Vettel grabs Canadian Grand Prix pole in wet qualifying session

Sebastian Vettel Montreal 2013

Sebastian Vettel achieved his 39th career pole position in Formula 1 by beating Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in a wet qualifying session.

And yet the star of qualifying was Valtteri Bottas. The Finnish driver produced a fantastic job for Williams with third.

The amount of rain played a significant part throughout each segment, and in the all-important Q3, the best opportunity for pole position came in the opening moments before the track conditions deteriorated further.

Vettel judged it to perfection and recorded a time of one minute, 25.425 seconds to take the top spot for Red Bull Racing.

Despite that lap time from the world champion, it was still beatable with his rivals going quicker in the first two sectors.

But with the rain becoming heavier especially at the final sector, a lack of grip made it difficult for the others to beat Vettel’s pole time.

Hamilton tried his utmost to continue the Silver Arrows pole streak but fell 0.087 seconds short, sliding over the chicane on a dramatic final bid.

Bottas was the hero of qualifying. Williams had not made it into Q3 at all this season until Canada, where the Finnish rookie flew throughout the session.

He beat Nico Rosberg, dominant in qualifying for Mercedes for the last three races, to third place.

Friday practice pacesetter Fernando Alonso could only manage sixth for Ferrari, behind Mark Webber’s Red Bull.

Toro Rosso managed to get both cars into Q3 with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo claiming seventh and tenth, split by Adrian Sutil’s Force India and Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus.

As for Felipe Massa, he will start down in P16 after spinning into the Turn 3 barriers in Q2 and causing a red flag.

That triggered a two-minute dash on an improving track to try to secure the final Q3 places.

It was Sutil and Ricciardo who succeeded, but it proved painful for McLaren, winner of the last three Canadian Grands Prix.

Jenson Button was outside the cut at the time and mistimed his attempt to find clear track position, not making it past the chequered flag in time.

That left him P14, while team-mate Sergio Perez’s failure to improve meant he was pushed back to P14, alongside the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg.

Pastor Maldonado’s Williams and Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez were the other Q2 casualties.

While Paul di Resta and Romain Grosjean did not even get that far as both were eliminated when the rain intensified in the closing minutes of Q1.

Grosjean, who already faces a ten-place grid penalty for running into Ricciardo in Monaco, had made a mistake on an earlier run, while di Resta lost time in the garage with gearbox issues.

Charles Pic looked like he might just replicate Caterham team-mate Giedo van der Garde’s Q2 heroics from Monaco as he sat P11 near the end of Q1. But after a spin at Turn 6, he slipped down to P18.

So a fantastic result for Sebastian Vettel. His hat-trick of pole positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Can Red Bull Racing break that non-victory in North America on race day? We shall find out on Sunday in Montreal.

Qualifying positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:

1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m25.425s
2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m25.512s
3. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m25.897s
4. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m26.008s
5. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m26.208s
6. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m26.504s
7. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m26.543s
8. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m27.348s
9. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m29.435s
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m27.432s*
11. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m27.946s*
12. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m29.761s
13. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m29.917s
14. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m30.068s
15. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m30.315s
16. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m30.354s
17. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m24.908s
18. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m25.626s
20. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m26.508s
21. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m27.062s
22. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m27.110s
22. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m25.716s**

107 per cent time: 1m28.080s

*Two place grid penalty for failing to leave the pits in the order they arrived at the pit exit during Q2.
**Ten-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Daniel Ricciardo.

9 thoughts to “Vettel grabs Canadian Grand Prix pole in wet qualifying session”

  1. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel has said he is not too worried about the weather conditions on race day after scoring his hat-trick of pole positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel says he is not too worried about the conditions for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, as he reckons he can be strong both in the dry and in the wet.

    The Red Bull driver secured his third pole position of the season in a rain-hit qualifying in Montreal, putting an end to Mercedes’ run of four consecutive poles.

    Vettel beat Lewis Hamilton to the top spot in a very tricky session in which drivers could not use slick tyres.

    “I don’t know if there is anybody who can give a precise forecast for every corner. We saw today it’s very tricky in some places and then dry in some other places and the next lap is completely different,” said Vettel.

    “It’s difficult to see what the forecast is tomorrow. At this stage we expect dry conditions so we will see.

    “But it doesn’t really matter. We have a couple of tyres left, surely lots of slicks and in the rain we should be in good shape. It will be an interesting race with mixed conditions.”

    After Friday and Saturday’s sessions were hit by rain, Vettel admitted he was left without new intermediate tyres to use in the race if it rains.

    “We don’t have a new set left but we only did a very short run in the last qualifying,” he said. “The sets we used one was completely new and the other scrubbed.

    “It was tricky. Everyone used up their inters to qualify as high as possible. What matters is we are in good shape for the dry and wet conditions.”

    Team-mate Mark Webber qualified in fifth position.

  2. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton rues missed pole chance in a wet qualifying session in Montreal. has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton was left lamenting missing out on pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, as he believes he had the pace to have beaten Sebastian Vettel.

