Vettel takes pole from Hamilton in Montreal

Vettel rounds the hairpin

Sebastian Vettel, gunning for his fourth straight F1 title, has taken pole for the Canadian GP in the wet with a time of 1m25.425s. Lewis Hamilton will start second for Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas was a shocking third. Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber rounded out the top-5 ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.

And speaking of Ferrari, Felipe Massa crashed for the third time in two races, which means he will definitely be replaced by the Scuderia after this season.

Contending with a wet circuit, Massa, who was outside the top ten at the time, appeared to brake on the slippery white line, putting the Ferrari driver into a slide.

The slide ended when he slammed into the barriers at Turn 3 side on.

"I didn't see the video yet, but people tell me I braked over the white line," Massa said. "Maybe it's possible, because when I braked I just went sideways straight away.

"I'm really disappointed with what happened. It's like a movie you know, three things happened straight away like that.

"I'm very disappointed, not happy, but the race is tomorrow, so we need to concentrate on tomorrow, and try to do a good race tomorrow.

"We don't gain anything by going to the past, we need to go to the present and the future.

"It's true that it's not nice to start in the back, but it's also true that this is a race, this is a track that every year many things happen during the race, so we need to concentrate on that and try to do a good race tomorrow."

Passing rain showers kept the track wet throughout Saturday's qualifying session. The track conditions changed constantly over the hour, making it very tricky for the drivers and in Q3 the track was driest at the start and Vettel judged it best and put in a 1m25.425s for Red Bull early while all the drivers were on the intermediate tires.

Vettel in 4-wheel drift in the wet shows why he is the best driver in F1 today

Driver after driver tried to beat the World Champion but all fell short.

Hamilton came closest but fell 0.087 seconds short, sliding over the chicane on a desperate final bid.

However, it was Bottas who was the star of qualifying. Valtteri showed consistently strong pace in the changeable wet conditions, finishing in the top four in all three qualifying sessions and securing his best qualifying position of the season so far.

"It’s a great feeling to qualify in third place and the team did a really good job today. The showers made the track very slippery but this suited us as the car handled the conditions well. We were on the right tires at the right time which was so important today. If the conditions are dry tomorrow then it will be difficult to stay where we are, so I will be hoping that we see some rain. The whole team has been working hard to improve our performance and we have been making steady improvements with each race."


Red Bull-Renault

Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:25.425): "It was very tricky today, especially as you never knew what the conditions were going to be like the next time you went out. It was intermediate tires throughout, but it was extremely difficult to adapt as the conditions were constantly changing. In the last qualifying session we decided to have two runs; we thought the second would be quicker, as we had a new set of tires for that, but it started to drizzle in the last sector, in particular in the chicane. I went straight there on one lap and on the second I had a mistake somewhere else, so it turned out that the first run was the important one. I'm happy the lap was good enough, as it was tight with Lewis. Congratulations to Valtteri, I think he did an excellent job putting the Williams on P3. For us, I am extremely happy with the result and looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think we had strong pace yesterday, so no matter what the conditions we should be in decent shape."

Mark Webber (5th, 1:26.208): "That was quite tricky for everyone. It's a bit of a mixed grid and I would have liked to have been a bit more comfortable than fifth, but in the end it's what we got. There's a long way to go tomorrow, so let's see how it unfolds. It was a good job by Bottas and it should be an interesting grand prix. Dry conditions tomorrow are nicer for everyone as it makes it a bit more predictable and straightforward, and visibility here isn't great here if it rains."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It's fantastic to get the pole in Montreal. It was a really difficult qualifying session and it's very easy for things to go wrong in a session like that. Just to get both cars in Q3 was a result, so to get pole with Sebastian and P5 with Mark on the grid for tomorrow's grand prix is a really positive starting position."

Thierry Salvi, Renault: "A difficult session, with rain on and off, so congratulations to Sebastian and the team for getting it spot on. The circuit is one of the hardest on the engines, with the long straights combined with heavy braking zones, so starting from pole is a good feeling. We know it's a long race tomorrow and conditions will be very different from today but we'll do our best to help the team score its first win in Canada."


Fernando Alonso (6th, 1:26.504): "We were well aware how difficult this weekend could be, because with such changeable weather, the track can change from one lap to the next and right to the end, you can never be sure what are the right tires to use. I am reasonably happy to have salvaged what I could from a qualifying that featured so many unknowns. Starting from sixth here isn't bad, because you can overtake at this circuit. I'm definitely hoping for a race with no rain, because in the dry, looking at yesterday's long runs, we can be more competitive and quicker than some of the cars that start in front of us tomorrow. The aim is still to make up ground on our closest competitors: with Raikkonen we have a slightly better chance of doing so, as he is starting behind me, while with Vettel, it's a tougher task. In any case, I won't take anything for granted, because here, especially if it rains, anything can happen and it can be the case that strategy counts for less than luck does."

