Hamilton edges Rosberg for Canadian GP pole

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Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix from pole position after edging out Mercedes teammate and Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg in the final stage of qualifying in Montreal.

Mercedes entered qualifying anticipating a challenge for pole from Red Bull and Ferrari after a closely-contested trio of practice sessions.

However, both Hamilton and Rosberg were able to stretch the legs of the W07 Hybrid car to pull clear of the field and secure a front-row lock-out for Mercedes.

Hamilton became the first man to dip under the 1:13 mark with his first run in Q3, setting a time of 1:12.812 to edge out Rosberg by just 0.062 seconds.

Both drivers headed out for a second run, but neither could improve as the checkered flag fell, Rosberg’s hopes of pole dashed by a mistake at the first corner.

This left Hamilton to claim his fifth pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and head up a front-row lock-out for Mercedes in Canada.

Sebastian Vettel led Ferrari’s charge, improving late on to qualify third and just 0.178 seconds off Hamilton at the front, suggesting that the upgrades brought by Ferrari to Canada are indeed working as the team has asserted.

Vettel was followed by Red Bull pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, both of whom struggled to replicate their practice pace in the final fight for pole. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished sixth despite completing just a single run in Q3.

Williams was unable to fight with the front there teams once again as Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa qualified seventh and eighth respectively.

McLaren impressed once again as Fernando Alonso made his way into Q3. The Spaniard ended the final session in P10. Teammate Jenson Button fell two-tenths of a second short with his final lap, leaving him to settle for 12th on the grid.

After finishing on the podium in Monaco, Sergio Perez came back down to earth after being eliminated by Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg in the dying moments of Q2. Hulkenberg ultimately qualified ninth, while Perez had to settle for P11 on the grid.

Daniil Kvyat led Toro Rosso’s charge, qualifying 13th, but teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. was left down in 16th place after crashing out early in the session. Sainz clipped the infamous Wall of Champions with his right-rear wheel when starting a flying lap, causing him to crash and leave his car with heavy damage, warranting a red flag stoppage.

Esteban Gutierrez outqualified Haas teammate Romain Grosjean for the second time this season on Saturday afternoon finishing 14th. Grosjean was left to settle for P15, finishing half a second adrift of a place in Q3.

Renault’s difficult start to the season continued as Jolyon Palmer qualified down in 17th place, but was fortunate to finish the session after two close scrapes with the wall. Teammate Kevin Magnussen took no part in qualifying due to crash damage on his car from FP3, resigning him to a probable start from the pit lane on Sunday.

Pascal Wehrlein looked set to make his way into Q2 for Manor, only for light rain and a yellow flag shown for teammate Rio Haryanto’s crash to deny him a chance to make a late improvement. The German was left to settle for P18, while Haryanto ended the session 21st, the duo split by the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.