Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2012

Vettel leads all the way in Canadian GP qualifying

2012 Canadian Grand Prix qualifyingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2012Red Bull have been forced to remove holes from their floor and change their wheel hubs in the past two weeks – but it didn’t stop them being quickest in qualifying in Canada.

Sebastian Vettel led qualifying every step of the way and claimed pole position for the second year in a row in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton took second on the grid ahead of Fernando Alonso.


As qualifying began under clear skies, temperatures at the track had climbed to their highest so far during the weekend, passing 40C.

The drivers found the tyres gave their best performance after several laps. Vettel began his run late and stayed out on softs, setting a best of 1’14.661.

As usual the Caterhams, Marussias and HRTs were eliminated, but there were a few changes in the usual order. Both Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov out-qualified Jean-Eric Vergne, who was over a second slower than his team mate.

Pedro de la Rosa delivered on the potential HRT showed in practice, out-qualifying both Marussias.

Several of the front runners made late runs on super-soft tyres in case of sudden improvements by the slower drivers, but few found it necessary to improve their times and returned to the pits.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’16.263
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’16.482
20 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.602
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’17.492
22 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’17.901
23 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’18.255
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’18.330


Vettel led the times again in the second session, setting a 1’14.187 which put him out of reach of Hamilton by over a tenth of a second.

Alonso split the pair with a late lap in the Ferrari. He pitted, joining them along with Webber, Schumacher and Rosberg as the rest made final attempts to reach Q3.

Grosjean fell short with his first effort but had just enough time to start a final lap. That proved crucial as he crossed the line with a 1’14.627 to take seventh. Massa was also safe with a 1’14.641.

For the third weekend in a row Button’s time looked vulnerable – his lap of 1’14.680 left him tenth and Pastor Maldonado was on a hot lap. The Williams driver was fastest in the first sector but as he came out of the final corner he clipped the wall and spun.

That let Button off the hook and condemned Maldonado to elimination along with his team mate.

Daniel Ricciardo produced an excellent lap for 14th ahead of Sergio Perez.

The other Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi missed the final ten by the tiny margin of eight thousandths of a second.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’14.688
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’14.734
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’14.748
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’15.078
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’15.156
16 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’15.170
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’15.231


Vettel’s first lap in Q3 was quick enough for pole position. But with Hamilton and Alonso looking quick, he returned to the track for another effort.

He lowered his best to a 1’13.784. Hamilton came closest to beating him but he was still over three-tenths of a second slower.

Alonso began his last lap with a first sector that was fractionally faster than Vettel’s. But he lost time over the rest of the lap and ended up third. He will share the second row with Mark Webber.

Nico Rosberg made it four different constructors in the top five, followed by Felipe Massa.

Paul di Resta did a single run which was good enough for eighth behind Grosjean.

Behind them were Schumacher, who crossed the start/finish line too late to begin his final lap, and Button, who set his time on softs instead of super-softs.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’13.784
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’14.087
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.151
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’14.346
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’14.411
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’14.465
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’14.645
8 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’14.705
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’14.812
10 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.182

2012 Canadian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

59 comments on “Vettel leads all the way in Canadian GP qualifying”

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  1. It could be the first time we see these three chaps on the podium!

  2. I believe that Ferrari misjudged the last Q3 run for Alonso, as it seemed to me that he was on for two fast laps and not only one because on his last attempt he crossed the line with 1″10 to go, if it was only one attemp he shoud have started it a bit later because the track tends to improve.
    For the race it seems Vettel is just too strong but I also think that FA might have some advantage over LH, as the Ferrari seems a little bit faster and the warmer conditions will benefit the italian team.

  3. I thought this track wouldve suited the Mercs a bit better

    nooooo not the finger again…what a poser

  4. photofinish
    10th June 2012, 8:53

    Why was Hamilton waiving before his last attempt in q3?

    1. @photofinish He was getting heat into the tyres.
      The problem is, the back straight is sooooo long that they need their tyres to be slightly overheated coming out of the chicane if they want the tyres to be at their perfect temperature as they hit the T14/15 chicane to start their lap. Hamilton apparently didn’t feel the tyres were perfect so he tried to warm them up before starting the lap.

  5. I would hate to be managed by some of your contributors who would sack anybody the instant things are not right. Sometimes you need to analyse and understand the problems and then resolve them. Eg Massa, Button and Webber didn,t suddenly become the wrong choice as drivers. Raikkonen hasn’t after a couple of good races become the wrong choice for this year. The reason there are so many support staff in F1 is precisely to work through all of the issues – they will have a plan for success one very small element of which is the driver decision. Some of the dismissive comments suggest that success is all about the drivers form. Sure there is an element of that BUT the car/tyre/software etc characteristics need to be integrated into a formula for success. Just saying so and so is crap doesn’t alter the jig saw, it really isn’t all about the driver – much as some of the the fans here would have us believe. Toro Rosso must be realising that now.

  6. photofinish
    10th June 2012, 10:15

    @mads thanx mate. What I’m trying to understand how the higher track temperature is better for vett then for ham, as claimed in the forum. I believe they will both be able to switch the tyres on and then it will all be about tyres management due to possible one stop strategy.

  7. lol i wish a top driver was in the lotus i dont buy the fact kimi is doing well for all we know that car was the quickest by a long way.The reason im saying this is R Grosjean,kimi maybe beating him in the races but how can kimi (the former demon qualifier) not beat grosjean in qualifying its getting embarassining and j villenauve and j herbert agree. if grosjean was good we would of seen glimpses in 08 and alo whiped the floor so kimi needs to speed up

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