Peel Street buzzing with excitement on eve of Canadian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton

Looming large with the fourth fastest time was Mercedes' championship leader Lewis Hamilton, the victor of the last three races in Montreal who is chasing a record seventh Canadian Grand Prix pole.

Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas also lamented the delayed arrival of the new engine, but the Finn expressed his confidence the original one would still do a good job.

Hamilton still believes he could have extracted a pole time from the W09 had he not been struggling in what he normally counts as his strongest section of the track. Everybody knows how it feels to drive a auto or be driven in a vehicle - but we are doing something else.

"There are massive bumps into Turn 10". As the hypersoft might not last for more than a handful of laps, Magnussen has the ability to start on a different tyre compared to the four drivers in front of him, who must all start on the softest compound.

"Making small increments from one time to another it always feels a little bit different, but it's been good".

It was the fifth time in seven races that both Williams cars failed to advance out of the first phase.

"Yesterday we had a scrappy day, we had an issue with the steering".

"Our long runs were really good".

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Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, lapping just two-hundredths of a second off Raikkonen.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified fifth fastest and will be joined on the third row by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, victor in Monaco two weeks ago and the last man to beat Hamilton to victory in Canada. If the softest compound doesn't hang on, though, then Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen are waiting to pounce.

He said he was looking forward to taking his auto "for a spin" on "hyper-soft" tyres on Saturday.

"From our testing, we had in Abu Dhabi [last December] particularly, that's what led us to the decisions we made and we stick with those. So the best compromise for our speed level is to run more drag and more downforce and that obviously hurts us".

"But it was a combination of things". I'm sure there was more to come today, and the end result is not what we were looking for.

"It's hard to judge our single lap pace from today as we haven't run the HyperSoft and some of our closest competition looked to have had less than ideal sessions". I felt it was there but it didn't step up and I couldn't get to it.

The circuit in Montreal has a special meaning for the Scuderia, as it is named after their former driver Gilles Villeneuve, who died after an accident during final qualifying at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. "We did pretty well considering.the weekend we lacked some rhythm. So it is a combination of that and the fact that he has just been driving really well".