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Qualifying analysis - Vettel the tyre tamer 09 Jun 2012

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW34.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula One Team and Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team.,
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012

Casting aside talk of illegal floors and wheel hubs, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel looked serene in his progress to pole position in Montreal on Saturday, with McLaren and Ferrari powerless to halt the world champion’s charge. We take a team-by-team look at the pre-race form book in Canada…

Red Bull
Sebastien Vettel, 1m 13.784s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 14.346s, P4

Vettel said that they’d learned a couple of tricks in the last two races which helped him to get his Red Bull’s tyres working well throughout Q1, Q2, and Q3, and was delighted with the way his day went. Webber was less happy, running almost six-tenths slower. He said he never really got the confidence he needed in the car, and was thus surprised to be so high up.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 14.087s, P2
Jenson Button, 1m 15.182s, P10

Hamilton said he was fortunate to have a new set of super-soft tyres left for Q3 which helped him to get ahead of Alonso, but admitted that switching them on properly was still a big problem. Like Webber, he said he was surprised to qualify so well. Button ran on prime tyres initially, figured he was unlikely to get better than ninth or 10th, so opted to sit it out after that and conserve tyres for what will be a long and hot race.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 14.151s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 14.465s, P6

Alonso said he was extremely happy with the way the updates have made the Ferrari behave, and was very comfortable with third on the grid. Massa was relieved that his Monaco form carried over and now believes he’s made the breakthrough he’s been looking for. That didn’t stop him being angry with himself for pushing the car a little too hard and creating some time-consuming oversteer on his best lap.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, 1m 14.411ss, P5
Michael Schumacher, 1m 14.812s, P9

Rosberg missed all of FP3 after a fuel connector problem arose on his out lap, but still managed a solid fifth on the grid. Schumacher had expected to be there with him, but somehow the team contrived not to get him a second lap on his second set of super-softs, so he had to be content with ninth.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, 1m 14.645s, P7
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 14.734s, P12

Lotus had hoped for more than seventh, but they’ve had a mixed weekend thus far. The E20 certainly came to life better in the higher temperatures, which bodes well for the race which will be hotter still. Grosjean got the job done but felt he might have been quicker still, while Raikkonen struggled with a recalcitrant differential which upset his handling.

Force India
Paul di Resta, 1m 14.705s, P8
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 14.748s, P13

Di Resta was very happy to show the performance of the Force India, even if he did think he lost a few tenths being over-committed in the chicanes on his final Q3 run. Hulkenberg was very strong in Q1 and Q2 but lost out when he caught a yellow flag after Kobayashi slid off and had to abort a good lap.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 14.688s, P11
Sergio Perez, 1m 15.156s, P15

Kobayashi went off in Turn 1 at the start of Q1 but recovered well. Sauber lost some pace as the temperature went up, but the Japanese driver was desperately unlucky to miss Q3 by 0.008s. Perez screwed up by flat-spotting his tyres in Turn 8 and said that thereafter he could hardly see as they were vibrating so much under heavy braking that he couldn’t better 15th fastest time.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 15.078s, P14
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 16.602s, P20

Ricciardo thought he probably got the best from his STR7 but Vergne was very unhappy after his snafu in FP3 cost him crucial track time. He struggled to get the best from his car in Q1, and said that it felt totally different to FP2 due to the changed weather conditions.

Williams
Bruno Senna, 1m 15.170s, P16
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 15.231s, P17

Both drivers had moments when they looked very quick but Senna said that the track evolution caught them out and robbed the FW34 of grip by Q2. Maldonado had set the best first sector time on his last run in Q2 and had a crack at the top 10 until he got the tail out exiting Turn 14, clobbered the right rear against the ‘Champions’ Wall’, then spun 360 degrees counter-clockwise.

Caterham
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 16.263s, P18
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 16.482s, P19

Kovalainen was generally quite happy with his qualifying. He made a small mistake on his best lap which he thought cost him about three-tenths, but said it didn’t matter as it wouldn’t have affected his grid position. Petrov was less happy, believing that he could have beaten his team mate but for the adverse effect that the rise in track and ambient temperatures had on his CT01’s handling.

HRT
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 17.492s, P21
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m 18.330s, P24

De la Rosa’s excellent form continued right through to qualifying as he beat the Marussias to take 21st place. Karthikeyan was less fortunate and said that traffic and a small mistake hampered him.

Marussia
Timo Glock, 1m 17.901s, P22
Charles Pic, 1m 18.255s, P23

Marussia had a tough time on a track that does not suit their MR-01. Glock said that he made a small mistake and had to slow down at the chicane to avoid a car ahead, but that he had had expected to struggle here. Pic said his focus was mainly on learning a new track and staying out of trouble.

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