2008 F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton put a stop to Red Bull Racing's run of successive poles today in Canada, when he put his McLaren in P1 for Sunday's race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Hamilton, who had been fastest in practice this morning and in Q1 and Q2, set his best lap, a 1 minute 15.105 seconds, right at the end of Q3 to pip Mark Webber's Renault-powered Red Bull RB6.
Bizarrely though, Hamilton was instructed to stop on his in-lap due to concerns over the amount of his fuel in his car. Indeed after his engineer congratulated him on a great lap, he was told to stop as if he didn't there might not be enough fuel for the FIA to do their standard post-Q checks.
After stopping on track, Hamilton briefly pushed his car, before the marshals arrived and a safety car picked up the Englishman and whisked him back in time for the post-qualifying FIA press conference. It remains to be seen if the stewards will punish McLaren for not putting enough fuel in his car.
Despite Hamilton's success though, Red Bull opted for a different strategy in qualifying and in contrast to McLaren ran on the harder of the Bridgestone tyres and this may yet prove to be better for the race as the softer tyres grained badly on Friday in practice.
Webber finished the shoot-out 0.268 seconds off Hamilton, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel recovered from an error at the last chicane to take third in the sister car, just 0.047 seconds slower.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso meanwhile also went well and will line-up in fourth on a 1m 15.435s, ahead of reigning world champion Jenson Button and Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi, who definitely seems to have benefitted from reverting to the same chassis that he used in the opening four races.
Felipe Massa took P7 on the times, followed by Renault's Robert Kubica and the other Force India of Adrian Sutil. Nico Rosberg was slowest in Q3 and will start tenth in his Mercedes on a 1m 16.071s.
At least he made it into the top-ten shoot-out however, something his team-mate, Michael Schumacher did not do. Schumacher was on the cusp for much of Q2 and in the end he just wasn't fast enough to progress and will actually line-up behind the Williams' of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg in 13th. Schumacher pushed near the end, but made an error and went straight on at the final chicane on his last lap – similar to what Vettel later did in Q3.