Sebastian Vettel put his Friday morning crash into the 'Wall of Champions' firmly behind him in Canada today as he took his sixth pole position of the season.
Ferrari were the main contenders to be the first team to beat Red Bull to pole position today, but in the end Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had to settle for second and third places on the Montreal grid.
Mark Webber, who had missed all of the morning practice session as his team tried and failed to fix the KERS on his RB7, had to settle for fourth on the grid; his lack of the power-boost device hurting him on the long straights of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Lewis Hamilton failed to take pole position in Canada for the first time in his F1 career, and will start the race from fifth, whilst the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg starts alongside him on the third row of the grid.
Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher qualified seventh and eighth and the two Renault drivers, led by Nick Heidfeld, make up Row 5.
Before the session, there had been hope that Canada would provide rival teams with a chance to knock Red Bull off pole position for the first time this season. Fernando Alonso suggested that he would be the man to end their streak after he put in the fastest lap in Q1 – 0.189 seconds faster than the best effort from Sebastian Vettel.
Alonso's Q1 lap of 1:38.822 was caused problems towards the back of the grid where the race was on to get within 107% of this time. Narain Karthikeyan of Hispania Racing just managed to sneak within this margin towards the end of Q1, but Virgin Racing driver Jerome D'Ambrosio failed to make the cut. The stewards will decide whether the Belgian will race tomorrow.
Kamui Kobayashi needed a good last lap to avoid going out of qualifying at the first hurdle, but snuck through at the last minute in P15, leaving Jaime Alguersuari in the bottom seven. He will start the Canadian Grand Prix from eighteenth. Pedro de la Rosa – standing in for Sergio Perez this weekend – just snuck through into Q2 despite glancing off a concrete wall on the way to setting his time.
Felipe Massa offered further hope of a non-Red Bull pole in Q2, with his best lap 0.055 seconds faster than the ever-lurking Sebastian Vettel. Both Force India, Williams and Sauber cars joined the remaining Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi in going out at this stage of the qualifying session. Paul di Resta put in a good lap to ensure that he will be the highest place driver allowed to choose which of the Pirelli tyre compounds he starts tomorrow's race on.
This left five teams – Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault – with two drivers to battle it out for pole position in Q3. However, what had gone before in Q1 and Q2 was seen to be completely academic, and Vettel's time of 1:13.014 could not be beaten, despite some late attempts from Alonso, Massa and Vettel himself.
Canadian Grand Prix 2011: Provisional Qualifying Result
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:13.014||17||Report|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:13.429||22||Report|
|11||15||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:14.752||19||Report|
|14||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1:15.287||21||Report|
|15||18||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||1:15.334||18||Report|
|17||17||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber||1:15.587||21||Report|
|18||19||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||1:16.294||10||Report|
|19||21||Jarno Trulli||Team Lotus||1:16.745||12||Report|
|20||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Team Lotus||1:16.786||10||Report|
|21||23||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Hispania Racing||1:18.424||10||Report|
|22||24||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||1:18.537||12|
|23||22||Narain Karthikeyan||Hispania Racing||1:18.574||11||Report|
|24||25||Jerome D'Ambrosio||Virgin Racing||1:19.414||13|
|107% qualifying time||1:18.989|