Lewis Hamilton takes Canada pole position ahead of Nico Rosberg

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Montreal
Lewis Hamilton on pole in Canada as big names struggle
Canadian Grand Prix
Venue: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Date: 7 June
Live on BBC One (18:25 BST-21:00) and Radio 5 live (18:30-21:00), plus live text, TV and radio commentary on the BBC Sport website and app (18:00-21:00). Full coverage details here.

Lewis Hamilton won a private fight for pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix with team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton put a messy final practice behind him, in which he was slowest of all, to take his sixth pole in seven races this year by 0.309 seconds.

Hamilton relieved to secure pole position in Canada

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third as team-mate Sebastian Vettel was only 16th following a hybrid system failure.

It was a powerful statement from Hamilton after losing out on victory so cruelly in the last race in Monaco.

Hamilton leads Rosberg by 10 points in the drivers' championship standings ahead of Sunday's race at 19:00 BST.

A strategy error from his Mercedes team in the closing stages in Monaco dropped him from a dominant lead to third at the flag, and Hamilton has looked uncomfortable out on track in Canada.

Although fastest in both practice sessions on Friday, Hamilton also made several errors, including a crash in torrential rain.

Hamilton's Canadian GP pole lap

The world champion also failed to set a representative lap time in final practice on Saturday morning after struggling to generate tyre temperature on both types of tyre.

But he put his troubles behind him in qualifying. Neck and neck with Rosberg in the first and second sessions, he put in a strong lap on his first run in final qualifying to put himself out of reach of Rosberg. Neither man improved on their second laps.

"It felt amazing," Hamilton said. "It wasn't the easiest of days. P3 was quite tough. I didn't get any laps, mostly my fault but I got the set-up where I wanted it to be.

"I won my first grand prix here and to come back and finally get another pole is very special."

Lotus released both cars at the same time during Q3 causing a mini inter-team race to the end of the pit lane

Rosberg said: "I was really on a roll, it felt really good and then the end did not come together at all. I had less rear grip on the first set especially. But fair play to Lewis and in the race is tomorrow there are still some good chances so it is not over yet."

Valtteri Bottas's Williams was fourth from the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.

It was by far Lotus's best grid position of the year and the team's strong performance was underlined by team-mate Pastor Maldonado, who starts right behind the Frenchman in sixth.

Rosberg's unique journey to circuit

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg made it six Mercedes-powered cars in the top seven, ahead of the Renault-engined Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo and the German's team-mate Sergio Perez.

McLaren's Jenson Button will start the race 19th after not taking part in qualifying following a hybrid system failure in final practice.

Only Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen will start behind Button. The Dutchman qualified 12th but has a 15-place grid penalty - 10 for using a fifth engine and five for crashing with Grosjean in Monaco at the last race.

He will also have to serve a 10-second penalty at a pit stop in the race to make up the balance of the penalty.

Verstappen's penalty promotes Button's team-mate Fernando Alonso one place to 13th on a difficult weekend for McLaren. Alonso missed nearly all of final practice because he needed an engine change and is now on his fourth and final engine, with penalties inevitable later in the season.

Vettel, crippled by a lack of power, missed out on displacing McLaren's Fernando Alonso for a place in the second part of qualifying by just over 0.3secs.

The four-time world champion was latterly handed a five-place grid penalty and given three penalty points on his licence for overtaking under red flags in final practice.

"It is what it is," Vettel said. "We'll see what we can do in the race."

Full qualifying results

Hamilton is celebrating his 44th career pole position
The fans turned out in huge numbers for qualifying in Montreal
Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified third, is Ferrari's hope for a podium finish
Sebastian Vettel
Team mate Sebastian Vettel will only start in 16th after "electronic faults" hindered his qualifying

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