Sebastian Vettel has done it again! He clinched pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal with a scintillatingly fast lap at the start of the third and final qualifying session. Ferrari occupy the next two positions as Fernando Alonso took P2 ahead of Felipe Massa in P3.
Mark Webber starts in P4 with Lewis Hamilton P5, Nico Rosberg P6, Jenson Button P7 and Michael Schumacher in P8 ahead of the two Renaults of Nick Heidfeld in P9 and Vitaly Petrov rounding off the top ten.
Ferrari had topped the timesheets in Q1 and Q2 as the less than usual dependence on low downforce at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and also the reliance on Pirelli’s soft and super soft tyres suited their car better than others. But when it mattered, Vettel pulled out a quick lap which neither of the scarlet cars could overhaul and they had to make do with the second and third places on the grid.
McLaren will be disappointed at their performance with them now being the third fastest team, ahead of Mercedes and Renault. Hamilton has a good record in Montreal but fifth fastest was the best he could manage with Button sandwiched between the two Mercedes’.
Q1’s timesheet topper was the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, with the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel second ahead of the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa. The session was pretty much incident free – unless you count a pirouette from Vitantonio Liuzzi as an incident – with Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa, Toro Rosso’s Jaime Algersuari, the two Lotuses of Jarno Trulli & Heikki Kovalainen, the two Hispanias of Vitantonio Liuzzi & Narain Karthikeyan and the two Virgins of Timo Glock and Jerome D’Ambrosio failing to make the cut. D’Ambrosio may not even start the race as his time failed to fall within the 107% rule.
Q2 was again topped by a Ferrari but it was Felipe Massa who was fastest, ahead of the two Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber & Alonso in fourth. The ones to drop out of the session were the two Force Indias of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil, the two Williams of Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi and Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Buemi.
The free practice session on Friday saw as many as five drivers suffer crashes and Sauber’s Sergio Perez pull out of the race due to ill-health, obviously still not fully recovered from his crash at the Monaco Grand Prix. Pedro de la Rosa slotted in as his replacement into the second Sauber. Sebastian Vettel ensured the Wall of Champions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve lived up to its moniker as he banged into it on Friday and damaged his chassis, but not as much as Red Bull make light work of it and Vettel promptly topped the time charts on Saturday’s free practice…and the final qualifying session!
With rain forecast for later in the day on Saturday and probably on Sunday as well, it would make for an interesting race. Particularly the start, if Alonso and Massa try to out-accelerate each other, their respective number twos – Felipe Massa and Mark Webber can take the initiative.