Lewis Hamilton will keep his pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix despite being fined and reprimanded by stewards following qualifying in Montreal.
The McLaren driver suffered a scare when the team was forced to change the suspension on the right-hand side of his car after free practice, with the Briton heading into qualifying keen to repay his mechanics for their work between sessions.
Hamilton duly stormed to his first pole of the year to end Red Bull's qualifying dominance and will now seek to secure a second win in a row in Sunday's race.
“At the end of my fastest lap, it was such a fantastic feeling crossing the line – the team came on the radio through turn two and told me I'd got pole,” he said. “I knew it was a good lap – but, when they told me it was the best lap, it just brought back so many memories of my previous times here. It was exactly the same ecstatic feeling as when I took my very first pole position here in 2007.
“I think it's going to be an interesting race tomorrow – I hope it stays sunny and that the track gets better. The Red Bulls are in an interesting position, because they'll start tomorrow on the prime tyre. They'll have to use the option at some stage, obviously, so it will be an interesting one. If there's a Safety Car, it could have a very big influence on the result of the race.”
However, after setting his qualifying times, Hamilton was then ordered to bring the car to a halt on his in lap due to concerns about the level of fuel left in the car – with a fuel sample being needed for post-qualifying checks.
Having turned off the engine of his car, Hamilton coasted to a stop before jumping from the car and pushing it down the circuit. When it eventually came to a halt, Hamilton returned to the pits in the back of the Safety Car.
With F1 regulations stating that a driver has to complete his in lap in a certain amount of time, stewards looked into the incident following the session but elected to let Hamilton's qualifying time stand. He was however hit with an official reprimand and fined $10,000.