Vettel Holds Off Ferrari to Take Pole in Canada


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

Pos No Driver Team Time Laps
1 1 Germany Sebastian Vettel Austria Red Bull 1:13.014 17 Report
2 5 Spain Fernando Alonso Italy Ferrari 1:13.199 19 Report
3 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 1:13.217 20 Report
4 2 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull 1:13.429 22 Report
5 3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom McLaren 1:13.565 18 Report
6 8 Germany Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes 1:13.814 14 Report
7 4 United Kingdom Jenson Button United Kingdom McLaren 1:13.838 20 Report
8 7 Germany Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes 1:13.864 14 Report
9 9 Germany Nick Heidfeld United Kingdom Renault 1:14.062 27
10 10 Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov United Kingdom Renault 1:14.085 25
11 15 United Kingdom Paul di Resta India Force India 1:14.752 19 Report
12 12 Venezuela Pastor Maldonado United Kingdom Williams 1:15.043 20 Report
13 16 Japan Kamui Kobayashi Switzerland Sauber 1:15.285 21 Report
14 14 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India 1:15.287 21 Report
15 18 Switzerland Sebastien Buemi Italy Toro Rosso 1:15.334 18 Report
16 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Williams 1:15.361 20 Report
17 17 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Switzerland Sauber 1:15.587 21 Report
18 19 Spain Jaime Alguersuari Italy Toro Rosso 1:16.294 10 Report
19 21 Italy Jarno Trulli United Kingdom Team Lotus 1:16.745 12 Report
20 20 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom Team Lotus 1:16.786 10 Report
21 23 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Spain Hispania Racing 1:18.424 10 Report
22 24 Germany Timo Glock United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1:18.537 12
23 22 India Narain Karthikeyan Spain Hispania Racing 1:18.574 11 Report
24 25 Belgium Jerome D'Ambrosio United Kingdom Virgin Racing 1:19.414 13
107% qualifying time 1:18.989