Sebastian Vettel grabs pole at Canadian Grand Prix 2011
Vettel grabs pole at Canadian Grand Prix: Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel bounced back from a practice crash to take his sixth pole position in seven races at the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday and maintain Red Bull’s stranglehold on qualifying. Sebastian Vettel grabs pole at Canadian Grand Prix 2011. The 23-year-old German, winner of five out of six races this season, will be joined on the front row by Ferrari’s Spanish double world champion Fernando Alonso.
Vettel’s 21st career pole, and Red Bull’s eighth in succession, also brought him his 12th consecutive front row start. Ferrari’s Brazilian Felipe Massa and Australian Mark Webber in the other Red Bull will line up together on the second row. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, winner of two of the last three Canadian Grands Prix and on pole in all of them, qualified a disappointing fifth with team mate Jenson Button back in seventh.
Vettel had nothing but praise for his Red Bull team after he got his Canadian weekend off to a stuttering start by smashing into the ‘Wall of Champions’ during first practice, damaging the right side of his car. After frantic repairs, Vettel was back on the track for Friday’s afternoon session and back on top on Saturday. “Thanks for fixing the car on Friday after I stuffed it in the wall,” he shouted over the radio to his team as he returned to the pits.
“Obviously I had a rough start yesterday morning,” Vettel told reporters later. “I have to make sure it doesn’t become a habit to crash the car on Friday and be on the pole on Saturday,” added the youngster, who also did that in Turkey.
“The team worked very hard, initially there was no hope to go out in the second session and they fixed it very quickly and I was fortunate there wasn’t too much damage. “It doesn’t feel nice when you come back to the garage without your car,” he said. “The only way I can say thanks is to drive the car as quick as I can and put it in a good position.”
The day was not without a few problems for Red Bull with Webber missing final practice because of problems with his KERS system but the Australian managed to push the Ferraris, who were searching for their first pole since Singapore last September. “Being on the first row of the grid for the first time since Singapore it feels good,” said Alonso. “It’s a nice team result, a nice performance so far but we need to maximize this starting position and score as many points as possible.
“For sure we make a step forward.” It was a wild day for Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, who put his Sauber 17th on the grid after being drafted in as a replacement for Mexican rookie Sergio Perez who was still feeling the effects of his big Monaco crash.
The McLaren reserve driver finished the final practice with his car’s nose in the wall after spinning off course and then came close again in qualifying when he brushed a wall and sent sparks flying.
It was also a difficult day for Virgin’s Belgian driver Jerome D’Ambrosio who failed to set a time within the 107 percent rule but was rescued by the stewards who agreed to let him race on the basis of his practice times.
Qualifying was run under darkening skies with forecasters calling for heavy rain on Sunday, bringing a new challenge for the drivers who have not run in the wet yet this season. Already viewed as a demanding layout, the Gilles Villeneuve circuit could turn treacherous with the predicted rain.
“Tomorrow it will be a very different ball park with it very likely to rain, so we are prepared as we can be,” said Vettel. “Conditions are very likely to change, we will see some rain, the question is when and how much.