    The Mercedes driver maintained his record of having always outqualified his team-mate in Montreal, but had to settle for second after finishing 0.087 seconds behind Red Bull’s Vettel.

    Hamilton said he was set to improve his time on his final run, but went wide in the tricky conditions.

    “I don’t really know, I was doing a pretty good lap, six or seven tenths up and went wide,” said Hamilton, who outqualified team-mate Nico Rosberg for the first time in four races.

    “I didn’t know if I would have kept it, but I only needed to keep a tenth or so.

    “Pole was definitely there, it is a bit unfortunate, but that is the way it goes.”

    Hamilton, a three-time winner in Canada, was still pleased with his front-row slot, although he conceded the race will not be easy.

    “It is good to be on the front row,” said Hamilton. “It brings up the chances a little bit. It will be a tough race tomorrow. Seb is quick, Ferrari is quick on long runs, but it depends on the conditions, and at the end of the day I have to do the job.

    “I love it here. There is a great crowd so hope we put on a good show for them.”

    Rosberg, on pole in the last three races, qualified in fourth.

  3. The star of qualifying was Valtteri Bottas and yet the Williams driver was left feeling shocked by what he had achieved. Still this was a great boost for the team. has the news story.

    Valtteri Bottas described his shock third place on the Canadian Grand Prix grid as the boost his struggling Williams team needs.

    Williams is still looking for its first points of the 2013 Formula 1 season, and prior to Montreal had not made it into Q3 all season.

    Bottas flew throughout the wet qualifying session and ended up behind only Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.

    “It means a lot,” said Bottas. “We’re way further up than we could ever imagine.

    “It has been so difficult for the first six races for us, and it’s a nice boost for the team.

    “We really got everything quite right here today.”

    Although Williams is optimistic it has improved in recent races, Bottas had no doubt that the weather had transformed its prospects.

    “I think the fact is that in the dry the car does not belong in P3 at the moment,” he said.

    “Our team were always hoping for rain as it’s always a chance if you get everything right that you can always finish higher than the car [is capable of].”

    Bottas preferred to stay cautious about his prospects for the race.

    “If it is dry it is going to be difficult,” he said.

    “I still have zero points and there is still a lot to learn.”

  4. This was a disappointing qualifying session for McLaren with both drivers out in Q2. has the details.

    Jenson Button doubts McLaren would have been fast enough for the top 10 even if he had not mistimed his final Q2 run in Canadian Grand Prix qualifying.

    Button crossed the line too late to go for another flying lap in the rush after the Q2 red flag for Felipe Massa’s crash.

    That left him down in 14th on the grid.

    “The team counted me down and I thought 10 seconds was enough, but obviously it wasn’t,” said Button.

    “I’m not sure it would have been quick enough anyway.

    “But also it was one of those sessions where sometimes it all falls into place in terms of traffic and getting a lap in before the rain, and sometimes it doesn’t.

    “Every time we tried to go for a lap there was a red flag or yellow flag or more rain. It just didn’t go our way.”

    On Friday Button had cited rain as McLaren’s best chance of Montreal success, so was surprised to struggle for pace in wet qualifying.

    “We’re not good in wet conditions it seems,” he said. “I thought we would be. But we were running quite low downforce and maybe that was a mistake.”

    His team-mate Sergio Perez also dropped out in Q2, qualifying 12th.

    The Mexican was more optimistic about McLaren’s pace, adamant that only the red flag denied him a top-10 place.

    “The luck was not with us today,” said Perez. “When the red flag came I was already in the last chicane ready to complete a super lap and to go easily into Q3.

    “And then in my last attempt I had too much traffic and I couldn’t bring the tyres up to temperature.

    “It’s a shame because I think we had the pace, even though we focused on the race, so we should be in a good position.

    “It’s not over. We know tomorrow we can score good points.”

  5. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has admitted that changeable conditions are now a weak point for Ferrari. The Spaniard could only manage sixth place in qualifying. has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso believes that Canadian Grand Prix qualifying proved that changeable conditions are now a weak point for Ferrari.

    Having set the pace on Friday, Alonso was only able to manage sixth on the grid when rain affected most of qualifying.

    “This year we saw in Monaco and here again that we are not super-competitive in intermediate conditions, and in cold conditions when we put dry tyres on it’s even worse. Same for Lotus as well,” said Alonso.

    “Looking at the overall qualifying, it was not easy to get it right and very easy to get it wrong in conditions like that. We saw competitive cars going out in Q1. We saw Felipe [Massa] go into the wall.

    “We still have the possibility to fight for everything tomorrow if we are fast enough in the race.

    “It’s still a little disappointment because we felt very competitive with the car and we start sixth. We need to get it back in the right direction tomorrow and score many points and show the car’s potential.”

    Alonso believes the car characteristics that allow Ferrari to achieve good tyre life in the races mitigate against it in cold or damp weather.

