Vettel on pole as Bottas stars in Canada

2013 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix for the third year in a row.

He shares the front row of the grid with Lewis Hamilton. But Valtteri Bottas was the biggest surprise of the session, taking advantage of the wet conditions to put his Williams in third place on the grid.

Q1

Rain had played a role throughout practice and it returned to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve shortly before the start of qualifying. It produced conditions similar to what the drivers experienced during Q1 in Monaco two weeks ago – only this time it lingered for the rest of qualifying as well.

The first drivers to venture out onto the circuit did so on slicks but they were unanimous in their verdict that the track was past that point and returned for sets of intermediate tyres.

Most of them pitted for further sets of intermediates later in the session. But those who left it late found themselves in trouble. There were several minor spins during the session, some of which brought out yellow flags, and for a few drivers they came at exactly the worst time.

One of those was Romain Grosjean, who had to back off for yellow flags on one lap, then found the track was too wet on his next run. He was eliminated along with Paul di Resta – the furious Force India driver dropping out in Q1 for the second consecutive weekend.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’24.908
18 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’25.626
19 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’25.716
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’26.508
21 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.062
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’27.110

Q2

The rain which arrived at the end of Q1 continued to fall as Q2 began, and once again the whole field headed out to make the most of the better conditions.

Vettel was one of the last drivers to hit the track and it nearly caught him out as the rain began to fall more heavily. He posted quick times in the first two sectors but when he came to the final chicane he couldn’t get the car turned in and cut across the run-off.

He was still able to set the sixth-fastest time, but it was doubtful whether the lap would count. Fortunately for him he was able to improve on his next lap – despite a mistake elsewhere – and ensure he progressed to Q3.

But as the conditions worsened Felipe Massa was visibly struggling with his Ferrari. It got away from him on the way into turn three, leaving him powerless to keep the car out of the barriers. It wasn’t quite as dramatic as his two Monaco shunts, but it was enough to force the stoppage of the session while Massa headed to the medical centre.

With just under two minutes left on the clock almost all of the remaining 15 drivers queued up three-abreast at the pit lane exit waiting for the restart. When it was given Esteban Gutierrez led the field onto a track that was in little better condition than it had been when the red flags came out.

Not all of the drivers managed to start a lap. Button took his time on the out-lap, being passed by Valtteri Bottas at the hairpin and dawdling at the last corner. As he accelerated towards the start/finish line the lights turned red and that was him out of Q2.

Vettel also aborted his attempt to set a further time. But with few others improving their time Vettel’s passage to Q3 was secure, even though Hamilton took the fastest time off him.

The only driver to move up into the final ten with his final run was Adrian Sutil, who did so at the expense of Nico Hulkenberg. Sergio Perez was also unable to improve, missing Q3 by four-tenths of a second.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.435
12 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’29.761
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’29.917
14 Jenson Button McLaren 1’30.068
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.315
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’30.354

Q3

Rain continued to pass over the track as the final ten minutes of qualifying began. But Vettel took control from the beginning, setting the quickest time with his first effort.

Rosberg initially took up second place but a succession of drivers beat his time: Hamilton, Webber and – the bigget surprise of all – Bottas. The Williams driver had been quick in Q2 as well, securing a place in the final ten while his team mate dropped out.

Raikkonen was in feisty mood as he took to the track at the start of the session, jumping past Webber at the pit lane exit. But he didn’t look as promising on the track and could only manage ninth place. Nor could Fernando Alonso find much pace, ending up sixth behind Rosberg and Webber.

The drivers pitted for fresh tyres mid-way through the final ten minutes. But fresh rain fell in the final sector, frustrating any further attempts to improve and securing Vettel’s 39th pole position.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’25.425
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’25.512
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’25.897
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’26.008
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.208
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’26.504
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.543
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’27.348
9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’27.432
10 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.946

2013 Canadian Grand Prix

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76 comments on Vettel on pole as Bottas stars in Canada

  1. hobbsy009 (@hobbsy009) said on 8th June 2013, 19:51

    I found it particularly frustrating that bottas got minimal coverage in Q3. I mean, it was fairly obvious from Q1 and Q2 that a decent lap was on the cards

  2. carbon_fibre (@carbon_fibre) said on 8th June 2013, 20:00

    Is Rosberg being investigated for his incident with Massa in Q1?

  3. tmekt (@tmekt) said on 8th June 2013, 20:06

    I wonder where Bottas found the speed. That car simply shouldn’t be there.

    Embarrassing result for Grosjean, he should have been able to post at least one good time before the yellow flags and the rain. Only positive is that he drops only four places instead of ten.

