The long straights of Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve have favoured Mercedes as the Brackley-based outfit locked the front row of the grid once again this season, and is now all set to keep the winning momentum going at the Canadian Grand Prix.
German Nico Rosberg beat teammate Lewis Hamilton of Britain by the finest of margins in the qualifying to clinch his second successive pole position of the season. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finished third and was closely matched by Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.
Vettel's teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished on P6, followed by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari and Jean-Eric Vergne in the Torro Rosso. McLaren's Jenson Button was ninth fastest, while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who showed improvements in the practice session, completed the top 10.
Hamilton, who is second in the drivers' championship behind teammate Rosberg, predicted a close fight against the German. The Brit was pleased with his team's efforts of getting another one-two in the qualifying and stated that he will try to score maximum points.
"It was very close, with just eight-hundredths of a second in it, but Nico did the better job this afternoon," Hamilton pointed out. "It's great for the team that we have a one-two on the grid but I am expecting it to be a tough race: it's not that easy to overtake here, especially in the same car and with Nico being so close on pace."
Rosberg, who grabbed his third pole position of the season, said it is important to start the race from the front as there are not many overtaking opportunities on the circuit. Just like Hamilton, he also predicted a close battle.
"So I am very happy with starting from pole tomorrow," Rosberg stressed. "That was very important as there aren't many opportunities to overtake here, particularly if you are in the same car. I think it will be a battle between the two of us out there tomorrow as the gap to the other cars was quite big in qualifying today and also on our long runs on Friday were strong."
Meanwhile, reigning world champion Vettel thinks strategies could spring a surprise in the race but maintained that Mercedes will remain strong. The three-time world champion is hopeful of remaining close to the frontrunners and attack them, if he gets a chance.
"Strategy could be a bit of a surprise tomorrow, we'll have to wait and see what happens but Williams is strong here and the Mercedes powered cars will be looking forward to the straights," Vettel said. "I will try to stay as close as I can to the front two and get some tow. If we have a chance to attack them, then we should go for it."
Force India team, on the other hand, only managed P11 and P13 with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez respectively but they have the advantage of choosing the tyres for the race. Perez said he is positive and looking forward for the race.
"I'm starting P13, but I'm still feeling very positive about our chances in the race because this is such an unusual track where you can move up the field and take advantage of whatever happens in the race," the Mexican stated.
"We have good top speed and that will certainly be important tomorrow," he added. "I think we have shown already this year that Sunday is what counts and I'm confident that we can score points and beat some of the cars ahead of us."
Where to Watch Live
Formula 1: Canadian GP Live Streaming Information
Race starts: 2:00 pm local time, 11:30 pm IST, 12:00 pm GMT
|India||Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD2|
|United Kingdom||BBC, Sky Sports|
|Middle East and North Africa||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Germany, Italy||Sky Sport|
|UK||HERE or HERE or HERE|
|Germany and Italy||HERE or HERE|