Starting grid for the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton’s bid to bounce back from his disappointing defeat in Monaco continued in style on Saturday as he secured pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been a happy hunting ground for Hamilton throughout his F1 career, being the site of his first ever pole and win back in 2007 when he was a rookie.

However, this pole meant just as much to him, given that it was the 44th of his F1 career – 44 being the number he races with – at the place where it all began.

Merceds teammate Nico Rosberg was unable to put up much of a fight for pole position thanks to a lack of grip in his final qualifying runs on Saturday, leaving him second on the grid. However, he could complete a hat-trick of wins in the race if he can get the better of Hamilton in Montreal.

Ferrari’s hopes of a challenge to Mercedes’ dominance faded quickly in qualifying as an engine failure left Vettel 16th in the final standings. Kimi Raikkonen spared the Italian marque’s blushes by finishing third, but with Vettel also receiving a grid penalty, the German has a big task ahead in the race.

To read our complete report from qualifying, click here.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE

  • As mentioned, Vettel was handed a five place grid drop after passing Roberto Merhi under a red flag during FP3 on Saturday morning. The German also received three penalty points on his FIA super license.
  • Max Verstappen entered the weekend with a five place grid penalty in the bag for crashing into Romain Grosjean in Monaco, but received another ten place drop after Toro Rosso changed his engine. Given that he cannot serve all of his sanction, the Dutchman will also have to complete a stop/go penalty in the race.
  • Jenson Button failed to get out in qualifying thanks to an engine problem. Although McLaren have fixed it for race day, doing so has incurred a 15-place grid penalty. Again, as he cannot serve all (or any) of it, he will have to serve a drive-through penalty in the race.

STARTING GRID FOR THE 2015 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams
5. Romain Grosjean Lotus
6. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
8. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull
9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
10. Sergio Perez Force India
11. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso
12. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
13. Fernando Alonso McLaren
14. Felipe Nasr Sauber
15. Felipe Massa Williams
16. Roberto Merhi Manor
17. Will Stevens Manor
18. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
19. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso
20. Jenson Button McLaren

The Canadian Grand Prix is live on NBC from 2pm on Sunday, with F1 Countdown kicking off at 1:30pm ET on NBCSN.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).