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Qualifying - Vettel on pole as Bottas stars in rain-hit Canada 08 Jun 2013

(L to R): Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams, pole sitter Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 For the second Grand Prix weekend in a row, Felipe Massa sends his Ferrari crunching into the barriers after he gets caught out by the slippery conditions Pirelli slick tyres.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position for the Formula 1 Grand Prix Du Canada 2013 after a qualifying session in which the track steadfastly refused to dry out after rain at lunchtime.

Vettel will be joined on the front row by a revitalised Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes, with surprise-of-the session Valtteri Bottas placing his Williams third ahead of Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes.

It had begun raining at five minutes to one, but the brave all attempted to get away with supersoft tyres for a lap when Q1 began. Kimi Raikkonen slid his Lotus straight over the grass at Turn 2, while Max Chilton spun his Marussia at the hairpin. Everyone came in for intermediates.

Just as it had been in practice, the session was one of rapid-fire improvements as conditions slowly improved and a drying line emerged. In the end Vettel was fastest with 1m 22.318s, almost a second ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, with Mark Webber in the other Red Bull, the surprising Bottas, Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari, Hamilton and Rosberg next up.

Further back it was a disaster for Force India’s Paul di Resta and Lotus’s Romain Grosjean. The Scot was left 17th on 1m 24.908s, the Frenchman 1m 25.716s, leaving them 17th and 19th with Caterham’s Charles Pic sitting between them on 1m 25.626s. Jules Bianchi was 20th for Marussia with 1m 26.508s, with team mate Chilton taking 21st on 1m 27.062s ahead of Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde on 1m 27.110s.

With Grosjean’s 10-place grid penalty after his collision with Ricciardo at the last round in Monaco to be taken into consideration, the back two rows will be occupied by Bianchi in 19th, Chilton in 20th, Van der Garde in 21st and the disappointed Grosjean bringing up the rear in 22nd.

Conditions deteriorated for Q2, which was stopped with a red flag with 1m 59s to go when Massa got Turn 3 wrong and broadsided into the tyre wall. At that stage Webber was fastest on 1m 28.145s by fractions from Vettel, with Bottas, Rosberg, Alonso, Raikkonen, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, Hamilton, McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg temporarily through to Q3.

When the session was restarted at 13.47 there was a fight not unlike the first lap of a race as everyone tried to make it back round in time to record single flying laps. Hamilton did it best, jumping to first place with 1m 27.649s, as Vergne came up to a great fifth and Sutil to ninth. It was a disaster for McLaren. Hulkenberg fell to 11th for Sauber with 1m 29.435s, with Perez 12th on 1m 29.761s, Pastor Maldonado on 1m 29.917s for Williams, Jenson Button 14th in the second McLaren on 1m 30.068s, then Esteban Gutierrez on 1m 30.315s in the second Sauber from Massa on 1m 30.354s.

So it all came down to Q3, as the conditions showed little sign of significant improvement. Intermediates remained the order of the day. And in the end, it all came down to what each driver managed in their first runs, as they never got the tyre temperatures in the crucial final sector once they had switched to new intermediates for their second.

That left Vettel fastest with 1m 25.425s, but just as it seemed Hamilton was on course to beat that the Englishman missed the turn-in to the final corner and the time went away, leaving him second on 1m 25.512s. Bottas’s excellent 1m 25.897s left him third, with Rosberg out-qualified here for the first time by a team mate fourth on 1m 26.008s.

Webber went autocrossing on his first flyer and thus had to be content with fifth place on 1m 26.208s, while Alonso also had some adventures and was only sixth on 1m 26.504s.

Vergne did an excellent job for Toro Rosso to take seventh with 1m 26.543s, and he shares row four with Sutil who posted 1m 27.348s for Force India. A disappointed Raikkonen couldn’t wring better than 1m 27.432s from his Lotus and shares row five with Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, who managed 1m 27.946s.

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