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Qualifying highlights - Canada 2014 - An epic session throws up a surprise pole sitter in Montreal

Published by Mr. C

Ricciardo disappears into the scenery in Montreal
Credit: Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty

A gorgeous summer's day welcomed the great and the good of F1 for qualifying in Canada. Out on track the racing action was just as hot, with drivers delivering an unexpectedly exciting hour of entertainment. Fans played witness to poor examples of driving and brilliant examples of driving in almost equal measure.

Two silly accidents, one before and the other during the session, set the order at the back end of the field, while up front the fight to be fastest man around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve delivered a new surprise with each turn. Enjoy then these lap-by-lap highlights of qualifying in Canada.

As it happened: Canada 2014 - Qualifying

Event Highlights

  • Ericsson spins out bringing Q1 to an abrupt end
  • Rosberg twice betters Hamilton's attempt at pole
  • Vettel pulls a blinding lap out of thin air to claim best of the rest
  • 17:32

    Hello and welcome to some very unusual Factbyte Factbox live coverage. Christine is currently working in the States and has left this incredibly complicated system in my hands.

  • 17:34

    I will of course do my very best to replicate her insanely brilliant live text coverage, but as no human can possibly type as fast as she does, updates will naturally be a little slower.

  • 17:38

    The most important news ahead of today's 60 minute session is that Sauber driver Esteban Gutiérrez will not be taking part this afternoon. The Mexican binned his car a little over two hours ago during final practice and the team don't have time to change the chassis.

  • 17:39

    Esteban's exit opens up the possibility of an unusual name making it into Q2.

  • 17:42

    Members of the Sidepodcast community are in attendance today. They've found themselves a shaded area to enjoy the drama of qualifying. Its going to be a hot one!

    Sidepodpeople on a hill in Canada
    Credit: Matt G
  • 17:46

    Lewis Hamilton has been almost unstoppable since Friday. Two fastest times and one second place in practice sees him the most prepared of the field and favourite to take pole at a track he loves. His team mate and arguably the only other guy who can realistically beat him today has promised to study Hamiton's lap data and learn where he can improve.

  • 17:50

    Look out for Williams too. Red Bull have them down as best of the rest and Massa put together a blinding lap in FP3. Recall also that last year Bottas put Williams third on the grid in a car that had no business being anywhere near the front rows.

  • 17:52

    QuoteChristian Horner talking to the BBC: "We have a few issues going quick in a straight line at the moment. Mercedes have done an unbelievable job, Renault have to close that gap down."

  • 17:53

    Weather icon

    Wind speed2.6mps
  • 18:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 18:01

    The sound of Ericsson and Bottas taking to the track breaks the silence.

  • 18:03

    Bottas clearly didn't fancy being held up by that Caterham, he made sure to be ahead as he starts his first flying lap.

  • 18:04

    First time on the board then is Valtteri with a 1:18.270.

  • 18:04

    16 cars are already circulating. Despite a quiet start, teams clearly keen to put in a banker lap.

  • 18:05

    Massa bests his teammate's time, a 1:17.696 gives Williams an early one-two.

  • 18:06

    The fastest drivers have all opted for the yellow soft tyre (actually the harder of the two compounds Pirelli have brought to Canada).

  • 18:08

    Team radioTeam radio to Hamilton "You may be able to push for two laps, have a think about that. Cancel the magic and Strat 5."

  • 18:09

    Both Mercedes drivers now jump to the top of the timesheets, with Hamiton ahead. The team think they have lost radio contact with Rosberg.

  • 18:10

    Lewis drops the benchmark even further, a 1:15.750 is now the time to beat.

  • 18:12

    Sutil complains his car is a bit "oversteery". The Sauber crew will make changes and send their man out for another three laps. The German currently sits in 13th.

  • 18:14

    In the drop zone at the moment sit Bianchi, Maldonado, Kvyat, Ericsson and Kobayashi.

  • 18:15

    Sergio Pérez loses his car in a similar manner to Gutiérrez's practice accident. He manages to catch this one though. A lap ruined but he's still in one piece.

  • 18:16

    Right now, all but six cars are running the red super-soft rubber to try and tease out a definitive lap time on this slippery circuit. It clearly isn't going to work for all of them.

  • 18:17

    Sometime drop zone attendee Kvyat leaps up the order to 6th.

  • 18:18

    Maldonado is in trouble. He's parked his car out of the way, but his session is over. He's in 17th and out of qualifying.

  • 18:18

    AccidentEricsson bins his Caterham! The green machine is facing the wrong way on the side of the track.

  • 18:19

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 18:20

    Replays show Marcus Ericsson hit the kerb at a dodgy angle tipping him into a 180° spin. The man is out of the car and okay.