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 9th June 2013, 1:38

      (@tmekt)

      I wonder where Bottas found the speed. That car simply shouldn’t be there.

      I didn’t say it for fear of being accused of ‘belittling’ Vettel’s pole, but it was a bit of a gamble/luck really with the timing for the conditions really to be able to get such an inferior car so high, but clearly he also put in a great lap and really impressed with seeing Bottas finally achieve much of the potential that was initially lauded to him by Williams. Was starting to fear he may be another case of HH Frentzen – falling far short of grossly inflated expectations.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th June 2013, 2:38

      Another “ice” man maybe, the theory of Finnish driving excellence is that they learn to drive on ice in winter and gravel in summer so slippery conditions don’t trouble them, makes sense, but in the era of 3yr. old go-kart champions its relevance must be waning.

  4. David-A (@david-a) said on 8th June 2013, 20:11

    As poor as Grosjean was, I’m wondering if Rosberg’s spin occurred on Grosjean’s final lap, or whether it was an earlier attempt?

  5. Dizzy said on 8th June 2013, 20:15

    Great result for Bottas & Williams.
    Its a shame that as soon as DRS is enabled he’s going to drop like a rock because of how insanely effective the DRS has proved to be round this track :(

    The way DRS is setup this weekend is a good example of why I don’t think DRS should be retained.
    In 2011 it was obvious that DRS worked too well round Montreal & that the 1 detection point/2 zones also didn’t work. For 2012 they dropped the 2nd zone & shortened the zone down the long straght yet DRS was again too effective.

    Based on the past 2 years it was obvious that the DRS zone placement was wrong & made things too easy, Sop instead of either no DRS or moving the DRS to another straght, They not only keep the main DRS zone the same as it was in 2012 but also bring back the 2nd zone in the same place it didn’t work in 2011 & put the single detection point miles before the hairpin.

    In 2011 you could argue that DRS was new & needed tweaking, However not much was changed for 2012 & it still worked far too well more often than not & Going into 2013 they brought in 2 zones on most circuits & also have not changed any of the past zone lengths so again DRS has worked far too effectively more often than not.

    As much as I hate the DRS idea with detection points, 1 second gaps & specified passing zones, If DRS worked purely as an assist & simply got cars a bit alongside into the braking area I would be more accepting of it. However consistently since 2011 its worked purely as a passing device, Its very rarely worked just as an assist its just been driving people clean past in a boring, easy push of a button highway pass.

    That isn’t what it should be doing & the fact that in year 3 its thus far still worked exactly the same as it did in 2011/2012 its now clear to see that there never going to be able to get it right because there clearly learning zero from how its worked in past years.
    Also lets not forget that in 2014 the things been made even more effective because the wing will open more to drop more drag & create a bigger speed gain!

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 8th June 2013, 20:21

      Also lets not forget that in 2014 the things been made even more effective because the wing will open more to drop more drag & create a bigger speed gain!

      Too much changes next year to really foresee how that actually ends up affecting the situation. If the drag the cars with DRS closed create is for instance significantly smaller than this year, the changes in DRS regulations might not even have an effect at all.

    • dot_com (@dot_com) said on 8th June 2013, 20:42

      I agree. Such a shame for a guy like Bottas who did so amazingly well to qualify up there on the second row – all that work will be for nothing when the DRS kicks in. Great job though, really good to see Williams up there.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 8th June 2013, 20:48

        I find myself praying for rain each week simply to remove DRS…..

        • clay (@clay) said on 9th June 2013, 1:17

          I find the whole anti-drs argument based on the fact that Bottas will “drop like a rock” to be in totally far fetched. I mean won’t he have access to drs as well, to help him hunt down the guys in front of him? A far more plausible reason for him dropping down the field after the start, should it be dry, is the fact he is driving a Williams…

          The whole anti drs argument is bordering on hysteria. This is not being helped by the FIA doing nothing to adjust the drs zones etc. as they said they were going to. However as i always argue, compare the racing since the introduction of drs to before. The race I always use in this comparison is Abu Dhabi 2010. Alonso in a clearly faster car could not get past Petrov and that is what cost him the world championship. With drs would that have been a problem? No. Do we have the incredibly boring to watch and frustrating ‘Trulli trains’? No. Given the alternative I would rather watch a pass feat than a procession.

          Just try and remember the snore fests that we had in e pre drs era. I’m talking tracks like Barcelona, Bahrain, Hungary, even Monza. The grass is not always going to be greener on the non drs side of the fence.

          Drop drs altogether? No way. Modify it? Yes. But bring some balance back to the drs argument please.