Felipe Massa (16th, 1:30.354): "I am very unhappy with the way qualifying went for me. Track conditions were not easy, there was very little grip and I was struggling to put together a good lap. I went out in Q2 because I braked on a white line at Turn 3 and when the rear end broke away, there was nothing I could do anymore. Physically, I'm fine, but within myself I'm very disappointed. Never before have I had three accidents in such close succession, even if it's always the case that when you try and give your all on tracks like this one and Monte Carlo, the risks are always higher. I still don't know exactly how badly damaged the car is, but even if I'm very disappointed with what happened, we must stay focused, because tomorrow's race will be long and on this track, anything can happen. I had a good pace today and tomorrow I plan to drive an attacking race."

Pat Fry: "Today's qualifying was extremely complicated and its outcome was significantly influenced by the variable weather conditions. In situations like this, the drivers must absolutely be able to do the right number of runs in all three phases that make up the session and with that in mind, we paid close attention to how much fuel we put in the cars, in addition to making the best tire choices on a track that was in a state of continuous evolution, because of the intermittent rain. In fact, we had a few problems in getting the tires up to temperature and on top of that the track surface here is less abrasive and so it's even harder to get the right feeling from the tires. Fortunately, overtaking is possible here and from where he starts on the grid, Fernando can certainly try to attack. It will be harder for Felipe, because he's starting from quite a way back. But in the last few races, we have always had a good race pace and we hope that tomorrow the weather clears up enough so that we can make the most of our potential."


Sergio Perez (12th, 1:29.761): The red flag at the end of Q2 affected me just as I was about to set a good time. Then, with only two minutes of the session remaining, I didn't get a run without traffic ‚" as a result, I couldn't get my tires up to temperature. The fact that some of the others managed to improve was frustrating, but that's racing; sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you get it wrong. It's a shame, because I think we had the pace to get into Q3 today. Our focus is on the race, and I think we can still score good points tomorrow. It's not over."

Jenson Button (14th, 1:30.068): "Today's qualifying was one of those sessions where it either all falls into place for you ‚" or it doesn't. And we were just out of luck this afternoon. We encountered yellow flags, a red flag; and, when the session restarted, I crossed the line about half a second too late to start my final flying lap. We weren't as competitive as we thought we'd be, and 14th obviously isn't the place where I want to start, but the good news is that you can overtake around here. A race in mixed conditions tomorrow would be good for us."

Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "A difficult session for everyone ‚" but, ultimately, things just didn't go our way today. In Q2, we'd just switched both drivers to their second set of Intermediate tires when they encountered yellow flags, and then the red. We couldn't really get the quick laps we needed. When the red flag came out, we only had two minutes of the session remaining, so it was always going to be difficult to get out and improve. Jenson narrowly missed starting his lap ‚" by about one second ‚" and Checo had too much traffic and struggled to get his tires up to temperature. Consequently, we didn't get a car through into Q3 for the first time this year. But, in Jenson and Checo, we've got a pair of fantastic racing drivers who'll most certainly be giving their all tomorrow. The unpredictable weather conditions show no sure sign of abating, and we'll be pushing to maximize every available opportunity in a race that's destined to be long, hard and unpredictable. There's still a lot to play for."


Kimi Raikkonen (9th, 1:27.432): "We didn't have grip in these conditions so we did pretty much all we could do, but if there's no grip you can't go faster. In this weather it's difficult as sometimes the rain gets harder, sometimes the track is drying so you have to try to be out there when the circuit's at its best. P9 on the grid is not what we want so we'll have to see what we can do in the race tomorrow."

Romain Grosjean (19th, 1:25.716): "Clearly not the best day, and of course with the grid penalty I now start in what should be P29 for the race, which is a long way back! After we changed to new intermediates mid-way through the session I had one lap to set a time when the track was at its driest, but there were yellow flags after someone went straight on so I had to slow down and respect the warning. Then the track was too wet to go faster. We got caught out a little bit by the weather but it's nobody's fault; just yet more bad luck. In these conditions it's impossible to predict when the rain will be at its heaviest and we didn't see anything from the radar to suggest it would get worse. It's going to be a long race from the back, but we know the car is quick so our weekend is far from over yet."

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "It was a disappointing day for us. Romain couldn't get a good lap in the first session meaning he will start from the back of the grid. Kimi struggled too and will start from ninth, which is not where we want to be. The E21 clearly wasn't working well in the wet conditions experienced today. We opted for a more dry weather focused set-up which, although it hindered us today, should benefit us tomorrow if the weather does stay dry. We certainly weren't expecting the level of water that we did see on the track during qualifying. It wasn't that difficult as it was consistently wet rather than being wet and dry giving us a decision to make on which tires to run. We went for the first lap of Q1 with both cars using the super soft dry tire and it was immediately clear that it was too wet for slicks. After that, timing and finding space on track became the key considerations. Predicting when there might be yellow flags, unfortunately, is a very difficult science. Certainly we expect it to be warmer than today and that should help us. There's still a chance of rain, but the track and air temperatures should be of benefit. If it is dry then we ‚" like all of the teams ‚" will be learning the slick tire performance as we go along as there has been only limited running on them so far this weekend. That said, I think it could be a race of 1-2 pit stops rather than a 3-4 stop strategy."

Mercedes GP

Lewis Hamilton (2nd, 1:25.512): "It's good to be up on the front row again but I am a little disappointed with my last lap. I was seven-tenths up going into the last corner which was really slippery and unfortunately I went straight on. I would have lost time there anyway as it was so wet but there was a chance of pole if the lap had come together. Tomorrow should be a good opportunity for us though. The car felt great yesterday in the dry so we'll keep our fingers crossed that the rain stays away for the race and hopefully we can give Seb a run for his money. We've got a good car and I feel like I'm on it here so let's see what we can do tomorrow."

Nico Rosberg (4th, 1:26.008): "We were very quick in the difficult conditions out there this afternoon and I'm a little disappointed that I didn't qualify further up the grid. Unfortunately my radio stopped working and communicating with my engineers is crucial in conditions like we had this afternoon. The biggest issue was not knowing that I had one more lap that was the chance to improve my time. But generally I can be pleased to be starting from the second row and I will hope for a strong race tomorrow. We need to manage the tires well and then I believe we can get a good result."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "It was an unusual qualifying session this afternoon, with both drivers staying on the intermediate tires throughout. The team managed the situation well, getting the cars out on track at the right time, and we saw how difficult that was to achieve today. Both drivers did a fantastic job: Lewis secured his third consecutive front-row starting position while Nico finished P4 in spite of a radio problem that made communication difficult when he was out on track. As we often see in conditions like this, there are some cars out of position compared to where they would be in the dry, and that should make for a very exciting race."

Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "It was a tough qualifying for everybody and these are conditions where it is a lot easier to get things wrong than right. That means we're very happy to have both cars on the front two rows, starting second and fourth tomorrow. The race will be a step into the unknown because the forecast says it should be dry and warmer than it has been so far this weekend. That will keep everybody on their toes and should make for a fun afternoon."


Nico Hulkenberg (11th, 1:29.435): "It was really bad luck today. I was on a good lap and could have made Q3, but then the red flag came out 200 meters before the finish line. But I think, after a difficult day yesterday, today we improved quite a bit and P11 is not too bad to start from – it's close to the points. According to the weather forecast it's going to be dry and warmer than it has been all weekend. We have to wait and see how competitive we can be."

Esteban Gutierrez (15th, 1:30.315): "The conditions today were very tricky. I was trying to find the limit of the car, and getting grip was difficult. A red flag interrupted Q2, and then it was quite a challenge to put a lap together. Although FP3 was shortened, we were able to get an idea of what would be possible in qualifying. We are pushing the window to the top ten and we need to keep fighting for Q3. For the race tomorrow we are not sure about the weather, but I suppose it's going to be dry. This can be good for us, because we decided on a low downforce set-up. Hopefully this will help us to overtake."

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "It was an exciting qualifying. The team improved significantly compared to yesterday. The fact that Nico didn't make it into Q3 was tough luck. From where we are now, we have a good base for the race tomorrow and points should be possible."

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "After a difficult Friday we got a lot more out of the car today, and the drivers handled the difficult qualifying conditions very well. Ultimately Nico was unlucky with his final lap before the red flag. He had completed the final corner and was on the way to the line when the red flag came out. His lap time would have taken him easily through to Q3. That's a bit disappointing, but from P11 and P15 we can still score points on a track like this. The car should be strong tomorrow in the race."

Force India-Mercedes

Adrian Sutil (8th, 1:27.348): "I'm quite happy with eighth place. It was a tough qualifying session and very hard to judge the conditions. Some parts of the track were wet and other areas were dry, so it was difficult to know how much to push. I also struggled to get the heat in the tires, so it was not easy to get it altogether for one lap. The most important lap for me was just after the red flag: we all queued up at the end of the pit lane ‚" a bit like a race start ‚" and I knew I had one chance to make Q2. Fortunately it worked out well for me."

Paul di Resta (17th, 1:23.908): "It's very frustrating to be starting in P17 so we need to sit down and analyze exactly what happened. Something went wrong with the seamless shift software during my first run in Q1 and when I came in the team tried to fix it. It was only a small issue, but we lost valuable time trying to find a solution. Meanwhile the track was getting faster and faster. By the time I had got back out it was raining again and therefore we missed the track at its best. There's not much you can do in that situation, but it's a massive disappointment given how competitive the car was yesterday. I'll try and take the positives because you can overtake on this track and the car is strong. We need to come up with a masterplan tonight and I will be pushing hard tomorrow."

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "Another excellent effort by Adrian to qualify eighth given how difficult the conditions were today. He was struggling to get the intermediates to work, but he delivered some excellent laps just when it mattered to secure his place in the top ten. Paul's session was disrupted by a small software issue, which meant he missed out on the optimal track conditions and couldn't show his true potential. When he did get out at the end of Q1, his best lap was totally compromised by Rosberg, who spun in front of him. It proved very costly and has given Paul a lot of work to do in the race. We know he will keep his head down tomorrow and with dry weather expected he can hopefully demonstrate the inherent pace of the car."


Valtteri Bottas (3rd, 1:25.897): "It's a great feeling to qualify in third place and the team did a really good job today. The showers made the track very slippery but this suited us as the car handled the conditions well. We were on the right tires at the right time which was so important today. If the conditions are dry tomorrow then it will be difficult to stay where we are, so I will be hoping that we see some rain. The whole team has been working hard to improve our performance and we have been making steady improvements with each race."

Pastor Maldonado (13th, 1:29.917): "Today the conditions were very challenging for all the drivers as the track was changing with every lap and you needed to be out at the right time on the right tire. We were more competitive today and I think the conditions really suited us. I was unlucky in Q2 because I was on my best lap when the red flag came out, and when the session resumed there was a lot of traffic around me. Valtteri qualifying in third place gives the whole team a boost and hopefully we can score points tomorrow."

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "The conditions were changeable today making it difficult for all teams. We feel that we have made another step forward in performance, but ultimately today we were able to capitalize on the conditions. We worked well as a team to get the best position on track at the right time, and P3 was the result. If it is dry tomorrow it will be difficult to hold that position but we will be fighting hard for points with both cars. It's a well-deserved result for Valtteri and for the whole team and it gives us all a real boost after all the hard work everyone has been putting in. Pastor is starting just outside the top ten as he couldn't complete his quickest laps in Q2 due to the red flag and traffic, so he will also be pushing hard to bring home some points tomorrow."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Jean-Eric Vergne (7th, 1:26.543): "It was not an easy session and at one point I thought I wouldn't even make it out of Q1! But we managed to improve a couple of things on the car and that helped. Generally, I feel comfortable in the wet, but that wasn't the case today. The car wasn't exceptional, but we got the most out of it I think. It was tough driving out there, but in the end it worked as is clear from the fact I got seventh place on the grid. It's my best ever F1 qualifying, but I'm not going to be jumping for joy over a seventh place, as there are no points given out on Saturday. We still have the main part of the job to do tomorrow, when I will be trying to at the very least maintain this position and even do better. I'm a racing driver so I always want to go forward. It will be a difficult afternoon in very different conditions, but our long run pace was good yesterday so that's a reason to be optimistic."

Daniel Ricciardo (10th, 1:27.946): "The conditions were very difficult this afternoon, everything you can think of ‚" wet, damp, greasy, oily‚Ķso we never really got going and we were quite lucky to make it into Q3 as I was never really comfortable or happy with the car on the intermediate tire. I think there was an element of luck with me getting into the top ten today. If it's dry tomorrow, I feel we can move forward up the order as I think that there are a few guys in front of us, who won't have that pace in the dry so I'm definitely hoping the rain holds off tomorrow. However, I am happy that both Toro Rossos are in the top ten, which is a great achievement for the team."

Laurent Mekies, Head of Vehicle Performance: "A bit like Monaco two weeks ago, this was a complicated qualifying session for everyone, especially the drivers. For the engineers on the pit wall it was important to put the cars out on track at the right time, while for the crew in the garage they had to follow carefully the many instructions they were receiving. Overall, things went well, as we got both our cars in Q3 which is a good step forward. Of course, you always want more and we feel we had the potential to do even a bit better in Q3. Nevertheless, these are two very good starting positions for tomorrow, when the weather forecast is for very different conditions and from where we are on the grid, we must be aiming to get a good points haul with both cars."


p>Charles Pic (18th, 1:25.626): "It's been a pretty good day for me. We changed the plan for FP3 when the session was delayed and continued the progress we made yesterday with a decent balance for quali. That worked out well in Q1 as it meant I had a car I could really push with and ending up ahead of a Lotus and both Marussias means we've achieved today's target. I think the race is going to be really interesting. We haven't had any running yet in the sort of temperatures we're expecting for tomorrow so we really don't know too much about how the tires will degrade, but we found a good balance yesterday on the long runs on both dry compounds and we have a lot of sets left so we can maybe try something different with the strategy. Even though this track is tough on wear rates on the tires we've been able to look after them pretty well and that gives us options for the race that we can work on tonight."

Giedo van der Garde (22nd, 1:27.110): "FP3 was good for me, even though it was obviously cut short, but we found a balance for quali on the inters and managed to get a couple of laps in on the supersofts at the end. After a good FP3 quali really didn't go to plan. We went out early on inters, one of the first on track, and the times kept coming down as the dry line started to appear, but it was never right for slicks as it had been at the last race in Monaco. We went onto a new set of inters with a few minutes left but then, on my quickest lap I made a pretty big mistake that cost me about 1.5 seconds, and then on my final lap I had to back off for a yellow flag and that meant I couldn't put in a really representative time. It's a shame as the car felt good and I'm enjoying the circuit, particularly in these sorts of conditions, but we know we have decent race pace so we'll put today behind us and move onto Sunday."


Jules Bianchi (20th, 1:26.508): "It has been a frustrating day as I think we were looking strong yesterday in the dry and in anticipation of a dry race tomorrow. Today was a bit of a wash-out however because, although the rain was not heavy, it was intermittent and the track was quite variable at several different stages of the day. Like most of the field we took a gamble on the track having dried enough by the start of Q1 for us to use the Supersoft tire, but it was so slippery that we were lucky to make it back to the pits to change to the Intermediate. I never got a clean lap as there was the occasional damp patch on the line, so I couldn't get the consistency to improve enough. I hope we can expect the forecast dry race and we can focus on the positives from yesterday."

Max Chilton (21st, 1:27.062): "That was a very tricky qualifying. It wasn't easy to read the track before our first run but it was soon very clear that the Supersoft we had started on was not the way to go. It was like an ice rink! Once we'd switched to the Intermediate tire I had the confidence to start attacking and we were making good progress, but the track was evolving the whole time so everyone was going quicker. On my quickest lap I got blocked but it's good that we start ahead of at least one of the Caterhams tomorrow. I hope we've seen the last of the wet here and we can look forward to a dry race, as things were quite promising yesterday."

John Booth, Team Principal: "The wet conditions made for a difficult day for the Team. FP3 threw up more than the usual challenges with only half an hour of running, however at least both cars got onto the option tire at the end and Max had a particularly good end to the session. Jules didn't quite get the best out of his tires having run wide and onto the damp conditions on the dry tires, however we could see that, in the main, the cars were pretty much as we'd expected them to be after we'd applied our overnight learnings. The Qualifying session was obviously very difficult. We felt it was right to try and use the option tire, however, as with most of the field, we stopped almost immediately for the Intermediate. Whilst there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the timing of our runs, traffic and varying water conditions meant we never got the best from either driver. We're much happier with our performance on dry tires and, although there is still a slight risk of rain tomorrow, it does seem that it is more likely to be dry than today. We look forward to that being the case and making as much progress as we can."


Pos Driver Team Time Behind
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.425s +0.000s
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.512s +0.087s
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m25.897s +0.472s
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.008s +0.583s
5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m26.208s +0.783s
6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.504s +1.079s
7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.543s +1.118s
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m27.348s +1.923s
9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m27.432s +2.007s
10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.946s +2.521s
11. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m29.435s +1.786s
12. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m29.761s +2.112s
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m29.917s +2.268s
14. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.068s +2.419s
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m30.315s +2.666s
16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m30.354s +2.705s
17. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.908s +2.590
18. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m25.626s +3.308
19. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.716s +3.398
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m26.508s +4.190
21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.062s +4.744
22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m27.110s +4.792

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