Vettel fastest in final Montreal practice
9 June 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has finished quickest in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix. Behind the Champion, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were in close attendance but there was bad news for a potential pole-sitter as Nico Rosberg stopped on-track with a suspected clutch problem.
Just as second practice finished on Friday, heavy rain lashed Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which is part permanent race track and part street circuit. Today, no such conditions were witnessed as the green pit exit light illuminated at ten o’clock.
In particular need of a clean session after his problems of yesterday, Jenson Button ended up in 15th position and eight tenths of a second off the leading pace; the 2009 title winner struggling with numerous setup issues, including locking front brakes, but yesterday evening had still been confident that pole position was possible. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton fared better, in third position behind Vettel and Fernando Alonso but possibly carrying more fuel. At the front, the gap between the leading two was just six thousandths of a second.
Mercedes are tipped by many for great things in Canada, not least as the long back straight will play into their hands with Super DRS; however, as Michael Schumacher finished the period in seventh place, the aforementioned Rosberg failed to set a lap time as his car ground to a halt. Also without a representative time was Jean-Éric Vergne, who ran wide onto the grass at Turn 1 and ended up incurring light damage against the tyre barriers.
With Monaco winner Mark Webber improving to fourth place just as the chequered flag came out, Pastor Maldonado confirmed a strong Williams pace with a top five result; team-mate Bruno Senna, whose car has been repaired following a heavy accident yesterday, was 14th as Pedro de la Rosa’s HRT again out-paced both Marussia cars.
After the session, Kimi Räikkönen – who finished ninth fastest – is under investigation for a late cut into the pit lane entry; the Finn swerved to the left after making a mistake at the final corner, realising instantly that his lap was ruined but possibly carrying out a dangerous move.
Qualifying for the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix begins at 1pm local time (BST +5) and can also be tracked through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report