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

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153 comments on Unstoppable Vettel on pole again in Canada

  1. verstappen said on 11th June 2011, 19:50

    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…

  2. Fixy (@fixy) said on 11th June 2011, 19:51

    I was as enthusiastic for Massa as if he was on pole… then Alonso arrived and beat him by 18 thousandths! Still happy though :D

  3. 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

    • hohum said on 11th June 2011, 22:04

      Enjoy the race to be best of the rest, that always provided the interest during the Schumacher years.

  4. Speed Damon said on 11th June 2011, 20:00

    Anyone see Kobayashi’s powerslide through the chicane? Coolest thing I’ve ever seen!

  5. sid_prasher (@) said on 11th June 2011, 20:00

    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.

  6. Oliver said on 11th June 2011, 20:34

    And someone said Redbull won’t be fast here.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 11th June 2011, 20:40

      I think it should be but it wouldn’t. If this fast, many straight line circuit is suit for Redbull, they would be quite good at Spa and Monza too. Now whoever want to beat them have to be really faster than them.

    • Don’t forget that other teams (Mclaren) were probably compromised as a result of choosing a set up that was suited for different weather conditions.

      With inclement weather surely it’s anybody guess who’ll win. Exciting race.. it will be for sure!

  7. VXR said on 11th June 2011, 20:35

    Apparently there will be 24 cars on the grid tomorrow.

  8. Paul A (@paul-a) said on 11th June 2011, 20:55

    Talking of “rules” can RB try and fix Webber’s KERS in parc fermé? (Autosport reports Vettel as saying they will try to repair it overnight.)

    Wouldn’t he then have to start from pit lane? If so, will KERS bring him from the back of the pack to [at least] fourth?

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th June 2011, 22:00

      Well, it worked for him in China albeit that was from 18th. However, RBR KERS doesn’t seem to be on a par with a lot of the others (when it works) and although Seb put it on pole I still don’t believe the track suits the RB7.

      • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 11th June 2011, 23:16

        Not sure who the commentator was, but BBC indicated from an interview that Newey had confirmed that the RBR KERS was only 40KwH – not 60KwH – allowing better aerodynamic packaging, but hoping to increase it in the future.

        My question about “parc fermé” and starting from the pit lane is still open :)

        • montreal95 said on 11th June 2011, 23:51

          They won’t have to start from pitlane, if they get a special permission from Whiting to fix a specific car problem.

          • OukilF1 (@oukilf1) said on 12th June 2011, 2:39

            Well they are allowed to fix/change the Kers batteries under Parc fermé conditions, remember Lewis in OZ and Seb lately in Barca gp ;)

  9. Tom said on 11th June 2011, 21:05

    I get the impression that the people complaining about Vettel getting so many poles and victories are only reading the headlines. They seem not to notice that Vettel & Red Bull are having to work damn hard for each pole and victory; the margins are just that close.

    This is not like 1988, 1989, 2001, 2002, or 2004.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th June 2011, 22:06

      In 1988 and 1989, Senna and Prost fought each other. I’d say those two alone is great competition to watch.

      In 2001, Hakkinen, Coulthard, Montoya and Ralf all had the car to challenge for, and obtain victories. Michael ran away with the title because of superb consistency, rather than having a car so far ahead of everyone for 50% of the races.

    • DMC said on 11th June 2011, 22:34

      Damn hard! Sebs not even under pressure from his team mate.

  10. the start will be sweet, especially as a tifoso with the boys in the 2-3..next to and behind. The probability of vettel swerving to such a degree to ensure a red car passing is near absolute… which one will it be-both perhaps!
    the day seb he learns the quickest way to turn 1 is a str8 line, well…lets keep that to ourselves

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th June 2011, 21:32

    Well done Vettel. I’m not going to criticise anyone. I doubt Vettel is really bothered about how bored everyone seems to be so i’m not going to pretend it’s all that important.

    Disappointing for McLaren. Glad that both Renaults and Mercedes’ got into the top 10. Should be a good battle between them two teams.

    Surely D’Ambrosio will be given a dispensation…HRT got two in Monaco.

  12. Wooly said on 11th June 2011, 21:48

    Guys, I’m in Montreal, and only 1mm of rain is expected all afternoon. That’s nothing. My prediction is that the Mclarens will dominate tomorrow. At the track, one can sense the panic amongst the RBRs and Ferraris, but qualifying pace will not do it here. Look out for the McLarens!

  13. Wonder what time Webber would have posted if his KERS had been working? With an approximate 0.5 second advantage with KERS, surely he would be on pole?

  14. wigster (@wigster) said on 11th June 2011, 22:44

    I’m surprised Hamilton is only 5th given his previous Canada form, but the Mclaren race pace should be better then qualy (I hope). I’m now sick of Red Bull running away with qualifying, even when Vetel lost time at the hairpin, but I do admire how well the team are doing.

    I’m hoping Vettel doesn’t win again. I’m also hoping that it rains to make things interesting and hopefully, for the sake of championship at least, Hamilton finishes on the podium.

  15. Calum said on 11th June 2011, 22:49

    I could only shake my head in disbelief, a huge kick in the teeth for many because this was supposed to be the happy hunting ground for the chasing pack to make up some ground on the leader, but fair play to RedBull for strengthening their low downforce weakness, and to Seb for making the most of what he has.

    • DMC said on 12th June 2011, 8:49

      I just dont get this Redbull weakness theory. Their car inherently has big downforce so surley they can take less wing off than the other teams and achieve a better straight line / cornering speed compromise.

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