Lewis Hamilton claims 53rd career pole ahead of Canadian Grand Prix
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News June 11, 2016 Updated: 1:20 PM
The three time world champion shows again why he is the strongest in mixed weather conditions. Hamilton took his fourth pole of the season followed in second by his teammate Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel in third and Daniel Ricciardo in fourth.
The “Jedi Knight” Hamilton still trails Nico Rosberg by 24 points in the drivers championship due to his the struggles he’s had this season. However, today he proved what he can do when he has the car he needs.
Hamilton has claimed the pole at every race where he has not encountered a mechanical issue during qualifying.
His first run in Q3 was just six-hundredths quicker than teammate Rosberg who locked up at turn one and had to abort his second run.
“That’s not necessarily the way you want it to turn out, getting pole without a real battle on the final lap – but you take it whatever way it comes! I think there was more time to be found out there but I’m happy to have done enough on that first run. This always tends to be a good track for me,” said Hamilton.
Vettel was only a tenth of a second off the Mercedes pace when it mattered in Q3.
“I think going into qualifying I thought it was possible,” Vettel said. “As a driver you always feel that there’s a little bit more. I think on my last lap I was very happy with the lap in general, I was maybe a bit greedy out of 10 and maybe not greedy enough into turn six, but there wasn’t an awful lot to grab otherwise, as I said, very happy.”
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo said he felt his RB12 touching the wall as he exited the final turn. He clipped the wall with both his front and rear wheels coming out of turn 14, just as Sainz had in his Toro Rosso, but Ricciardo survived without serious damage.
“It felt like a pretty big kiss actually!” said Ricciardo.
“As soon as I hit it, I thought about what happened to Carlos in my head.
“I thought ‘just please keep the wheels on until the line and then they can fall off it they want’. In the end, I don’t think I lost that much to it.
“I think I carried so much speed into the corner that I gained in what I lost out by hitting the wall. It probably didn’t change the overall position.
After his nightmare weekend in Monte Carlo finishing second in the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago, Ricciardo was smiling again.
Kimi Raikkonen continued to have a rough weekend finishing 0.589s off team-mate Vettel and only 0.091s faster than Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas ended his day seventh on the grid ahead of teammate Felipe Massa in eighth while Nico Hulkenberg took ninth for Force India ahead of Fernando Alonso in the McLaren-Honda.
Hulkenberg’s teammate Sergio Perez was just 0.057s off beating Alonso to tenth in Q3, but still managed to finish ahead of Jenson Button in the second McLaren.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finished 13th but will drop to 16th due to a three-place grid penalty he received at the Monaco Grand Prix. That will move the two Haas drivers up a place to 13th and 14th, with Esteban Gutierrez beating team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Kvyat’s teammate Carlos Sainz became the first driver to be taken by the Wall of Champions on the exit of the final chicane, tapping the wall with his right rear tire before dragging his STR11 all the way to the finish line.
This caused a brief red flag while the car was removed from the pit straight and left Sainz with the slowest of Q2.
Jolyon Palmer finished 17th after pushing to the limit on his hot lap and brushing the wall on the exit of final chicane. Pascal Wehrlein impressed Manor Racing finishing 18th for the fastest time of Q1, beating the Saubers.
Marcus Ericsson finished 19th but will receive a three-place grid penalty for the collision with his team-mate Felipe Nasr in Monaco, which will move Nasr ahead of Ericsson.
Manor driver Rio Haryanto’s day came an early end when he tagged the wall on the exit of Turn 4 and broke his right rear suspension.