Vettel claims Canadian GP pole for second straight year
Montreal, Canada (Sports Network) - Sebastian Vettel topped the time charts in qualifying to win the pole position for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. It was the second consecutive year the Red Bull driver has won qualifying at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Vettel, the two-time defending Formula One world champion, beat Lewis Hamilton from McLaren and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in qualifying with a lap around the 2.7-mile, 14-turn course in 1 minute, 13.784 seconds. His 32nd career pole placed him in a tie with Nigel Mansell for fifth on F1's all-time pole winners list.
"I think we've had a fantastic weekend so far," Vettel said. "Yesterday (in practice), it was very smooth, and we didn't have any problems with the car. I think we have learned a couple of lessons, especially in the last two races, where arguably we were quick in the race on Sunday, but we didn't get it out of the car in qualifying on Saturday."
Vettel managed to put on a dominating performance in Saturday's qualifying, despite Red Bull being told by race stewards to change their front hubs and brake ducts. F1's governing body, the FIA, determined Vettel's car had an aerodynamic benefit following the team's recent modification to rear floor. The young German was quickest in the first two qualifying segments (Q1 and Q2).
"I enjoyed qualifying today, even without the hole in the floor," he said.
Vettel also posted the quickest time in the final practice session held earlier in the day.
A Red Bull driver has started on pole and won in two previous races this season. Vettel started first and won April 22 Bahrain Grand Prix, while Mark Webber claimed the victory in the May 27 Monaco Grand Prix from the pole.
Hamilton qualified second with a lap in 1:14.087.
"It was definitely a bit harder for us today," Hamilton said. "We definitely struggled. We were working with the tires in P3 (final practice), and in qualifying, we had to push extremely hard to try and get the tires switched on."
Alonso's lap in 1:14.151 placed him third on the starting grid.
"The car felt very good," he said. "We tested some new parts yesterday, and we feel much more happy now with the balance and the grip of the car."
Webber qualified fourth, followed by Nico Rosberg from Mercedes and Alonso's teammate, Felipe Massa.
Romain Grosjean from Lotus, Force India's Paul di Resta and Michael Schumacher from Mercedes were seventh through ninth.
McLaren's Jenson Button, who is the defending race winner, completed the top-10.
The 70-lap Canadian GP is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. (ET).
06/09 16:07:16 ET