Peter Anderson | Jun 10, 2012

Despite being the target of yet another rule infringement verdict, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has put the Renault-powered RB8 on pole at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.

Vettel was the only driver under 1m14s at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and was barely troubled by second-place Hamilton, with Fernando Alonso third.

 

Practice

Friday's practice sessions saw Lewis Hamilton dominate, with his teammate Jenson Button in all sorts of trouble, including losing a huge chunk of running to a gearbox problem.

Bruno Senna and Jean-Eric Vergne distinguished themselves by crashing their cars hard, Senna destroying a whole side of his car and ruining his brand new rear wing. Williams CEO Alex Burns flew into Montreal with a replacement as his luggage.

Heikki Kovalainen also had a damaging off, his team rebuilding his car between the sessions. The BBC's Gary Anderson shot a barb at McLaren asking how Caterham could rebuild a car while McLaren seemed unable to change a gearbox.

Webber had an anonymous set of sessions, with Vettel taking the Red Bull glory.

 

Qualifying

Qualifying was under sunny skies and a stiff breeze that was the subject of some discussion between the teams and drivers.

Q1 saw a lot of running as drivers headed out and did long runs on their soft tyres. Rosberg was first on track with Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus following him out.

Daniel Ricciardo made it into Q2, his Toro Rosso stablemate Vergne left behind by the two Caterhams. He finished up 14th.

The two Williams will start together, 16th and 17th, the Saubers of Kobayashi and Perez 11th and 15th respectively while Kimi Raikkonen will start 12th. Hulkenberg finished 13th for Force India.

Pastor Maldonado ended the session by taking far too much kerb into the final chicane, sliding and clipping the wall. The impact pitched his Williams into a lurid spin in the middle of the main straight, his right rear wheel hanging off.

Both Red Bulls, McLarens, Ferraris and Mercedes made it into Q3, joined by Grosjean and di Resta, who will start seventh and eighth.

The Ferraris came out fighting in Q3 with low 1:14s times before Vettel punched in the first sub 1:14s time of the weekend. Webber's second time in the session was seven tenths off Vettel's spectacular effort, before improving on his final flying lap.

Paul di Resta put in a single lap to register a time and parked it, keeping as many tyres for the race. However, McLaren thought the same way, so di Resta went out to nab his eighth place, ahead of both Button and Schumacher.

Vettel underlined his pace with a second run, trying to ensure he stayed ahead of a charging Hamilton and Alonso.

They were unable to challenge in the end, with Vettel's 1m13.784 unbeatable, Webber a solid half-second behind. Vettel's first flying lap had been enough.

Webber bemoaned being unable to get to grips with the final chicane.

"I'm not happy in the last chicane," he said after qualifying. "Normally I am [strong there], but I can't get into it and then I have poor change of direction...I'm surprised I'm in fourth - it wasn't the smoothest session, so I'm actually quite surprised to be there."

"The car's good here and the weather should be good tomorrow for the race."

Hamilton told the post-session press conference that he struggled to switch the tyres on while Alonso declared himself happy with his Ferrari's upgrades.

Vettel will be looking to convert his 32nd career pole into his second win of the year and to erase his final lap failure at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.

The Canadian Grand Prix will take place at 4:00am AEST Monday morning.

1. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull-Renault - 1m13.784s -
2. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren-Mercedes - 1m14.087s + 0.303
3. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 1m14.151s + 0.367

4. Mark Webber - Red Bull-Renault - 1m14.346s + 0.562
5. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1m14.411s + 0.627
6. Felipe Massa - Ferrari - 1m14.465s + 0.681
7. Romain Grosjean - Lotus-Renault - 1m14.645s + 0.861
8. Paul di Resta - Force India-Mercedes - 1m14.705s + 0.921
9. Michael Schumacher - Mercedes - 1m14.812s + 1.028
10. Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes - 1m15.182s + 1.398
11. Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber-Ferrari - 1m14.688s + 0.501
12. Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus-Renault - 1m14.734s + 0.547
13. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India-Mercedes - 1m14.748s + 0.561
14. Daniel Ricciardo - Toro Rosso-Ferrari - 1m15.078s + 0.891
15. Sergio Perez - Sauber-Ferrari - 1m15.156s + 0.969
16. Bruno Senna - Williams-Renault - 1m15.170s + 0.983
17. Pastor Maldonado - Williams-Renault - 1m15.231s + 1.044
18. Heikki Kovalainen - Caterham-Renault - 1m16.263s + 1.602
19. Vitaly Petrov - Caterham-Renault - 1m16.482s + 1.821
20. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso-Ferrari - 1m16.602s + 1.941
21. Pedro de la Rosa - HRT-Cosworth - 1m17.492s + 2.831
22. Timo Glock - Marussia-Cosworth - 1m17.901s + 3.240
23. Charles Pic - Marussia-Cosworth - 1m18.255s + 3.594
24. Narain Karthikeyan - HRT-Cosworth - 1m18.330s + 3.669