Canada: Free Practice 3 & Qualifying

Free Practice 3:

  • Ferrari: Both push hard and it’s plain to see that the supersoft tyres are working a treat for them.
  • Force India: Sutil gets ahead of di Resta, who is still getting to grips with a circuit he’s never visited before.
  • Hispania: An indication of an improvement in pace as Karthikeyan gets ahad of d’Ambrosio, and Liuzzi ahead of Glock.
  • Lotus: Both cars cruise ahead of their closest competition of Virgin and Hispania.
  • McLaren: Button had brake problems but these were soon fixed and both drivers finished the session close together.
  • Mercedes: Rosberg sets the early pace benchmark, and keeps punching them in to mix it up with Vettel and Ferrari. Whether they can translate this pace to Sunday remains to be seen.
  • Red Bull: More KERS issues for Webber and he spends all of him time away from the garage (and cameras) as the team push to get the battery problem fixed. Vettel didn’t everything his own way as Rosberg kept chipping away at the times he was setting. 1/3 less power (40kw) than Mercedes (60kw) and Ferrari, the idea behind it was to save on weight and gain on aerodynamics.
  • Renault: Good times for both guys early on, with Heidfeld matching Alonso.
  • Sauber: De la Rosa gets out for a full session, but as the last few seconds count down he comes a cropper at the 3/4 chicane. Looking at the back of his car, it seems this might not have been just a driver error.
  • Toro-Rosso: Buemi questioning the pressure set up for his tyres, saying they are doing ‘something wrong’ as when he pushes he loses the car. Alguersuari does his best lawnmower impression as he cuts the chicane, no doubt in response to the mounting pressure to perform.
  • Williams: Maldonado out paced Barrichello significantly
  • Virgin: Glock has a moment at the Wall of Champions, but manages to avoid destruction.

Top FP3 times:

Position Driver Team Time
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:13.381
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.701
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:13.919

Read: Full FP3 Results

Qualifying:

Pedro de la Rosa remains in place for Sergio Perez who is sitting out for the weekend, exhibiting great maturity that belies his tender years. Taking the decision upon himself he informed his team, opening the door for another to take his place. In this situation it usually falls to the reserve driver to take up the mantle, however Esteban Gutierrez was absent from Canada and McLaren reserve de la Rosa was asked. Understandably disappointed, Gutierrez tweeted that he would have been ready to fill in for fellow countryman Perez if he had been brought to the circuit, and the day was made much worse when he found out via twitter.

Q1

All is right with Webber’s KERS system now according to the team, and without the benefit of the morning’s session he’ll be wanting to make his presence known. The pressure is also on down at the sister team, Toro Rosso, with Alguersuari’s seat seemingly vulnerable it was down to him to prove himself. However the pressure to perform combined with an troublesome car saw him be the fastest of the bottom 7. Vettel and Alonso keep knocking chunks off the time and edge closer to Barrichello’s lap record, surely the first record to go this yeat at some point. De la Rosa gets the option tyre on to gain experience, but slams it into a wall and bumps along with explosive results. He stays the course and leaves nothing more than a rubber autograph behind. The quick times dump 2 drivers in the 107% zone, Karthikeyan manages to escape it. Trulli outqualifies Kovalainen for the first time this season, but neither get into Q2.

Out in Q1 are: ALG, TRU, KOV, LIU, GLO, KAR, DAM, but d’Ambrosio is outside the 107% rule. (The stewards have allowed him to race a he was using a new chassis)

Q2

Webber starts off well, but it’s only a matter of time before someone streaks ahead in the form of his team mate, who claims the lap record, but only for a moment as Massa goes top. A great showing from a driver with questions above his head, and further proof that these Ferrrari’s prefer the softer compound, they’ll be hoping for a dry race. Mercedes aren’t putting in the times they promised in free practice, but it’s only the next session that’ll count. McLaren also seem to be struggling to get the power down in a circuit they have dominated in the last 3 years with Hamilton. Although out in this session, di Resta and Maldonado both outqualify their more experienced team mates.

Out in Q2 are: DIR, MAL, KOB, SUT, BUE, BAR, DLR

Q3

Vettel just keeps going quicker and quicker as he bashes in another fastest lap, as this is one of two tracks everyone considers to be a serious Red Bull weakness it’s not looking good for anyone else. Again. The Ferrari duo are the only ones coming close to Vettel, with Alonso just squeezing out Massa on his last lap. Rumours are abound that McLaren are running a wet weather set up in response to the forecasts for the race, but they suffer and can’t get further than the 3rd row. Webber without KERS scoops up 4th, a last dash by Mercedes surrounds Button and Renault rounds out the top 10.

Top Qualifying times:

Position Driver Team Time
1 Sebastain Vettel Red Bull 1:13.014
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.199
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:13.217

Read: Full Qualifying Results

Photo credit: Mark Thompson/ Getty Images

1:13.014

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