Pole star Vettel masters the Montreal gloom As Bottas shines
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  08 Jun 2013   |  8:07 pm GMT  |  221 comments

Sebastian Vettel was able to master the difficult conditions at an overcast and wet Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, taking pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton by a tenth of a second.

But the undoubted star of qualifying was 23 year old Finn Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas was among the front runners throughout all three parts of qualifying, but saved his best for last with a stunning performance in Q3 to leave some big names trailing in his wake.

Meanwhile McLaren, which has owned this Montreal circuit for the past three seasons, had a poor session with Sergio Perez only 12th and Jenson Button 14th after the Englishman mistimed his final run, before the chequered flag fell, by a few seconds.

Following on from some changeable practice sessions throughout the weekend, qualifying offered difficult conditions and although the rain eased at numerous points during the session, it also restarted at times and meant that intermediate tyres were the order of the day thoroughout.

Vettel was on form from the outset and as the session went on the Red Bull became stronger, always looking to be the main contender for pole position. And after an early run in the final shoot out putting him in provisional pole the second set of runs were to be ruined by one final burst of rain at the hairpin and final corner.

That meant that despite many improvements in the first two sectors, there were no overall improvements in lap times in the final three minutes and the top three held their places.

With Red Bull having stronger race pace than Mercedes this weekend Vettel will be hoping to maintain the lead from the start and drive away as Hamilton and Bottas hold up Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso – who complete the top six.

It is Vettel’s 39th career pole position and his third of 2013, meaning that only Vettel and the Mercedes pairing are yet to clinch the top spot in qualifying. And with the German sitting on a comfortable lead in the drivers’ championship, the picture looks rosy for him as we approach one of the more unpredictable races of the season.

“It was very tricky today, especially as you never knew what the conditions were going to be like the next time you went out,” said Vettel. “It was intermediate tyres throughout, but it was extremely difficult to adapt as the conditions were constantly changing.

“I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think we had strong pace yesterday, so no matter what the conditions we should be in decent shape.”

Although long range forecasts for race day have predicted warm, sunny conditions, during Saturday that was revised with many teams now suggesting conditions could be similar to qualifying.

The Mercedes pairing of Hamilton and Rosberg and the sister Red Bull of Webber were the only other real challengers for pole during the session, but hitting the track at the right moment was paramount as was having a new set of intermediate tyres to use at the decisive moment.

Hamilton ended a sequence of three races qualifying behind Rosberg. He will start in second place for the third consecutive race, giving him his fourth front-row start in the past five races.

Bottas and Williams got it all lined up perfectly for much of the session; making sure that the Finn in only his seventh F1 weekend would not find himself sat in the pits as the rest of the field improved. The result gives him the best qualifying position of his brief Formula One career and hands Williams their first top ten start of the season.

Alonso was unable to match the pace that he showed yesterday and could have difficulty cutting the points gap between Vettel and himself tomorrow. Alonso and Ferrari had been hoping for a dry qualifying session due to their kindness to the tyres and the ability to not have them overheat too quickly. This was also true for Lotus and Kimi Raikkonen who struggled to generate tyre temperature in the Lotus and wound up in ninth place. Team mate Romain Grosjean fared even worse. Already carrying a 10 place grid penalty for his accident with Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco, the Frenchman was eliminated in Q1, along with Paul di Resta.

Qualifying 1
The teams headed out for Q1 initially on super softs in the hope of completing some rare dry laps around the circuit. But with rain falling the track necessitated the use of the intermediate tyre and the whole field were promptly back out.

With the track improving it was set to be a session based on the latest possible lap. And many pursued this route as they tried to make late movements up the field, including Di Resta and Grosjean. The loss of time occurred through a number of factors. Firstly the rain was very sporadic and turned itself on and off like a light switch, however the cars limited the amount of water on the track and the drier parts of the track began to chew up the intermediate tyre.

Secondly, and a paradox to above, the more wet parts of the track that offered minimal grip became more wet and hampered any progression in lap times. Di Resta and Grosjean consequently could not improve and found themselves out of qualifying at the earliest stage. Grosjean has to take a ten-place grid penalty following his crash with Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco and will therefore start from last should there be no penalties from now.

