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Hamilton in a class of his own in Montreal qualifying 07 Jun 2008

Post qualifying parc ferme Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1, second; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren pole position; Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari, third.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 7 June 2008 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA108.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 7 June 2008 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB4.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 7 June 2008 Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams FW30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 7 June 2008 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 7 June 2008

Not even a flying Robert Kubica and a track that was breaking up in places could stop Lewis Hamilton in Montreal on Saturday afternoon, as he planted his McLaren on pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix.

BMW Sauber’s Kubica had actually taken provisional pole away from him with a lap of 1m 18.498s compared to 1m 18.886s when Hamilton began his final run, but even though there were marbles in Turns Two, Seven and 10, the Briton somehow found another six-tenths of a second to put pole beyond reach with 1m 17.886s. He described himself as extremely comfortable with the car.

Neither of the Ferraris really got going in qualifying, as Hamilton dominated every session. In the end, Kimi Raikkonen placed his third with 1m 18.735s, but an unhappy Felipe Massa was only sixth on 1m 19.048s. In between them came Fernando Alonso with 1m 18.746s, but the Spaniard may again be using the light first-run strategy that Renault employed in Spain. Behind him, Nico Rosberg placed his Williams fifth, with a strong 1m 18.844s best.

Heikki Kovalainen was seventh in the second McLaren, with 1m 19.089s, leaving Nick Heidfeld eighth on 1m 19.633s for BMW Sauber and Rubens Barrichello ninth for Honda on 1m 20.848s.

Mark Webber will start 10th, but did not run in Q3 after spinning his Red Bull exiting slippery Turn Seven and damaging the right front suspension at the end of Q2.

That session saw Timo Glock out-qualify Toyota team mate Jarno Trulli for the first time, with 1m 18.031s to the Italian’s 1m 18.327s. Trulli had two spins, and will start 14th. Separating the TF108s are Kazuki Nakajima, who lapped his Williams in 1m 18.062s and David Coulthard with 1m 18.238s for Red Bull.

Sebastien Bourdais was 16th overall on 1m 18.916s for Toro Rosso, but was the fastest runner to be eliminated in Q1 and will start at the back after needing his gearbox changed this morning. Team mate Sebastian Vettel will be with him. He didn’t run at all in qualifying as his STR3 needs a new monocoque after his crash this morning.

The Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella will thus start 16th and 17th on 1m 19.108s and 1m 19.165s respectively. Jenson Button was 19th overall and will start 18th, his troubled Honda recording only 1m 23.565s thanks to gearbox problems.

The track surface is already occupying everyone ahead of a race in which safety cars are also expected to play a crucial role, such is the unforgiving nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s walls.