Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Montreal, 2011

Unstoppable Vettel on pole again in Canada

2011 Canadian GP qualifyingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. And someone said Redbull won’t be fast here.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

  2. Apparently there will be 24 cars on the grid tomorrow.

    1. Now I wonder why they introduced 107% rule…

  3. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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 :)

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

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

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

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

      1. Yes, but by design or accident his team-mate has been hobbled all year.

      2. You can only get that impression if you just focus on the headlines.

  5. the start will be sweet, especially as a tifoso with the boys in the 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

    1. I guess your glass is always half full.

      1. I told ya! Could you imagine the outcome if Hamiltion was still in the race?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. That theory would work if it was only the front wing that generated downforce but it’s the car as a whole that does that. All the way back to the diffuser.

  11. There’s no point in grumbling, the class of the field is dominating this season.

    It’s 2010 with RedBull being reliable enough to race.

  12. So Mansell took 14 pole positions in ’92 and Prost took 13 the next year. How many are willing to bet Seb’ll make it 15??
    How many races do you think he’ll win?? 9? 10? 11? A driver hasn’t won more than 7 in a single year since 2004!
    I’m no fan but its time someone took atleast 8.

    1. how many poles Schumacher took in 02 and 04? Does anyone know?

      1. Just check wikipedia.

        Schumacher got 7 poles in 2002, and 8 in 2004. Not that many, really.

  13. It may have been boring for the BBC broadcast team desperate for McLaren victories, but at the track it was amazing.

    The people around me couldn’t get over the pace of the cars. Five men beat the previous track record today. That’s a pretty amazing session.

    1. Five men beat the previous track record today.

      The lap record for the race is 1’13.622, but the fastest time seen in qualifying is a 1’12.275, which no-one beat today.

      1. And that fastest qualifying was set by Ralf Schumacher!

  14. di Resta just missed Q3 again. OOPS…but positive is Force India will surely get nice points in Indian GP it seems.

  15. Probably the best qualifying session of the season, all bets were on for this race as who will be P1.Good to see Massa back on charge I hope from here onward he find his rhythm.

  16. one doubt guys….wat will happen when ferrari wear the harder tyres,,,which is not suiting the italian car for some reason…mean during tommorow s race

  17. Webber no KERS. Typical Marko.

    1. Pink Pirelli
      12th June 2011, 10:03

      I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but really? Webber has unreliable KERS again? And yet Vettel’s works perfectly. Amazing how they can get one to work and not the other…

  18. Rosberg proved to be dissapointing.

    1. Rosberg proved to be dissapointing.

      I hope by that you mean “Mercedes” proved to be disappointing. I’d be inclined to believe that he and Schumacher came close to the limit of that car in those conditions. They were less than a tenth apart.

  19. I’m going to wait until after the rule change @ Silverstone comes along before I give up on watching the rest of this season.

    We will see how much the top teams (including you, RB) will suffer in performance.

  20. Keith, do you have any data to suggest that Webber might have snatched pole if he’d had KERS operating? I’m curious as to what it’s worth around this circuit. I’m not sure if the long straights increase or decrease its effectiveness (given that they also have DRS). It’s probably still around 3 to 5 tenths. Let us know what you think?

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