psychological boost for Lewis but it hasn’t turned out to be the case so far. I believe that- provided they don’t take each other out tomorrow (for some odd reason I fear that this will happen)- Nico has the upper hand. But who knows? Maybe tomorrow will be Spain 2012! I am a Ferrari fan but I’d love to see a Williams winning! And their pace so far has been fantastic all weekend!

  14. 23kennyboy23 said on 7th June 2014, 21:17

    For those writing hamilton off the difference in laptime is tiny. Long afternoon tomorrow and DRS along that straight could have them swapping positions throughout

  15. Dan said on 7th June 2014, 21:17

    Cant wait Damon humble pie for you tommorow. You contraidt yourself the worst on this forum you say Ros is better just because of dry qualifying who is winning the dry races.

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