Lewis Hamilton upbeat despite losing out on pole to Nico Rosberg

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Canadian GP: Nico Rosberg denies Lewis Hamilton pole at Montreal

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said he was still "upbeat" about Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix despite losing out on pole position.

Hamilton was beaten by team-mate Nico Rosberg by just 0.079 seconds. It was the first time he had been out-qualified by a team-mate in Montreal.

"It doesn't hurt," Hamilton said. "The race might [if I don't win].

"Perhaps why I'm able to be upbeat is I had good pace and I just didn't exploit it at the end."

Hamilton was generally the faster Mercedes driver throughout the practice sessions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but admitted he did a poor job in qualifying.

"The car was good," Hamilton said. "I just didn't drive that well.

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"We have a great car. It is a race between me and Nico and I have to work on nurturing the tyres and what strategy will work for me. I'm hoping I have a chance.

"Of course it makes it harder being second but there are opportunities."

Hamilton said not being on pole in Canada was less of a problem than it had been in Monaco two weeks ago.

"It's a better mindset than I had in Monaco because there you can't really overtake whereas here we have a two or three-stop strategy and always something happens here, safety cars and all those kinds of things," he said.

"I'm just praying we have a good race and a chance to battle.

"It's not easy overtaking your team-mate who has the same car as you and is just as quick so I will do whatever I can to make the strategy work to my advantage. I'm hoping we have one of those races where we can do some battling."

Rosberg said he paid no attention to the fact that he had been the first team-mate to out-qualify Hamilton in Canada.

"I don't look into all those statistics," the German said. "For me it's just a track like any other.

Canadian Grand Prix: Watch Nico Rosberg's pole lap

"I enjoy it myself, it's really a great track, very tough to get it right and it came good for me in qualifying.

"I made a lot of changes to the car, even took a bit of a gamble.

"I hope to get the start and then it's not going to be too easy for the guy behind to overtake, even if he happens to be quicker because strategy-wise you can't play around much. So definitely pole position is massively important."

Rosberg predicted that the race for victory would be between himself and Hamilton, while he expected plenty of action behind between the closely matched Red Bull, Williams and Ferrari cars.

"Behind it's going to go all over the place," he said. "Hopefully we'll put on a great show for the spectators."

Canadian Grand Prix qualifying results

Canadian Grand Prix coverage details

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