Vettel on pole for Canadian Grand Prix
9 June 2012 – Sebastian Vettel, three tenths of a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton, will start the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position. Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber fill the second row, with Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button only ninth and tenth. Pastor Maldonado made a crucial error, with a dramatic 360-degree spin in Q2.
After the action of Friday afternoon, rain poured at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and more had been feared for qualifying; however, there was no such problem as the grid-deciding session started at one o’clock. First on-track was the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, which had missed final practice because of a fuel connector failure.
Moving into Q2, a number of drivers fitted the quicker Super Soft tyres in the closing minutes, resulting in a flurry of activity on the timesheets; Kamui Kobayashi sat in the pits and was duly knocked out by Romain Grosjean, whereas Jenson Button was about to receive the same fate as Pastor Maldonado set the best overall time in Sector 1. However, the Williams driver hit the ‘Wall of Champions’ and performed a dramatic spin at the top of the start/finish straight; this left Button in the top ten and the Venezuelan only 17th on the grid.
At least three teams were expected to contend for pole but, notwithstanding the recent technical clarification which resulted in the outlawing of holes in their car’s floor, Red Bull did the talking on the track. Vettel put in a stunning sub-1:14.000 lap time, which he improved on his second Q3 run to deliver 1:13.784 – convincingly beating the nearest competition. Alonso was disappointed to miss out on the front row and what could have been his and Ferrari’s first pole since Singapore 2010. Webber, Rosberg, Massa and Grosjean fill positions four to seven.
Vettel’s second pole of 2012 - after Bahrain - is the 32nd of his F1 career. He therefore matches 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell and requires just two more poles to move ahead of Alain Prost and match Jim Clark for third in the all-time rankings. Topping the list are Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, on 68 and 65 respectively.
Sunday’s 2012 Canadian Grand Prix starts at 2pm local time (BST +5) and can also be followed via the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report