Canadian GP qualifying: Vettel still the pole master in Montreal

Sebastian Vettel yesterday took pole position ahead of Fernando Alonso for today’s Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal.

The Red Bull man proved he had lost none of his fight, nor indeed his pace, despite having “stuffed it in the wall” on Friday morning in the first of the free practice sessions.

He sits first on the grid ahead of the two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, both of whom have looked competitive at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this year so far.

Fourth slot goes to Mark Webber, who suffered throughout the session with a lack of KERS. This is a serious handicap around the Montreal track, with its long straights and sweeping bends, and the Australian will be sincerely hoping that his mechanics are able to repair the errant system before the race.

The Mercedes-engined cars did not have such an auspicious day. Fifth and sixth places will be filled by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, while their respective team mates start seventh and eighth.

Nick Heidfeld in the Renault will be reasonably content with his ninth slot on the grid, shadowed by his team mate Vitaly Petrov in tenth.

Scot Paul di Resta had another good day and put the Force India in 11th, just failing to crack the Q3 shootout. His team mate Adrian Sutil could only manage 14th on the grid. Pastor Maldonado is looking to continue his form of Monaco and did well to clock the 12th fastest time, with Kamui Kobayashi, entertaining as he was with a beautiful power slide out the last chicane, only able to manage 13th.

Toro Rosso did not have anything to shout about, but as usual it was Buemi who was the better of the two, starting 15th. Jaime Alguersuari must have serious concerns as to how long he can remain in his seat, dropping out in the first qualifying session. He starts 18th.

In the other Williams Rubens Barrichello cannot be happy with 16th on the grid. Pedro de la Rosa, replacing the unwell Sergio Perez, will leave from 17th, hampered by a lack of track time and a minor off in Q1.

Jarno Trulli finally got the better of Heikki Kovalainen in qualifying this year and leaves from 19th with the Finn 20th. Tonio Liuzzi, in 21st, will be distinctly chuffed to have outqualified both Virgins and his team mate, a good performance from the Italian. Glock starts 22nd with Karthikeyan 23rd and d’Ambrosion 24th.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m13.014s
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m13.199s + 0.185
3. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m13.217s + 0.203
4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m13.429s + 0.415
5. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m13.565s + 0.551
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.814s + 0.800
7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m13.838s + 0.824
8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m13.864s + 0.850
9. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m14.062s + 1.048
10. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m14.085s + 1.071
Q3 cut-off time: 1m14.467s Gap **
11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m14.752s + 1.321
12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m15.043s + 1.612
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m15.285s + 1.854
14. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m15.287s + 1.856
15. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m15.334s + 1.903
16. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m15.361s + 1.930
17. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1m15.587s + 2.156
Q3 cut-off time: 1m16.229s Gap *
18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.294s + 2.472
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m16.745s + 2.923
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m16.786s + 2.964
21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m18.424s + 4.602
22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m18.537s + 4.715
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m18.574s + 4.752
24. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m19.414s + 5.592

107% time: 1m18.989
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2