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|
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|
|14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’15.287|
|15||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’15.334|
|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|
|4||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’13.429|
2011 Canadian Grand Prix
- Technical review: 2011 Canadian Grand Prix
- 2011 Canadian Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Canadian GP driver of the weekend
- McLaren: Button makes amends for collision with stunning win
- Red Bull: Vettel finally cracks under pressure
- Ferrari: Alonso rues ‘bad luck’ after retiring
- Mercedes: Schumacher misses out on podium
- Sauber: Kobayashi slips from second to seventh
- Renault: Heidfeld crash leaves Petrov fifth
- Williams: Barrichello in points, Maldonado crashes
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images