By Alan Davies, Formula One correspondent
Saturday, June 9, 2012
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton will start the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix from the front row after today’s (Saturday’s) qualifying session in Montreal.
The 27-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star from Hertfordshire qualified second at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada.
Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position for Red Bull, with Fernando Alonso on the second row for Ferrari.
Hamilton aborted his first flying lap in Q3, but then posted a 1m 14.439s for provisional pole position.
Vettel, however, slammed in a super-quick 1m 13.905s and Alonso also went faster than Hamilton.
* Age: 27 (January 7, 1985)
* GPs: 96
* Wins: 17
* Poles: 21
* Fastest Laps: 11
* 2012 points: 63 (4th)
World champion Vettel went even quicker in his final run with a 1m 13.784s.
Hamilton also improved his time to go second with 1m 14.087s, edging ahead of Alonso on the F1 starting grid with his final hot lap.
However, the McLaren man missed out on a fourth Montreal pole by three-tenths of a second.
He will still start from the front row on Sunday, with Alonso joined on the second row by Vettel’s Red Bull colleague Mark Webber.
* 2011: Q5, R-
* 2010: Q1, R1
* 2008: Q1, R-
* 2007: Q1, R1
The McLaren pitwall told Hamilton over the radio: “Fantastic effort Lewis. P2. You got everything out of the car.”
Nico Rosberg was fifth in the final qualifying results for Mercedes GP with Felipe Massa sixth for Ferrari following a thrilling Q3.
Romain Grosjean and Paul di Resta will line-up on the fourth row in seventh and eighth places respectively.
Michael Schumacher qualified ninth, just ahead of Hamilton’s McLaren colleague Jenson Button.
Earlier in qualifying, Hamilton – watched by girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger – was second fastest after his opening run in Q2 with a 1m 14.371s – 0.184s slower than Vettel, who posted a lap time of 1m 14.187s.
The McLaren pitwall told Hamilton: “Box this lap please Lewis. We are P2 and fastest in the middle sector.”
Ferarri hero Alonso went fractionally quicker than Hamilton later in the 15-minute session, but the Herts-born F1 racer still did enough to comfortably qualify for the top 10 shootout ahead of Mark Webber in the second Red Bull and the Mercedes GP duo of Schumacher and Rosberg.
Button only just scraped through in 10th place, eight-thousandths of a second ahead of Kobayashi, with Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen also eliminated.
Vettel also went fastest for Red Bull in Q1 with a lap of 1m 14.661s ahead of the McLarens of Button and Hamilton, Lewis slotting in right behind Jenson in third place with a time of 1m 14.891s.
The 2012 Canadian Grand Prix starts at 6pm (GMT), 7pm (BST) on Sunday.