Sergio Perez out of F1 free practice session

Ross Houston
June 24, 2017

After an inconsistent opening to the season in which he and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas have struggled badly at times, Hamilton bounced back to his best in Montreal to claim his third win in seven races as Mercedes produced a crushing one-two success.

A win on Sunday would give Hamilton victories at every circuit on the 2017 calendar to sit alongside his achievement of the greatest number of wins at different tracks, now 24.

Hamilton banished memories of a dismal qualifying session in Baku previous year, when he clipped the barrier and had to settle for 10th place on the starting grid, to grab pole with a time of 1:40.593 despite running wide at Turn 16.

Hamilton's quickest lap was set on the harder of the tire options available.

"I looked through what I went through a year ago here and know all (about) the pitfalls and the issues I had then, and don't plan on having the same issues this weekend", he said. "A lot of pressure".

"These engineers and mechanics know that if they bring that extra five per cent it can make the difference between being first or second". I think a lot of it is contributed by these tyres being a lot worse in the sense that [they are] bigger, heavier, stiffer, harder and just don't work a lot of the time.

The British driver's 66th pole moves him one ahead of Formula One great Ayrton Senna and just two behind Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 68.

Hamilton added: "The grass is always greener on the other side". We didn't put everything together, but tomorrow is another day.

Just as in Canada a fortnight previously, Hamilton made it count when it mattered the most to finish almost half-a-second clear of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying, with Vettel a distant fourth. "This morning didn't help but it's not an excuse".

Ferrari, traditionally strong in the hottest conditions, will hope to bounce back after Vettel left Canada unhappy at his own result despite a stirring drive through the field to finish fourth after a first lap collision.

Hamilton ended the day at the Baku City Circuit well off the pace in a lowly 10th after he failed to deliver an error-free lap during the second session.

"It's not really nice to be in fifth", Verstappen conceded. "I haven't decided whether I want to stop before my time, at the moment I don't plan to". As a team, we got what we could today.

Canadian youngster Lance Stroll, in eighth, out-qualified his fellow Williams driver Felipe Massa, who was ninth.

But his Force India sustained significant damage in the incident, and the way in which Perez's right-rear tyre completely detached from the vehicle and bounced along the track will be cause for concern too.

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