Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Montreal, 2011

Unstoppable Vettel on pole again in Canada

2011 Canadian GP qualifying

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Montreal, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Montreal, 2011

Sebastian Vettel continued his domination of the 2011 season with his sixth pole position of the year in Canada.

The Red Bull driver came under pressure from the Ferraris, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa behind him on the grid.

McLaren could do no better than the third row of the grid.


A busy start to qualifying saw drivers having to jockey for position on a crowded track.

It also saw a desperate battle among the minor men to beat the 107% time.

Fernando Alonso set a fastest lap of 1’13.822, putting the cut-off limit at 1’18.989.

Two drivers were outside the mark: Narain Karthikeyan and Jerome D’Ambrosio. Karthikeyan made it through – by four-tenths of a second – with a late improvement.

D’Ambrosio was also on course to better his time before slowing in the final sector. He did improve his time later on but fell short of the target time by half a second.

The HRTs, Virgins and Lotuses were eliminated as usual, though Jarno Trulli out-qualified Heikki Kovalainen for thie first time this year.

The other car which failed to make the cut was the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.294
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’16.745
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’16.786
21 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’18.424
22 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’18.537
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’18.574
24 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.414


All the front-runners started the second session on super-soft tyres. Unusually, nine of them felt safe enough to only do one run – even Michael Schumacher, eighth, and Vitaly Petrov, ninth, stayed in the pits.

The gamble paid off, as none of the other eight cars improved their times by enough to displace them. Nick Heidfeld took the final place in the top ten with a lap of 1’14.467.

Paul di Resta took 11th, half a second quicker than his team mate.

Kamui Kobayashi ran off the track at turn eight and ended up 13th behind Pastor Maldonado.

The Williams driver out-qualified his team mate Rubens Barrichello.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’14.752
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’15.043
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’15.285
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’15.287
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’15.334
16 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’15.361
17 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’15.587


Sebastian Vettel was quickest to begin with in Q3 with the two Ferraris on his tail, a few tenths away.

Ferrari elected to do “racing” style pit stops in the session in order to get the cars back on track as quickly as possible, expecting to find more time on the super-softs.

The red cars held their positions but swapped order – Alonso taking the front row spot off Massa.

Webber took fourth and team principal Christian Horner confirmed afterwards his KERS had not been working during the session.

Lewis Hamilton took fifth – the first time he has failed to take pole position in Canada – with Nico Rosberg beating Jenson Button to sixth.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’13.014
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’13.199
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’13.217
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’13.429
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.565
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’13.814
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.838
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’13.864
9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’14.062
10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’14.085

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Canadian Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

153 comments on “Unstoppable Vettel on pole again in Canada”

          1. Championship is still the most important thing… Whats your point? I said it’s getting boring seeing Vettel first always, you replied by saying it’s not only about 1st place, I cleared up by saying that I didn’t mean F1 as a whole is getting boring, just the championship, and then you respond with “Far more to F1 than just the championship” I don’t get it…

          2. I don’t get your point Tom. It’s racing… And as far as I understand, racing is about being first. I have to agree with Antranik : it is becoming boring to see Vettel first all the time.
            With names such as Alonso, Hamilton, Button and such, it is fair to be disappointed not seing a greater battle for 1st place.

        1. your right, i think the car probably had another 3 tenths in it in qualy. as for the race, well i hope it rains to mix things up a bit! I couldnt stand another boring vettel win…

    1. I take it you would consider the current situation ‘amazing’ if it were ‘your’ man on pole? The thrill is in the chase, and that is NOT boring!

      1. Nope, not really! I was a huge Vettel fan when he was in his Toro Rosso days, and even last year I was a fan of his, but I still thought the Abu Dhabi race was boring and nearly all the races he won in general where boring, as they were all from pole… This year (in the top 3 teams) its the same story, except for every race! Still the midfield battle has been extremely interesting, and you are right, the chase is the thrill, but you have to admit that it would be much more exciting if it was a battle, and not a chase!!

        1. Quite alot of typos there, we need an Edit button… meant to say were and not where and also “except its the case for every race” and not just “except for every race”.

          1. it’s boring! :)
            Come on… It’s not boring. It is amazing to see his performances.
            Look at where Webber is… and he is an expert in qualis

          2. No question vettel is a great driver. I just think Massa gets stick when he’s not performing but not much credit when he gets it right.

          3. I don’t think Webber is the qualifing expert he once was. Put him in Perez’s car and he’d be a lot slower than Kobayashi. Put Vettel in Sutil’s car and I bet you Di Resta would have him.

          4. Vettel is an amazing driver, no doubt. But it is still boring to see him dominate. Also, looking at the qualifying times, I think Webber would have beaten Vettel if he had KERS.

    1. Yeah, and he was that close. Would be wonderfull to see both Ferrari’s have a great start tomorrow and beat Vettel off the line.

      Just think about a repeat of Hockenheim, before “alonso is faster than you”. Would give them a nice chance to make up.