    “The car philosophy is about the heat in the tyres,” he said.

    “Some teams are able to get the tyre up to temperature very quickly, but then they struggle in the race because they destroy the tyres. It’s a bit the opposite for Lotus and us.

    “It’s difficult to understand the reason but we are happy with our car.”

    He also felt strategic and driving errors were a factor in his qualifying result.

    “We were in the pits when it was the perfect time [to run in Q3],” Alonso admitted.

    “When I put the new tyres on for the second attempt, I locked up at Turn 10 and lost a lot of time there.

    “It was partly my mistake that we’re sixth.”

  6. Five drivers have been summoned to see the Canadian Grand Prix stewards for not lining up properly at the end of the second qualifying segment in Montreal.

    Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, Toro Rosso duo Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez of McLaren have been requested to see the stewards after failing to leave the pitlane in order when all the cars were lined up to go out for the final two minutes of Q2.

    The session had been red-flagged when Ferrari’s Felipe Massa crashed at Turn 3 with slightly over two minutes left.

    The majority of the drivers lined up at the end of the pitlane to try to go out quick and get a clean final lap. Many cars, however, were parked out of order.

    Raikkonen was also summoned over a similar incident in Q3.

    Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Vergne made it to Q3.


  7. Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has blamed poor timing as the cause of being knocked out in Q1. has the details.

    Romain Grosjean blamed poor timing for being knocked out in the first qualifying segment for the Canadian Grand Prix.

    The Lotus driver finished down in 19th position after he was unable to improve his time in the dying moments of the session, having put a new set of intermediate tyres just as the rain hit the track.

    Grosjean was already set for a poor grid position following his 10-place penalty for having caused a collision with Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco.

    The Frenchman reckons his pace was not a problem in Montreal, and just felt he was unlucky.

    “The pace was alright. It was quite similar to Kimi [Raikkonen], but we pitted to fit a new set of inters when the track was drying. I went out, got the yellow flags and then the rain came,” said Grosjean.

    “It’s not nice, but tomorrow is another day. It’s a long race, with some different strategies and some overtaking spots.”

    Grosjean, who retired from the previous two grands prix, is still optimistic he can have a strong race from the back of the grid.

    “It’s three [problems] in a row, but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow we can’t score points.”

    He also said he was calm about his erratic season because he did not feel he had many any mistakes in Canada.

    “I know that today I didn’t make a mistake, it was just the wrong timing. We had a good weekend until then. As long as you don’t personally make any big mistakes it’s fine,” he said.

    Team-mate Raikkonen qualified in ninth position, the Finn admitting the conditions were proving very difficult for Lotus.

    “This kind of weather has not been really good for us,” he said.

    “We don’t get the tyres working as well as we should and that makes it very difficult. But it is what it is.

    “If it’s dry it’s definitely going to be easier for us and then we’ll see what we can do.”

  8. Felipe Massa has described his run of crashes like a movie. has the news story.

    Felipe Massa described his run of crashes in the last two grands prix as being akin to a movie storyline, as an accident in Canadian Grand Prix qualifying dropped him to 16th on the grid.

    The Montreal incident followed two shunts in Monaco – one in practice and one in the race – at the same corner. While the first was a driver error, the second was caused by a suspension problem.

    Massa readily owned up to being at fault in his crash at Montreal’s Turn 3 during Q2.

    “I think when I braked I just lost the rear wheels and went sideways. People told me I braked over the white line. It is possible,” he said.

    “It’s a shame, I’m really disappointed about what happened. It’s like a movie: three things happening in a line like that.

    “Physically, I’m fine. This crash was nothing compared to Monaco. The crash I had here is more a psychological thing than a physical one.”

    The Brazilian was visibly frustrated by the accident at the time, banging his Ferrari’s steering wheel in exasperation after the impact with the tyre wall.

    But Massa said he was determined not to dwell on his mistake.

    “We need to concentrate on tomorrow,” eh said. “You don’t win anything by looking to the past, you have to look to the present and to the future. That’s the way we need to work.

    “It’s true that it’s not nice to start at the back, but it’s also true that this is a track where every year things happen in the race.”

  9. Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo have been give two-place grid penalties for not lining up correctly at the pit exit when Q2 restarted in Montreal.

    Canadian Grand Prix qualifying had been red-flagged due to Felipe Massa’s crash at Turn 3, and as the session resumed with less than two minutes to go, all 15 remaining drivers queued at the pit exit.

    But several chose to spread out rather than sticking in line, and after the sessions the stewards summoned Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado over the incident.

    Only Raikkonen and Ricciardo were penalised for not starting from the designated ‘fast lane’.

    Both will lose two places on the grid, dropping the Lotus and Toro Rosso from ninth and 10th to 11th and 12th.

    Raikkonen had been investigated over a similar potential transgression in Q3, but was not given any penalty for that instance.

    His team-mate Romain Grosjean, who only qualified 19th, is already carrying a 10-place penalty for crashing into Ricciardo in Monaco.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *