Vettel tops Hamilton for third straight Canadian GP pole
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull claimed his third consecutive pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix after edging Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in Saturday's qualifying session.
In rainy conditions, Vettel turned a lap around the 2.709-mile, 14-turn Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1 minute, 25.425 seconds. He collected his third pole of the season and the 39th of his Formula One career. The three-time world champion has yet to win the Canadian GP.
"It was very, very tricky, especially since you didn't know what the conditions were like the next time you were out," Vettel said of the wet track during qualifying. "We used intermediate tires throughout, and it was tricky to adapt, especially in the last qualifying session. We decided to have two runs."
Vettel came close to a win in the Canadian GP in 2011. In a race that featured torrential rain conditions, Vettel locked up in the rear and slid wide while leading on the final lap. His mishap allowed McLaren's Jenson Button to dart by and steal the win. Vettel finished second.
"I'm looking forward to the race," he said. "I think we had a strong performance (in Friday's practice sessions), so whatever happens in terms of conditions, it should be good."
Hamilton, who has won three of the last six races in Canada, including a victory in last year's event, qualified 0.087 seconds behind Vettel.
"I was doing pretty good on my final lap, but I ran wide, so it was unfortunate," Hamilton said.
Williams' Valtteri Bottas, a rookie this season, earned his career-best starting position of third after posting a lap in 1:25.897. Bottas' previous best finish in qualifying was 14th, which came in last month's Monaco Grand Prix.
"This means a lot," Bottas said. "The first six races have been very difficult, so this is a good boost for the team."
Nico Rosberg, who had won the pole for the last three grand prix, placed his Mercedes fourth on the grid. Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, was fifth.
The second qualifying session was briefly stopped when Felipe Massa from Ferrari slid off course and slammed sideways into the barrier in turn 3. Repairs had to be made to the barrier before qualifying could resume. Massa will start 16th, while his teammate, Fernando Alonso, will roll off from sixth.
Jean-Eric Vergne from Toro Rosso qualified seventh, and Force India's Adrian Sutil placed eighth. Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus and Vergne's teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, completed the top-10.
Sunday's 70-lap Canadian GP is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. ET. Vettel enters the race with a 21-point lead over Raikkonen.
06/08 15:45:59 ET