      And I would love to see Alonso and Vettel battling it out for second behind Massa.

      1. I was thinking of the Hockenheim issue as well. The top 4 lined up in the exact same order in Hockenheim as well… so I guess you never know what will happen tomorrow. Last year it was a whole lot harder to overtake though.. if Fernando should be able to overtake him fair and square if the situation occurs.

        I’m really excited about tomorrow’s race. Finally, Fernando on the front row, and Massa just behind Seb.

        Also the closest I’ve ever come to predicting the pole time in the prediction championship.. just 3 thousandths of a second off the pole time!

      1. I tried not to get too carried away but it was so great to see him battling it out for pole again. It would have been nice for him to beat Alonso but still he was a joy to watch.

    2. Yes! Felipe was ON it today! I was convinced he had it, it looked like it 1:11 or something when he went over the line and it would have been amazing.

      I think Massa’s biggest weakness is racing in the midfield. If he starts P7-10 sort of area, he seems to get caught up in every tustle and nudge possible and he just gets so frustrated and never seems to get a quiet race. We saw him flying in 2008 when he spent more time at the front, so if he can get his qualifying pace to be more like todays then it could be the big 6 rather than the big 5 as it is usually.

      1. Whats really getting tedious is seeing Vettels car perform faultlessly and Webbers ALLWAYS having problems, Kers must be worth a second on that slow-fast track.

      2. I couldn’t agree more with you. Racing in the midfield is difficult for everybody, and it gets specially tricky for Massa for whatever reason. However I wouldn’t get too excited about it, the reason why he’s so close this time is a tire issue and I don’t know if we’ll ever see it again this season: this time we hardly see any tire degradation, which allows the teams to do a couple of laps, with the second one faster than the first one, in stead of just one like in previous circuits. Thus, it is not so critical to make your tire get the right temperature which seems to be the issue for a few driver this year (Massa, Schumacher…) it was great to see them so close to their teammates! And it was great to see at last two flying laps like in the (not so) old days!

        1. F1 has never been so interesting and exciting to watch as now. In the old days – not so long ago – any race often turned boring and stalemate after the final round of pitstops, because only an accident would change the order at the finish. Now we have battles and lots of battles all the times. We have so many battles, that journalists complain about being unable to keep track of what is happening in the race. This is a fantastic luxury. Newey, RBR and Vettel are dominant, and will probably continue to be so for at least 3-4 seasons more. If some of You hate it so much, I suggest You consider following another series of motorsport. Meanwhile I’ll enjoy all the battles and all the excitement, even if it can be a little too easy to guess the winner. The excitement of F1 is not only in the battle for the win.

    1. I’m probably going to be proven wrong, but I think everybody in the top 4 has an extremely good chance of winning! This is probably just me being optimistic hoping Vettel doesnt win again, but I think they all have a chance.
      *fingers crossed for Ferrari, mainly Massa*

  1. Vettel is just the best driver out there at the moment. Webber should have been right with him too, but he didn’t have KERS. Ferrari’s are also looking very good here. McLaren need a small miracle (rain) just to get a podium from where they are.

    1. I think they expect rain tomorrow… I wonder if McLaren didn’t sacrifice their qualifying today using a wet set-up that will give them the race tomorrow. We will see, but if tomorrow rains it might have nothing to do with what we saw today!

        1. The fact that both Alonso and Hamilton can overtake, and actually race people. And I’m talking about consistently, and also both have proven they can do it in inferior machinery.

          1. Have you even watched an onboard of Seb this year? If you don’t think he’s wringing the neck of that RB7, you don’t really know driving. Don’t hate on the kid just because you don’t like him. There’s 5 (sometimes 6) quality drivers on the grid, he’s just the the best of them at the moment.

          2. 1.i don’t hate him, don’t know where you got that from
            2. I agree that there are 5 or 6 quality drivers on the grid, I don’t see how that’s relevent though. I gave my opinion on who I think would be faster in an RB7, not on how many quality drivers there are.
            3. I’ve been watching him, and I disagree, the car is so near perfect, that when watching onboards of his pole laps, he’s not doing a lot. The RB7 does a hell of a lot, and glorifies him slightly.
            4. Let’s be real, you, like quite a few of the “Vettel Fans” didn’t give two hoots about him up until last season.. or possibly the second half of the Brawn season. Please.

          3. Quality driver attract fans. I began liking him mid-2008, when I noticed what he was doing in the Toro Rosso, and since then he’s shown himself to be a genuine, nice fellow with a good sense of humour (I like his shouting over the radio). Even through Seb’s dominance, I am a fan of Ferrari even more.

            The thing I usually like about F1 is the respect amongst fans, unlike the tiresome insults between football fans over “glory hunting”. So timi, do not rag on people like dragon for who they support, if you don’t even know them.

    1. Yeah, a bit different line and it might have actually been Massa up front. Or Alonso.

      Nice and tight. Webber was close enough, considering he had no KERS as well.