  • 18:21

    Chequered flagOnly 16 seconds remain on the clock. Q1 is effectively over.

  • 18:22
    Ericsson bins it in qualifying
  • 18:26
    Out in Q1
    17P MaldonadoLotus
    18M ChiltonMarussia
    19J BianchiMarussia
    20K KobayashiCaterham
    21M EricssonCaterham
  • 18:26

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 18:27

    Chilton thinks he was in with a shot of getting into this session before the red flag fell. Speaking to Sky he said, "I'm pretty sure if we'd have got that last lap in we'd be in Q2."

  • 18:28

    It's super-softs all round as Massa leads the early times ahead of Hülkenberg.

  • 18:29

    TweetTweet from @Lotus_F1Team: Precautionary stop for @Pastormaldo. We can confirm there was an issue which we will investigate when we get it back.

  • 18:30

    The mid-field battle for Q3 is going to be intense. Many equally performing cars all jostling for position in the final shoot out.

  • 18:31

    TV replays highlight Räikkönen brushing the wall after the first chicane as he pushes all the limits chasing a decent time.

  • 18:32

    QuoteComment from Bert: Well, it looks like Kimi now has 3 yellow-striped and 1 white-striped tires.

  • 18:33

    The two Mercedes drivers slot in behind Massa after two very cautious warm up laps.

  • 18:35

    Alonso in fifth describes his lap as "very good". The Ferrari team are apparently not running all the updates they brought to this race.

  • 18:36

    Pérez who is currently nowhere in the order somehow manages to top the straight-line speeds through the speed trap. Force India may have got their balance a little wrong for these conditions.

  • 18:37

    Two minutes remain and Vettel is the surprise name currently not where he needs to be.

  • 18:39

    Everyone on track for one final go at a time, except for a confident Alonso who is happy to watch from the garage.

  • 18:40

    Bottas joins his team mate, second place is his as Vettel just manages to get in a representative time.

  • 18:42

    Chequered flagA good lap from Ricciardo puts him ahead of Vettel by two-tenths. Hamilton and Rosberg throw down the gauntlet and make it another Mercedes one-two. Hamilton is consistently the faster of the pair.

  • 18:44
    Out in Q2
    11N HülkenbergForce India
    12K MagnussenMcLaren
    13S PérezForce India
    14R GrosjeanLotus
    15D KvyatToro Rosso
    16A SutilSauber
  • 18:46

    QuoteInterview with Ericsson: "Lost the rear trying to push. We're struggling with getting the grip for the tyres. Just pushed a bit over the limit."

  • 18:48

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 18:49

    Nobody rush out all at once, will you? Silence on track as nobody appears keen to make the first move.

  • 18:51

    Valtteri Bottas is first onto the asphalt again as the best looking car on the grid™ lights up the track.

  • 18:53

    The Williams is looking very good out there today, making light work of the big kerbs in Canada. Bottas opens his Q3 account with a handy 1:15.550.

  • 18:54

    Rosberg decimates Bottas' time with a 1:14.946 lap. Hamilton follows Nico across the line but he is not faster - perhaps for the first time this weekend. Amazing.

  • 18:56

    The other team mate battle to watch is Ricciardo making mincemeat out of Vettel. They currently sit 5th and 6th.

  • 18:57

    Two Mercedes, lead two Williams, lead two Red Bulls. The only two team mates in the top ten who aren't side-by-side are the Ferrari men. Alonso is 7th while Kimi is yet to set a time.

  • 18:59

    Räikkönen sets a lap time that is currently 0.07s slower than Alonso.

  • 19:00

    In the first sector splits Hamilton is up on Rosberg as the German turns the sheets purple.

  • 19:01

    Chequered flagRosberg is quicker again, Hamilton has no answer!

  • 19:01

    StopwatchPole position for Nico Rosberg with a time of 1:14.874.

  • 19:01


  • 19:03

    Behind the Mercedes, Sebastian puts the manners on Daniel. He pulls 3rd place from out of nowhere.

  • 19:04

    Bottas sticks his Williams on the second row, at last delivering on their free practice performance promise.

  • 19:07
    Top 10 in qualifying
    1N RosbergMercedes
    2L HamiltonMercedes
    3S VettelRed Bull
    4V BottasWilliams
    5F MassaWilliams
    6D RicciardoRed Bull
    7F AlonsoFerrari
    8JE VergneToro Rosso
    9J ButtonMcLaren
    10K RäikkönenFerrari
  • 19:09

    No question that Vettel outperformed his car on that final lap. Christian Horner is understandably delighted. "Probably his best qualifying of the season."

  • 19:12

    I don't know how that was for anyone else, but that was an exhilarating way to spend an hour. Be sure to keep up with all the breaking news on the weekend logbook and I'll see you all back here tomorrow.

All content in the series Canada 2014