MONTREAL (AP) — For the third straight week, Mercedes teammates and championship leaders Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton will line up for a Formula One race side-by-side in the front row of the starting grid.
If all goes as expected, they will finish in the top two again as well.
The dominant team on the circuit this year — winning all six races, with five second-place finishes as well — Mercedes claimed the top two starting spots for the Canadian Grand Prix in qualifying on Saturday. Rosberg, the points leader, earned the pole, and Hamilton will be next to him at the start of Sunday's race.
"That was very important as there aren't many opportunities to overtake here, particularly if you are in the same car," said Rosberg, who earned his second pole position in a row and third for the year. "I think it will be a battle between the two of us out there tomorrow as the gap to the other cars was quite big."
It's the third straight race, and fourth overall, that Mercedes has a front-row lockout.
"It's great for the team that we're 1-2 — a really fantastic performance by the team," said Hamilton, who won four consecutive races before finishing second to Rosberg in Monaco last month. "Let's hope that we can make history tomorrow."
During a sun-soaked qualifying run on Friday, when the track heated to 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 Celsius), Rosberg had the fastest lap, completing the 4.361-kilometer (2.71-mile) Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1 minute, 14.874 seconds. Hamilton was second, just 0.079 seconds slower, and defending Formula One and Canadian Grand Prix champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was third, about a half second behind.
"Obviously, we're fighting a very big gap, and it's difficult to close it in one round," said Vettel, who is the four-time defending Formula One champion and the winner in Montreal last year by 14 seconds. "We're not tickling all the right spots yet."
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