          • clay (@clay) said on 9th June 2013, 1:18

            That was meant to say pass fest. Damn predictive text…

          • mike-e (@mike-e) said on 9th June 2013, 2:00

            Utter rubbish. F1 is much less exciting with drs. Defensive driving, which used to be a valuable skill, is now worthless. Also drs and pirelli were introduced at the same time, so its hard to say which actually increased passing, its obvious drs increased ot down the straights but in the overall stats, how many of the total passes are facilitated by the (rubbish) tyres?

            Personally, I think they are both rubbish and would much rather be watching people sliding around on rock hard tyres, with poor aero grip and 1000bhp, with only grass and gravel as run off and being punished for mistakes, and rewarded for bravery. But then thats probably because ive actually watched some of those races from back in the 80’s and watched every race since 91.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th June 2013, 2:50

            Reduce the size of the front wing by at least 50% and the need for DRS will diminish equally.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th June 2013, 2:53

            @mike-e, The tyres, where the rubbish hits the road !

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 9th June 2013, 12:40

            @clay – I don’t disagree. I have previously said that personally, I prefer F1 as it is now to how it was in the few years before DRS but that doesn’t mean that the FIA have solved the issue of overtaking.

            Previously, it was impossible to overtake at time. Cars would cruise at over a second a lap up to the back of someone, hit the dirty air, and then follow them until the next pit stop. It was like watching paint dry.

            To combat that, the FIA decided to do away with overtaking and just allow cars to drivers to hit a magic button and move past the slower car on the straight and have the move done well before the breaking zone. It’s better than watching paint dry but not by much!

            The goal was to allow cars to race. It’s been shown previously that DRS can make that happen when it’s allowed cars to pull alongside but stil have some work to do in the breaking zone. What do the FIA do to the races the following year? Make the DRS zone longer. Or make 2 of them. With 1 detection point!?

            DRS can work and it has done so in the past but for whatever reason, the FIA seem to prefer clear simple passes that are over and done with on the straight and then a second DRS zone immediately afterwards to allow cars to pull clear. Everyone can see that this doesn’t make for exciting racing but I suppose it’s safer…. Maybe that’s why they’re doing it?

      • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 9th June 2013, 1:50

        (@dot_com) (@petebaldwin) +1.

        (@clay)

        I find the whole anti-drs argument based on the fact that Bottas will “drop like a rock” to be in totally far fetched.

        But he will clearly do so if the race is dry, due to the vast inferiority of his car. What people are lamenting is the capacity in the past for a highly skilled driver in an inferior car to protect their space and attempt to maintain position, and the resulting tension/racing. And to use a contradictory and equally extreme example to Abu Dhabi 2010, Senna/Mansell in Monaco is a great example of this (and yes, I know in Monaco it’s hard to overtake, but the point still stands). If it’s dry, Bottas’ truly excellent qualifying will be rendered null and void – just look at what happened to Hamilton in Spain with a car that chewed its tyres, or countless other times a car has been left powerless to defend against an opponent simply cruising past, requiring zero skill (Vettel’s overtakes in Abu Dhabi are also a clear example of this). The fastest car car ends up winning, because the fastest drivers are rendered helpless.

        • clay (@clay) said on 9th June 2013, 13:38

          I agree that the fastest car will end up in front, but isn’t that the idea of F1? If F1 was all about the drivers then why not have a spec chassis and engine, like GP2, so that every time it will be only down to the driver?

          No, F1 has always had a mix of technical challenge as well as driver ability. Not many races have been won by a superior driver in an inferior car, let alone championships. Is Vettel really better than Lewis, Alonso, Button or Kimi simply because he has 3 WDC titles to their one or two? Who knows, because he has had the best car for all three of his titles. All we do know is (and I hate to say this) he is better than Webber, as they have had the same equipment.

          What has this to do with DRS? Because for years F1 fans complained that faster driver/car combinations often could haul themselves up to the rear of a slower competitor in front of them but simply not pass due to the loss of downforce on the front wing meaning they could not follow through corners, medium and fast ones especially. So the FIA came up with DRS, probably trying to manufacture a mechanical version of the F-duct to give the following car a chance of doing something about a slower car in front down the straights.

          And before anyone talks about strategy, and drivers being able to undercut one another to pass slower cars, I’ll quote Sir Stirling Moss – I prefer to see cars passing one another when they are moving (on the track), not when they are standing still (in the pits). DRS allows for this when for years we had precious little passing, not only for the lead but all through the field.