Qualifying 2
The rain continued until the second phase of qualifying and the cars were immediately seven seconds off their previous pace. This time the track showed little improvement and finding space on the track between the intermittent showers was key.

With two minutes remaining of the session Felipe Massa crashed under-braking at Turn three and brought out the red flag for the third time in two race weekends.

Following the red flag stoppage there was a battle for track position as the scrap for the final top ten shoot out began and with each driver looking to find space in which to complete their final flying lap some were unable to cross the line before the chequered flag was dropped.

The main casualty of this was Jenson Button, who saw the lights change to red as he was just metres away from the finish line. He was therefore unable to improve on his fourteenth position and finds himself in the dangerous midfield heading in to Montreal’s tight first pair of corners.

CANADIAN GRAND PRIX, Montreal, Qualifying
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m25.425s
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.512s + 0.087s
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m25.897s + 0.472s
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.008s + 0.583s
5. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m26.208s + 0.783s
6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.504s + 1.079s
7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m26.543s + 1.118s
8. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m27.348s + 1.923s
9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m27.432s + 2.007s
10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m27.946s + 2.521s
11. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m29.435s + 1.786s
12. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m29.761s + 2.112s
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m29.917s + 2.268s
14. Jenson Button McLaren 1m30.068s + 2.419s
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m30.315s + 2.666s
16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m30.354s + 2.705s
17. Paul di Resta Force India 1m24.908s + 2.590
18. Charles Pic Caterham 1m25.626s + 3.308
19. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m25.716s + 3.398
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m26.508s + 4.190
21. Max Chilton Marussia 1m27.062s + 4.744
22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m27.110s + 4.792

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I’m expecting a Grosjean podium in Montreal.

The weather here, seems to be warming.

I expect two stops optimum for Lotus.

I favour an aggressive strategy; so several teams, should they follow this approach, I expect them to, will be on planned three-stops, Alonso, Vettel, and Lewis; Kimi may be able to go aggressive with an optional strategy, and get away with two stops.

Tornillo Amarillo

Bottas has qualified extraordinary here in Canada, so he has to expect to be shown the boot by Williams at the end of this season (ask Hulkenberg 🙂


Hi James

Slightly off the above topic I know but relevant to recent events and probably forthcoming ones.

Yesterday Christian Horner confirmed that they had been approached by Pirelli to test and they had refused. That in itself is not that surprising although it must have added to Pirelli’s frustration and ability to resolve an obvious and high profile issue when Red Bull was screaming the loudest that there was a problem.

What I found very interesting was when CH was pressed on what Mercedes could have learned in the test he said (I Think) that they found that if the turned the tyre around it reduced wear.

Did I hear him correctly. Is this the Ply Steer effect that Gary Anderson referred to on the Good Years which was resolved at the Canada GP in 1997? The effect is fully described by GA on the BBC F1 web-site.

Have Mercedes adopted this different method of fitting. Presumably they and others would need Pirelli approval. If it has, have other teams including Red Bull discovered this and are, or are going to adopt it.

Thanks for all of the insights into the wonderful and complex world of F1.

regards Sid

Alexander Supertramp

James, what’s the deal with both STR’s in q3? Vergne often strugles to get into q2, but everytime we have this type of conditions he somehow shines.


It’s all about getting temperature into the tyres in conditions like that.

STR did that yesterday


Great quali by Seb..he is only getting better and that’s something truly scary in the car and team he’s in ! I don’t think people should read too much into Hamiltons performance and he’s brake issues etc. obviously it’s a circuit he really likes and has much success on and in wet conditions the extreme limits of the brake pedal are not the same..but it also shows what a tremendously adaptable driver he is.

Im really pleased for Bottas – I have been rapping this guy since he entered F1 and its clear that Finns seem to be a straight forward bunch never taking praise too easily.Claire Williams said that he is a future star and I hope he gets more chances to shine is a struggling car !


Nice and most wellcome suprise to see Bottas in P3. Finally a new face. It was getting boring and too predictable.

Does Massa´s car have some kind of magnetic force that drags it to the fence? Does anyone know why he had another crash?

