But heading into Qualifying, it would seem that Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are looking like the teams to beat heading into the session that look set to gain Pole Position ahead of the race on Sunday. But McLaren, Toro Rosso or Force India may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions.
It was announced before Qualifying that Kevin Magnussen will not be participating in Qualifying as a result of an incident heading out of Turn 7 in FP3 later this morning. The Renault team have no choice but to replace a new chassis as a result of this and it is a great shame for the team.
Don’t forget Daniil Kvyat takes a three place grid penalty into the Canadian GP after he was responsible for the accident at Rascasse with Kevin Magnussen. Let us not forget that Marcus Ericsson also takes a three place grid penalty due to the accident with his team mate Felipe Nasr in the Monaco GP as well.
Let the battle for Pole Position begin…
In Q1, we saw Nico Rosberg topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.13.714, Sebastian Vettel was second, Daniel Ricciardo was third, Lewis Hamilton was fourth, Valtteri Bottas was fifth, Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, Max Verstappen was seventh, Nico Hulkenberg was eighth Carlos Sainz Jr was ninth and Jenson Button rounded off the top ten finshers. At the end of Q1 we lose Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and Rio Haryanto.
During Q1, we saw Rio Haryanto sustaining a right rear puncture after hitting the wall at Turn 4 and did very well not to have a big accident either.
In Q2, we saw Hamilton topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.13.076, Rosberg was second, Ricciardo was third, Bottas was fourth, Verstappen was fifth, Raikkonen was sixth, Vettel is seventh, Massa was eighth, Hulkenberg was ninth and Alonso was tenth. At the end of Q2 we lose, Sergio Perez, Jenson Button, Danill Kvyat, Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean and Sainz Jr.
During Q2, Carlos Sainz Jr found himself out of qualifying after hitting the Wall of Champions (last corner of the circuit) after taking too much kerbs which broke the turk rod and continuing down the home straight to hit the barriers. This then brought out the Red Flag in order to ensure that Sainz Jr was okay and that the Toro Rosso could be removed safely from the track.
The battle for Pole Position is on…
At the end of Q3, Hamilton took Pole Position for the Canadian GP, the 53rd of his career with a lap time of 1.12.812. Rosberg finished in second place 0.062 seconds behind Hamilton, Vettel finished in third place 0.178 seconds behind Hamilton Ricciardo finished in fourth place 0.354 seconds behind Hamilton and Verstappen was fifth place 0.602 seconds behind Hamilton.
Raikkonen ended the session in sixth place 0.767 seconds behind Hamilton, Bottas finished in seventh place 0.858 seconds behind Hamilton, Massa finished in eight place 0.957 seconds behind Hamilton, Hulkenberg finished in ninth place 1.140 seconds behind Hamilton and Alonso finished in tenth place 1.526 seconds behind Hamilton.
It would seem that Mercedes genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend despite their form in Qualifying. Both of the Mercedes drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this and have been consistent and fast throughout every session so far this weekend; even if Hamilton has a challenge on his hands to get a result this weekend.
You cannot discount Ricciardo, Verstappen or Vettel even to be challenging also for the race win and could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes (and also Ferrari in Mercedes’ case) that could see gaining some points on their rivals to kick start their Constructors Championship.
Hulkenberg, Alonso and Raikkonen could also have a decent race and pick up some much needed points for their respective teams. Will it rain? I do not know. Who will win the Grand Prix on Sunday? I really don’t know.
Let’s see what happens tomorrow on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit on race day on Sunday…