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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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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153 comments on Unstoppable Vettel on pole again in Canada

  1. Calum said on 11th June 2011, 22:52

    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.

  2. mash26 said on 11th June 2011, 23:34

    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.

  3. Eastman said on 11th June 2011, 23:40

    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.

  4. Forcer said on 12th June 2011, 1:31

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

  5. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 12th June 2011, 2:40

    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.

  6. rayan said on 12th June 2011, 4:37

    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

  7. Webber no KERS. Typical Marko.

    • Pink Pirelli said on 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…

  8. Varun said on 12th June 2011, 7:24

    Rosberg proved to be dissapointing.

    • 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.

  9. Marauder said on 12th June 2011, 13:14

    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.

  10. 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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