          While DRS passes require little skill most of the time, although Webber’s pass on Alonso at Silverstone last year is a great example of a highly skilled overtake for the lead which could not have happened without DRS, the skill is in being able to get within the 1 second in the first place. A driver who is fundamentally slower than the car in front will not be able to do that. And even if a slower car/driver gets in front, DRS gives the driver just overtaken a fighting chance to re-take the position if he can keep within 1 second of the car which has just ‘cruised past’ him. This is not like a F-duct or push to pass system where both cars have access to it and can therefore negate the use of the system if they both use it at the same time.

          DRS needs tweaking – yes. But to get rid of the system which along with Pirelli have livened up races is just madness IMHO.

          F1 history will show that often good and even great drivers use the wet to their advantage – Senna in Monaco in 1984 is a classic example – but the fact that Bottas has qualified well in the wet and if the race is dry tonight he will struggle has absolutely nothing to do with DRS, and instead is all about the relative lack of speed of the 2013 Williams. I find it annoying amidst the whole anti-DRS debate that the fact that this will probably happen is linked to DRS being the technical regulation of Satan. I mean really?

          • Dizzy said on 9th June 2013, 15:07

            @clay

            DRS needs tweaking

            The problem with that comment is that were now in the 3rd year of DRS.

            As I said in my initial comment that argument worked in 2011 because DRS was new, They now have 2 years of DRS data to have tweaked the zones sufficiently to prevent the sort of utterly boring highway passes which most fans dislike.
            However despite that 2 years of data & the fact zones have been adjusted, DRS is still producing a series of utterly boring highway passes.

            The issue with DRS is that its taken things way too far, Instead of making overtaking more possible (Which was the whole point of DRS to begin with) its instead just creating a series of utterly boring changes of position & its rendered defensive driving utterly useless in most cases.

            I’ll use Montreal as an example.
            IN 2010 Webber was leading the race ol worn tyres with Hamilton/Button behind him in 2nd/3rd. He was able to hold them off for a few laps before he made a small mistake in the final corner & that allowed Lewis to get alongside & overtake him into turn 1.
            In both 2011 & 2012, We have not seen anything like that at Montreal. Drivers have cruised up behind someone, Got into the DRS zone, pushed the button & be driven easily (And boringly) past half way down the straght.

            The so called racing DRS produces is boring, Its just a series of easy, unexciting, dull, predictable & skill-less push of a button highway changes of position. Its not racing & can’t be classed as overtaking!

            All DRS has done for me is start to kill my love of a series I’ve loved for nearly 40 years because its eliminated a lot of the close, competitive racing & exciting overtaking which got me hooked on F1 & kept me hooked all these years.
            If DRS is retained much longer & continues to create the sort of dull highway passes its done since its inception then I’ll just quit following F1 & I know many others who will do the same.

            Finally just read the poll from this website recently, Majority of fans here think DRS is having a negative effect on the racing, That to me says it all!

  6. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 8th June 2013, 20:17

    Agh, Lewis lost pole when he overshot the final chicane on his last lap. :-/

  7. Hamilton was unlucky. He was fastest until he missed his braking point and went off. Hard one to guess on for tomorrow. If its damp like today then Williams with Bottas could get a good result

  8. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 8th June 2013, 20:31

    Hamilton needs to be P1 into the first corner or else Vettel might walk away with it (if his tyres keep it together that is)

    • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 8th June 2013, 21:38

      @force-maikel you seem to forget there’s a guy at p6 who has one from that position before. Hamilton doesn’t stand a chance anyway what with low race pace.

      • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 8th June 2013, 21:45

        *won from that position

      • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 8th June 2013, 21:57

        @shreyasf1fan Oh I haven’t forgotten Alonso but for him to beat Vettel he needed to be higher up the grid. That’s why he needs Hamilton to beat Vettel into turn one. If you allow Vettel to create a gap it might be game over quite early. Long runs were almost identical between Ferrari and Red Bull. He’s allot faster on the straight, let’s hope that helps. This is only theoretical for a dry race, if it’s wet then it becomes a lottery.

        Anyway everything is still possible tomorrow so a exciting race awaits!

        • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 9th June 2013, 6:01

          @force-maikel Yeah man, this race will be exciting! Especially if it is dry!
          And even if Vettel pulls up a gap, it wouldn’t be impossible for Alonso to catch him – it will need a perfect combination of pace, strategy, and determination. And of course, a dry and warm track.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 9th June 2013, 0:07

      Let’s see if the secret test helps..

  9. celeste (@celeste) said on 8th June 2013, 20:35

    @omarr-pepper I slapped a guy named Paul before Q1 just for you, gues wich one? ;)

  10. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 8th June 2013, 20:38

    The weather will determine the outcome tomorrow.

