MONTREAL – Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position for the Formula One Grand Prix Du Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 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 before 1 p.m., but all the drivers attempted to get away with supersoft tires for a lap when Q1 began. Kimi Raikkonen slid his Lotus straight over the grass at turn two, while Max Chilton spun his Marussia at the hairpin. At that point 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 1:22.318, 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 1:24.908, the Frenchman 1:25.716, leaving them 17th and 19th with Caterham’s Charles Pic sitting between them at 1:25.626. Jules Bianchi was 20th for Marussia, with teammate Chilton taking 21st ahead of Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde.
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.