Hamilton storms to maiden pole in Canada

Lewis Hamilton secured his first pole position in Formula One, beating McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso in qualifying at Montreal

Hamilton storms to maiden pole in Canada

Alonso had looked set for pole after the first flying laps of Q3, but Hamilton then found six tenths of a second on his final run, putting himself four tenths clear of his teammate.

The world champion was fastest in the first two sectors on his own run, only to make a mistake in the final chicane and fail to improve his time.

Nick Heidfeld will start third for BMW, despite a scare in Q2 when his initial time was deleted because he had cut the final chicane.

Heidfeld crossed the line to start another lap with seconds to spare, but made the cut in emphatic style, setting the third quickest time of Q2. He then repeated that performance in the final segment to take his best starting position since Melbourne.

The Ferraris never looked like contending for pole, and will start fourth and fifth, with Kimi Raikkonen a tenth quicker than Felipe Massa, but both 0.7 seconds adrift of Hamilton's time.

Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg continued their promising weekends by securing sixth and seventh respectively, ahead of Heidfeld's BMW teammate Robert Kubica, and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Jarno Trulli will complete the top ten for Toyota, an impressive performance considering the suspension dramas that blighted the team's practice.

The first two segments of qualifying saw plenty of incident, with several drivers from top teams being eliminated early on.

Heikki Kovalainen had the most dramatic session of all - clouting the Turn 4 wall on his first flying lap in Q1 after landing awkwardly off the kerbs in the middle of the chicane.

The Renault caused its second red flag of the day after depositing its rear wing in the middle of the circuit, but Kovalainen managed to nurse the car back to the pits, where it was repaired in time for him to rejoin before the end of the session.

He went straight up to 13th with his first flying lap, only to be edged down to 19th as others improved. Having incurred a ten-place penalty for changing his engine after the practice failure, Kovalainen will start last of all.

Ralf Schumacher was also eliminated - his third consecutive early departure from qualifying - and blamed traffic for his 18th place, while Alex Wurz said his 20th position was purely a consequence of underperformance.

Both Toro Rossos reached Q2 for the first time, as Vitantonio Liuzzi took 12th and Scott Speed secured 16th, 0.8 seconds slower. One Super Aguri also made it through, with Takuma Sato joining Liuzzi on row six, while Anthony Davidson had to settle for 17th.

Despite showing signs of improvement in practice, Honda's form wilted in qualifying. Rubens Barrichello could only manage 13th, two places ahead of Jenson Button.

They were split by David Coulthard, who grappled with brake problems throughout qualifying and made several trips off the road. He reached Q2 against the odds, but could not progress any further.

Canada qualifying breakdown Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Pos Driver Team Pos Time Lap Pos Time Lap Pos Time Lap
1. Hamilton McLaren 3. 1:16.576 3 2. 1:15.486 3 1. 1:15.707 12
2. Alonso McLaren 2. 1:16.562 3 1. 1:15.522 3 2. 1:16.163 12
3. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 6. 1:17.006 5 6. 1:15.960 6 3. 1:16.266 12
4. Raikkonen Ferrari 1. 1:16.468 6 5. 1:16.592 3 4. 1:16.411 12
5. Massa Ferrari 4. 1:16.756 4 4. 1:16.138 3 5. 1:16.570 12
6. Webber Red Bull 10. 1:17.315 6 9. 1:16.257 6 6. 1:16.913 11
7. Rosberg Williams 8. 1:17.016 6 10. 1:16.190 6 7. 1:16.919 12
8. Kubica BMW Sauber 9. 1:17.267 7 7. 1:16.368 7 8. 1:16.993 12
9. Fisichella Renault 5. 1:16.805 6 3. 1:16.288 6 9. 1:17.229 12
10. Trulli Toyota 11. 1:17.324 8 8. 1:16.600 6 10. 1:17.747 12
11. Sato Super Aguri 14. 1:17.490 6 11. 1:16.743 6      
12. Liuzzi Toro Rosso 16. 1:17.541 6 12. 1:16.760 7      
13. Barrichello Honda 7. 1:17.011 6 13. 1:17.116 6      
14. Coulthard Red Bull 13. 1:17.436 7 14. 1:17.304 8      
15. Button Honda 15. 1:17.522 6 15. 1:17.541 6      
16. Speed Toro Rosso 12. 1:17.433 6 16. 1:17.571 7      
17. Davidson Super Aguri 17. 1:17.542 4            
18. R.Schumacher Toyota 18. 1:17.634 8            
19. Kovalainen Renault 19. 1:17.806 6            
20. Wurz Williams 20. 1:18.089 5            
21. Sutil Spyker 21. 1:18.536 7            
22. Albers Spyker 22. 1:19.196 7            
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