Vettel delivers mega lap to claim pole position for Canadian GP
9 June, 2012
Jun.9 (Apex) World champion Sebastian Vettel has never won the Canadian Grand Prix, neither has his red Bull team for that matter, but they came a step closer when the German delivered a mega lap to claim pole position for Sunday’s race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Vettel’s prowess in qualifying is hardly in dispute. He again raised his game to another level topping the timing screens in Q1, Q2 and most importantly, Q3. His lap of 1 minute 12. 784 was over a quarter second up on his closest rival and he was the only driver to break into the 73 second zone all weekend.
Pole is one thing, winning on race day another and there is a sense of deja vu as last year he was on pole too, and almost did everything right in the longest race in F1 history only to throw away the win with a handful of corners to go in the race.
Vettel said afterwards, “I think we have learned a couple of lessons from the last few races where we were quick but we didn’t get it out of the car in qualifying. It was important to have a clean run in qualifying here. I was happy throughout qualifying really. I was able to get a little bit quicker each time. It looked tight in the beginning but in the end we could make a bit more of a difference. I’m looking forward to the race. I think we have a good car.”
Second fastest was Lewis Hamilton who has looked feisty all weekend in the McLaren and will be aiming for his third win at the venue, and at the same time trying to become the seventh driver to win in seven races so far this season.
“It was definitely harder for us today – we struggled. We were working with the tyres in P3, and in qualifying we were having to push extremely hard to get the tyres to switch on. We’re very happy with our performance, and very surprised to see us on the front row, but happy to be there,” said Hamilton of his afternoon’s efforts.
Fernando Alonso will head up the second row for Ferrari in the revitalised F2012, the Spaniard looking strong all weekend and definitely a win contender as invariably his race pace is better than what he can muster in qualifying.
Alonso said; “The car felt quite good. Yesterday when we tested some new parts, we feel much more happy with the balance of the car. It’s a first step. Obviously the world and other teams will never stop but at the moment we are extremely happy and I’m thankful for the guys in the factory.”
Monaco winner Mark Webber was fourth fastest in his Red Bull RB8, simply unable to match his team mate’s new found qualifying form, but will nevertheless fancy his chances in the race as in the past decade, only three races in Canada have been won from pole position (Alonso in 2006, Hamilton in 2007 and 2010).
Nico Rosberg did no laps in the morning practice session, and along with his Mercedes team did well to recover from the mishap, and post the fifth best time.
Team mate Michael Schumacher, who has won the Canadian GP seven times, looked strong throughout the session but when it mattered he was only good for ninth.
Happiest driver in the top ten should be Romain Grosjean as the Lotus team have hardly looked a force all weekend, prompting suspicion that they were sandbagging ahead of qualifying. But they struggled and at one stage did not even look to be Q3 contenders. But the Frenchman dug deep, on a circuit he has never raced on before, and popped in an impressive time which will see him head up the fourth row, in seventh.
Kimi Raikkonen on the other hand will start from 12th, apparently hydraulic problems afflicted the Iceman’s Lotus, but in truth he has been fractionally slower than his French teammate throughout the weekend despite having won the race back in 2005.
Paul Di Resta and Force India will also be very pleased with eighth place on the grid, as the VJM05 appears well suited to the nuances of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Nico Hulkenberg will start from 13th.
It has not been an ideal couple of days for Jenson Button on the Ile de Notre Dame. Last year’s winner sat out much of the first day while his McLaren team sorted out a gearbox issue, and since then has never quite been ‘in the groove’. So much so that despite making it into Q3, he did not bother to do a flying lap on the super soft Pirelli tyres (red band), instead opting to do a run with the softs (yellow band) – he will start from tenth.
Pastor Maldonado once again provided the biggest heart thumping moment of the day, with a make or break lap to get into Q3 which alas ended in another hefty repair bill for his Williams team..
The Venezuelan needing a hot lap to get into the top ten was quickest of all in the first sector, fast in the middle sector but exiting the last chicane – you guessed it ‘the wall of champions’ called. He got sideways, slammed the tyres (just before the concrete wall begins) and broke the right rear suspension, scuppering what looked to be a mighty lap. He will start from 17th.
Subbed by AJN.
Montreal Qualifying – Saturday, 9 June 2012
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:14.661||1:14.187||1:13.784||16|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:14.956||1:14.479||1:14.346||19|
|8||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.019||1:14.639||1:14.705||22|
|13||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.106||1:14.748||18|
|21||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:17.492||8|
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