    Dry – Red Bull’s race to lose

    Damp/mixed – Watch out for a certain Williams

    Wet – Who knows?

    • Antonio Nartea (@tony031r) said on 8th June 2013, 21:33

      Dry – Red Bull’s race to lose

      I disagree. And for that matter, I see it exactly vice-versa. Vettel’s dry pace is indeed good but the Ferraris should be able to keep those tyres in working condition longer and more effectively than Red Bull. Plus their pace on super-softs was marginally better than Red Bull’s. Taking Webber’s poor starts into account, with Merc eating through their rear tyres at an alarming rate and Bottas probably not having the race pace to keep himself in front of certain people behind him, Alonso should end up on Vettel’s tail quickly enough.

      Vettel was absolutely superb on a damp track today posting laps a second better than everyone else at certain points during quali. On inters or even the extreme wets, doing the same kind of performance during the race shouldn’t prove that difficult.

      For me it’s: wet, damp or mixed: Vettel / dry: Alonso

      That’s not accounting for a rightly timed safety car however. That could shift the game easily into one or the other’s or even someone else’s hands. So I’d say, apart from the weather, Grosjean, Maldonado and Massa (provided it’s actually a recurring car issue causing his crashes) are also focal points of this race.

  11. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 8th June 2013, 20:40

    Hamilton and Vettel to tangle wings at the first corner in the wet. Bottas to sail away towards his first win . . .
    Actually, does anyone know how many sets of new inters they all have left?

  12. Jack (@jmc200) said on 8th June 2013, 20:43

    Bottas has earned my respect, massive respect, beating Crashtor again. Great job by Vergne, taking it to Ricciardo again. Also really bad luck for Di Resta, his gearbox problems from FP2 coming back, he’s been fast this weekend… Also great job by Pic to beat a lotus!

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2013, 21:01

    Five drivers are under investigation for not following the rules during qualifying. They are Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado, Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo.

    The stewards note for four of the drivers says:

    The driver did not form up in line and leave the pit lane in the order he arrived at the
    restart of Q2, in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 23.6 of the FIA
    Formula One Sporting Regulations.

    Raikkonen is accused of doing the same in Q2 and Q3:

    The driver did not form up in line and leave the pit lane in the order he arrived at the
    restart of Q2 and the start of Q3, in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 23.6 of the FIA
    Formula One Sporting Regulations.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2013, 21:05

      The referenced part of the rules says the following. Relevant part in italics:

      Unless a car is pushed from the grid at any time during the start procedure, cars may only be driven from the team’s designated garage area to the end of the pit lane.

      Any car(s) driven to the end of the pit lane prior to the start or re-start of a practice session must form up in a line in the fast lane and leave in the order they got there unless another car is unduly delayed.

      Looks like this might be open-and-shut. And as it could have affected the results of qualifying the stewards may go for grid drops rather than reprimands.

      • scratt (@scratt) said on 8th June 2013, 21:36

        Which result did this affect exactly?
        Button managing to set a time in Q2?
        I am not arguing that the rule was broken, merely that as no-one was affected after the restart that would be a bad reason to decide to penalise anyone.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2013, 21:52

          @scratt That’s why I said “could have”. But I suspect anyone who was overtaken by one of them could make a case.

          Tyre temperature would be one example. If a driver appears in front of you who shouldn’t be there, you have to slow down and drop back some more on your out-lap so you have room to do a flying lap. Driving at a slower pace causes your tyre temperatures to fall, and so your quick lap is slower than it might have been.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 8th June 2013, 21:10

      That’s fine by me: none of them affect the battle up front much!

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 8th June 2013, 22:30

      Darn, it looked rather fun the way they all bunched up wanting to get out…

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 8th June 2013, 22:35

      2 place grid-drops to Räikkönen and Ricciardo

  14. cg22me (@cg22me) said on 8th June 2013, 21:37

    If the issue with di Resta is true, then Force India are really doing a 2012 McLaren and royally screwing up the potential of a great car.
    No weekend has truly shown the Force India at its best, unfortunately.

  15. Kiran Paul (@kiranppaul) said on 9th June 2013, 7:02

    This is interesting irrespective of the conditions. If its wet, many cars out in d back like the Ferrari,force india and lotus with very good dry pace will get into points easily. If its wet/damp then the guys in front have enough intermediates for the full race. In that case massa,diResta and Grosean can really come into play with lots of new tyres. Who knows, they might even end up in podium !!!!!!!!!

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