12 Jun 2016

Hamilton takes pole in Canada

10:21 am on 12 June 2016

Britain's Lewis Hamilton swept to his fifth Canadian Grand Prix pole position and piled more pressure on his championship-leading Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.

British driver Lewis Hamilton

British driver Lewis Hamilton Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The triple Formula One world champion will be favourite to win in Montreal for the fifth time on Monday, knowing he can retake the title lead if Rosberg draws a blank. The German is 24 points ahead after six of 21 races.

Hamilton's love affair with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where he took his first pole in 2007, continued as he lapped with a fastest time of one minute 12.812 seconds and beat Rosberg by 0.062.

Rosberg's second place brought him a 13th consecutive front row start, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel third fastest and 0.178 behind Hamilton.

"It actually wasn't a great lap," said Hamilton.

"I didn't have the same pace I had yesterday, but it was obviously enough," added the champion, who dominated Friday practice, after his 53rd career pole. "It doesn't matter how far you are ahead as long as you are ahead.

"Ferrari have picked up the pace with the upgrades they have brought. It will be exciting to have a race with them."

Two weeks after lucking into his first win of the season in Monaco, thanks to a Red Bull pitstop bungle, Hamilton provided further evidence that his campaign is fully back on track.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified fourth for Red Bull, with 18-year-old team-mate Max Verstappen fifth and Kimi Raikkonen sixth for Ferrari.