FIA F1 - Vettel On Pole At Canada

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Montreal, Jun 10, 2012: Sebastian Vettel took a superb pole position in Montreal on Saturday despite a heroic last-lap effort from Lewis Hamilton which took the McLaren within millimetres of the wall on the exit to the final corner, but not close enough to the Red Bull champion’s time.

Where Vettel said he had learned a couple of tricks from the last two races and clocked an impressive 1m 13.784s, Hamilton said he was fortunate to have a new set of super-soft Pirellis left for Q3 and had to be content with beating Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to the front row with 1m 14.087s after struggling to get them fully switched on.

Vettel’s performance came despite Red Bull being told to change their front hubs and brake ducts after the FIA feared that they were conferring an aerodynamic benefit and the recent modification to the rear floor of the RB8 . “I enjoyed qualifying today,” the defending world champion said, “even without the hole in the floor!”

Behind Alonso, who said he was extremely happy with Ferrari’s progress, Mark Webber was fourth in the other Red Bull from Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. The Spaniard lapped in 1m 14.151s and didn’t improve on his second run, while Webber recorded 1m 14.346s, Rosberg 1m 14.411s and Massa 1m 14.465s.

Romain Grosjean was a strong seventh for Lotus on 1m 14.645s, while Paul di Resta finally turned the tables on Force India team mate Nico Hulkenberg as he recorded 1m 14.705s for eighth. Michael Schumacher was ninth for Mercedes in 1m 14.812s, while Jenson Button’s hopes of starting better than 10th were stymied by his choosing to make his sole run on the harder, prime tyre.

As Vettel headed Alonso and Hamilton, Q2 ended with drama as Pastor Maldonado’s final effort led to an oversteer wallop of the ‘Wall of Champions’ followed by a 360 degree spin, but already it had been gripping as Grosjean, Massa, Kamui Kobayashi, Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Hulkenberg had knocked each other around vying for 10th place. In the end Grosjean vaulted to seventh ahead of Di Resta with Massa ninth as Button just held on for a Q3 place.

Kobayashi was 11th with 1m 14.688s, losing out to Button by eight-thousands of a second, with Raikkonen next for Lotus on 1m 14.734s and Hulkenberg on 1m 14.748s.

Further back, Daniel Ricciardo put Toro Rosso a solid 14th on 1m 15.078s, ahead of the disappointing Sergio Perez on 1m 15.156s in the second Sauber, and the Williams duo of Bruno Senna on 1m 15.170s and the crestfallen Maldonado on 1m 15.231s.

The big faller in Q1, where Vettel was fastest from Button and Hamilton, was Jean-Eric Vergne. This time he didn’t go off in Turn One - he left that to Kobayashi, Massa and Maldonado - but he was a little circumspect after his off in Practice Three and his 1m 16.602s best left him 20th behind both Caterhams. Heikki Kovalainen was 18th on 1m 16.263s, with Vitaly Petrov on 1m 16.482s.

Pedro de la Rosa continued to shine in the HRT and comfortably out-qualified Timo Glock in the lead Marussia. The Spaniard lapped in 1m 17.492s to the German’s 1m 17.901s. Charles Pic, however, redressed that in the battle for the two final slots, beating HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan with 1m 18.255s to 1m 18.330s.

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#8221; Behind Alonso, who said he was extremely happy with Ferrari