Rosberg tops Hamilton for Canadian GP pole


The Sports Network

Montreal, QC ( - Nico Rosberg will start on the pole for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix after beating his Mercedes teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton by a slim margin in qualifying.

Rosberg, the current leader in the Formula One world championship standings, made a lap around the 2.709-mile (4.361-kilometer) Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1 minute, 14.874 seconds in Saturday's qualifying for his seventh career F1 pole, including his third this season and first in Canada. Two weeks ago, Rosberg started on the pole and won the Monaco Grand Prix, allowing him to reclaim the top spot in the standings.

"It's been a fantastic day and also all through the weekend really progressing all the time, getting stronger and stronger," Rosberg said. "It's really cool and best position for [Sunday's race] of course."

Hamilton's lap time in 1:14.953 was only 0.079 seconds behind Rosberg. Hamilton has won the Canadian GP three times -- 2007 (his maiden F1 victory), '10 and '12, all of them when he drove for McLaren. He trails Rosberg by just four points (122-118) entering this race.

"Nico did a fantastic job today, so congratulations to him," Hamilton said. "Just wasn't the greatest qualifying session. Sometimes you have good ones, sometimes you have bad ones. But it's great for the team that we have got the one-two in qualifying. A really fantastic performance by the team, so let's hope we can make history tomorrow."

Either Rosberg or Hamilton has won the pole in each of the first seven grand prix this season. Mercedes has claimed the victory in all six races.

Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull qualified third with a lap in 1:15.548. Vettel, the four-time and defending world champion, won the Canadian GP for the first time last year.

"All in all, a very good result," Vettel said. "I think it was the maximum we could do, very close with the people behind, obviously half a second to the Mercedes in front, but yeah, I think four cars were within five or six hundredths of a second, so obviously, I'm happy to be the quickest one of those."

Valtteri Bottas from Williams took the fourth spot, while his teammate, Felipe Massa, was fifth. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took the sixth spot, followed by Fernando Alonso from Ferrari and Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne.

McLaren's Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen from Ferrari completed the top-10.

Esteban Gutierrez missed qualifying after his Sauber team determined that his chassis needs to be changed following a crash in final practice, held earlier in the day. Esteban will race at the stewards' discretion, starting from the rear of the field.

Sunday's 70-lap Canadian GP is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. ET.

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