      Hope for a good start from Massa and Alonso again.

      1. Either he did a really good job or the Mclarens were just slow. I hope it was just him doing a good job though, maybe with KERS he may have been able to beat Vettel… I’d love to see atleast him being able to compete against Vettel.

          1. Not sure how much it was worth around here, but I’m happy that the session didn’t have a Vettel dominance vibe to it like just about every other qualifying this year! :P

        1. Maybe Whitmarsh hadn’t told him! Lets hope something happens to get them in front of Vettel. I can’t see rain making it easier to overtake, but whatever the weather there is a good chance of a safety car (someone will surely hit that wall), which might stop Vettel running away with it if nobody catches him into the first corner.

  2. Good qualifying session today, was hoping Fernando might sneak pole but second is good. It’s a bit tiring seeing everyone saying it’s boring. I really doubt people would be saying that if it was their favourite driver in Sebastian’s position.

    Seb’s doing a brilliant job and Red Bull are giving him a car that gets him pole position and that gets him the wins. It’s not his – or Red Bull’s – fault that no one can catch him. At the moment he’s just in supreme form.

    1. Spot on Leah. I don’t get how F1 fans can consider such brilliant consistency and jaw dropping qualifying pace somehow boring?

      I’ve gotta say it, Vettel is fast approaching the Sennna/Schumacher level of quality. In a few years the stats will have it written in stone…

    2. I am totally with you, you grab my words. This is racing whre the best wins. And what do we do? We blame the best out there because he is sympathetic to my wife, or maybe his name is somehow difficult to pronounce (Vettel or Fettel?)

  3. great lap? are you kiddin’ me? you guys saw his lap?
    locking up the fronts, missing the apex completley. It’s nowhere near as good as HAM’s lap from last year. And i’m a 200% Ferrari FAN.
    Alonso’s last two starts were amazing, i think he will SURELY overtake vettel, maybe Massa too. No hard tires this time (like in barcelona), and no one sec gap in Q.
    2 ferraris in the podium it it’s a dry race, it it rains, anything can happen. I hope the safetycar/red flag won’t decide anything, not like 2 weeks ago.
    Alo MAS HAM my top 3

      1. His pole lap just shows how great the car is. Many mistakes and still pole. As for Webber being behind, I would bet that the RB7 is built around vettel and his style. Considering Webber is merely a support driver now.

        1. @dlaird

          “His pole lap just shows how great the car is. Many mistakes and still pole. As for Webber being behind, I would bet that the RB7 is built around vettel and his style. Considering Webber is merely a support driver now.”

          Could be something in that, given that they were so evenly matched last year, it’s otherwise hard to explain where on earth Vettel has suddenly picked up all this pace.

          The Schumacher years taught us that to win and be the dominant team mate in F1 you have to have the car built around your preferences. Vettel is already seen as the future of RBR and with certain allies in the form of Helmut Marko et al, it’s reasonable to think there was enough influence in the team to tilt things in his favour.

          1. In Webber’s own interviews and Horner’s this year they chalk it up to 1) Pirelli tires and 2) Vettel doing the business

            But what do they know? They must be lying. I’m sure the engineers spent long efforts trying to make changes to specifically make Webber go slow. In the end, since Webber is naturally at least 0.5 s faster than Vettel, they resorted to breaking Webber’s KERS and also turning down his RPMs.

      1. Its always more exiting to see battles right at the front, even though weve seen some great racing theres only been one guy right at the sharp end. I think everyone just wants to see Vettel really pushed.

      2. I think there are many people who only watch to see their favourite driver win. Like if Alonso has a first-lap crash, plenty of spanish viewers will switch off.

        1. maybe you’re right. but if top teams fight each other so closely, probably no one would easily complain about result. if one is dominating. fan of others would blame it. I just prefer happyness of majority lol.

      3. We watch F1 because it’s fun.

        Well, you might want to speak for yourself there. ;)

        I watch it because regardless of tyres, DRS or whatever other things that may get moaned about, the best will always be at the front. Over the decades, that’s always been the case with F1. This isn’t GP2. It’s up to the other teams to catch Red Bull.

        1. What you’re saying is one kind of fun and I enjoy it too. but F1 is also sport. just highly technology-oriented sport. but it’s still sport. so it’s not wrong if I want pure competition though I know it’s not GP2.

  4. At least I got pole right – again. Shame that my weather forecast was wrong: no rain, although the forecast I looked at said no rain at 11 local time, but did say rain at two…

  5. I was fan of Vettel before he won the Championship… but I agree when “fans” and “haters” say it’s boring to see a one-sided championship. And you can say that there’s also racing among the others. But F1 is about winning and it always was and will. If you think the contrary, go and support a HRT

  6. Wow…I screwed up missing the predictions…:(

    Anyways, what we need is a Ferrari 1-2 followed by Merc 3-4 :)…
    Of course the Ferrari’s can take out each other before lap 1 as well.

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