Nico Rosberg claimed pole from Lewis Hamilton in Canada despite playing second fiddle to his team-mate leading in to qualifying, with Sebastian Vettel beating the Williams drivers to third.
Hamilton locked up and ran slightly wide at Turn 8 on his final run, losing crucial time and falling 0.079s off Rosberg's benchmark time on a track where he is billed as something of a specialist with three career victories. Rosberg had been off the pace of Hamilton all weekend but pulled it out when it mattered to record his second consecutive pole position.
Despite early struggles in switching on the supersoft tyres the Mercedes pair finished a full half second clear of Sebastian Vettel in third. It had looked like Williams was set to lock out the second row from its pace in Q1 and Q2 but a scintillating lap from Vettel in the dying embers of Q3 saw him pip Valtteri Bottas by just 0.002s. That pushed Massa down to fifth, with Daniel Ricciardo just 0.01s off the Williams.
Ferrari's pace on Friday had suggested it may be in the mix with Red Bull but Fernando Alonso could only get within three tenths of Ricciardo into sixth. Kimi Raikkonen did not set a time for the first eight minutes of Q3, seemingly bailing out of a flying lap early on and then ending up trying to carve his way through traffic for his final run. He could only manage a 1:16.214, arguably not a true reflection of what he could have done, dropping him to tenth behind Jean-Eric Vergne and Jenson Button.
In Q2 Massa had been top of the timing screens for much of the session as it appeared Mercedes was struggling to switch on its supersofts, but Hamilton and Rosberg knocked off half a second on their final runs to go through first and second. Vettel had been in the drop zone until his final timed run but in the end he comfortably made it through, though notably slower than both his team-mate and the Williams drivers. Jean-Eric Vergne edged into Q3 late on and stayed there, dropping both Force Indias and Kevin Magnussen into the drop zone, along with Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat and Adrian Sutil.
Mercedes, Williams and Red Bull were the only teams to stay on the soft tyre thoughout Q1, a session which was ultimately without any major surprises. Sergio Perez had a spin late on at Turn 8 but was able to recover his car and, as it turned out, narrowly make it into the next session, scraping through in 16th.
Pastor Maldonado's dismal run of qualifying - which includes just one trip to Q2 so far this year - continued as he parked his car up at a run-off area at Turn 4. A minute later the session came to a premature end as Marcus Ericsson got out of shape coming through Turn 8, running wide on the entry and spinning it 180 degrees into the wall, enough to bring out the red flags with 16 seconds to go.
The session was not restarted and it meant Maldonado, Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi, Kamui Kobayashi, Marcus Ericsson and the non-running Esteban Gutierrez, who damaged his car in FP3 and did not participate in qualifying.