Vettel storms to Canada pole
Sebastian Vettel did what he does best, leaving it until the last moment to take pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix from Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.
Hamilton - who looked well dialled in to the testing Circuit Gilles Villeneuve all weekend - did his best to wrestle pole from the reigning champion’s grasp but his last-gasp effort left him just .303 seconds adrift of the Red Bull man.
Nico Rosberg starts the race from fifth position ahead of Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean, but there was disappointment for Jenson Button who could only manage tenth quickest after his time had been limited by a gearbox problem that saw him complete only a handful of laps on Friday.
He will have to rely on his renowned tyre management on race day after holding back a set of super softs, but knows he is well capable after his dramatic charge through the field to victory last year.
And seven-time Montreal winner Michael Schumacher looks certain not to make it eight wins here after finishing ninth quickest.
The usual suspects made it safely through Q1, but the end of Q2 saw drama with Button lying tenth and in danger of missing out as Pastor Maldonado rounded the final corner.
But the Venezuelan clipped the Wall of Champions, sending his car into a 360 degree spin into the middle of the track, saving Button’s bacon in the process and demoting him to 17th on the grid.
The big casualty of the session was Kimi Raikkonen, the Lotus man managing only the 12th quickest time after failing to find a good balance on either tyre throughout the weekend.
Red Bull was forced to make further modifications to its car after the FIA were unhappy with slots cut out of the wheel hubs that were used for brake cooling as they deemed it to have an aerodynamic effect.
It comes after the floors on their cars, also with holes cut out, were deemed illegal but Vettel had the last laugh and is in the best possible position to record his second victory of the season.
Lewis Hamilton will have other ideas as he bids to become the seventh different winner in as many races at the scene of his first Formula One victory back in 2007.