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Hamilton takes stunning pole as Montreal cracks up

NEWS STORY
07/06/2008

Ahead of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 27 degrees C, while the track temperature is 42 degrees. Like this morning, it is sunny, with no threat of rain.

Nico Rosberg set the pace in this morning's free practice session, however, two accidents - both involving Toro Rosso drivers - meant drivers were unable to run on light fuel loads and soft (super-soft) tyres in the final stages. This means a number of drivers have been compromised ahead of this afternoon's all-important session.

Just moments before the session, the stewards reveal that Vettel will miss the session, his car not having been repaired in time, while Bourdais receives a five-place penalty after changing his gearbox. Bad news for the Faenza-based outfit.

The lights go green, and first out is Piquet, followed by Sutil, Glock and Fisichella. Raikkonen is another 'early riser'.

Adrian Sutil posts the first time of the afternoon, the Force India driver posting 1:20.785. Moments later, Piquet crosses the line at 19.726.

An 18.660 sees Raikkonen go quickest, ahead of Coulthard, Glock, Piquet and Barrichello. They're all running on the hard (soft) option, and most drivers appear to be able to improve on their second flying lap… Glock being a prime example, the German improving to 18.618.

A 17.684 for Raikkonen as Massa makes it a Ferrari 1-2 with a 17.797. However, all eyes are on Hamilton and Kovalainen, who are both on track.

As Hamilton goes fifth (18.479), Raikkonen goes quickest in the first two sectors, eventually crossing the line at 17.301. Kovalainen posts 17.681 to go second, splitting the Maranello duo.

With half the first phase completed, Rosberg, Webber and the BMW drivers have yet to post a time.

Piquet, on soft (super-soft) goes ninth (18.523), as Hamilton takes the top spot with a 16.909. Moments later, his McLaren teammate takes second with a 17.287.

Webber is on track on softs, the Australian going thirteenth at his first attempt. Next time around he improves to sixth. Moments later, Coulthard, also on softs, goes eighth.

Kubica (hard) goes fifth, slotting in behind Alonso. His BMW teammate is still down in fifteenth.

As Barrichello goes twelfth (18.256), Button remains nineteenth, over 5s off his teammate's pace. With under four minutes remaining, the Englishman is in the pits, apparently suffering from a transmission problem. Indeed, he climbs from the car, his day's work clearly at an end.

Having gone quickest in the first sector, Massa (hard) goes sixth overall, crossing the line at 17.602. Webber (hards) improves but remains eighth. Elsewhere, Trulli takes his Toyota for a spin.

Hamilton, Kovalainen and Raikkonen have settled for their times, as Webber goes quickest in the second sector. Despite a poor final sector, the Red Bull driver moves up to seventh.

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