And after Kimi´s penalty he is starting in P10 and Perez in P12. Those two are way too close to each other. I´m scared


Felipe said he braked on a painted line in turn 3( think) and slid. He acknowledged it was his fault and he was really frustrated.Very easy for the best to do- even in those conditions!

Kimi has too much to loose on Perez so he will just try to gap him real quick. Sergio is a complete banana of that Im now sure- I can really understand someone punching him in the face. He has the gall to keep opening his mouth and say he would do it again – when anyone with any sense can see its just not on. I just hope he doesn’t hurt someone or take out another contender..right now Im not sure I care if he hurts himself with his arrogant rhetoric.

Tornillo Amarillo

Talking about Perez and Raikkonen, people continue to talk who to blame for the Monaco incident. For me Kimi was in fault.

GP247 said:

“…Villeneuve thinks that it is Raikkonen who should have been punished for the Monaco accident.”

“He clearly closed the door because he knew what was going to [be overtaken],” said the French-Canadian.

“But of course everyone likes [Raikkonen], everything is ok,” Villeneuve added.

“He says something and everyone in the press room laughs, even if it’s bad. I don’t understand that.”



It seems to me that most of the drivers, particularly in the top 10 will have now done at least one run on all of their intermediate tyres, with some sets not usable at all. If the race is run in similar conditions as qualifying there will be some major issues with lack of inters. James, do you have any data on sets of tyres and how much they have been used so far or does anyone know of a good source for this?


Whats shames this weekend is when you have Mercedes getting away with secret tire tests… you have lesser teams (negotiating with FIA & Stewards)paying heavy price of two grid penalty each for silly infringement.

Well, either F1 only will tolerate capital murder and not an minor assault of rules.

Or, as Hamilton would put it: Kimi was penalised coz’ he’s Black 😀


Very sad to see Massa making errors in the last two races. It must affect his confidence for the remainder of the season, which i think will be his last year with Ferrari. They can’t afford to keep him and lose any hope of the constructors from the outset.

In a dry race, with safety car not unnecessarily affecting the out come, Alonso will come sailing through to win the race. The Ferrari is mighty fast and there is no place to hide on the long back straight for Mercedes with their tyre problems. R ed Bull don’t nearly have the long run pace to live with Alonso either. The only challenge on a dry track was going to be Raikkonen and he starts 10th after his penalty.

Great job by Bottas. Even if it’s only qualifying, and he will go backwards in the race, its really good to see Williams back near the front where they belong. A point or two would be awesome.

Di Resta, well he needs to zip it really. He should be discussing things with his team behind closed doors and not slamming them publicly.


Well done Vettel and Hamilton!

The true star of the day was Bottas showing some real talent for Williams.

I have to agree with others that DiResta sounds like a guy with a back up plan. If not he has got to figure out how to complain in private. I am sure the team is trying. That doesn’t mean they are the best or have the budget to practice pit stops or what not. Heck even the largest budget teams have made huge unforced errors this year and last (Mclaren and Ferrari).

James a little off topic but I have been wondering why you guys manually vet every post instead of using Disqus or something and only moderating as needed. Is it an EU reg thing or just a personal preference? I have noticed a few F1 sites do this.


Quality control


Well good for you, this is the highest quality site I go. There are baseball sites that have good content but I don’t go there because there is so much rudeness.

You don’t have to post this.


It can’t be a small task vetting all comments James, just curious how many people you have helping out on your (fantastic) site? & do you need any volunteers?


“It is Vettel’s 39th career pole position and his third of 2013, meaning that only Vettel and the Mercedes pairing are yet to clinch the top spot in qualifying.”

Without meaning to be mean, I do not think that means what you think it means but I know what you mean. 😉


the picture of Bottas and Vettel together. Perfect selection. That’s like the Matt Parker and Trey Stone version of Rush.


i mean Matt Stone and Trey Parker, of course.


vettel has been on pole three times this season and all in wet conditions. One has to acknowledge it is due to superb driving skills rather than car itself.



Tornillo Amarillo

For Lewis fourth front-row start in five races is amazing with a new car-team.

Finally it seems the brake problem is let behind and I’m very glad in such a case.


hi james, I no its a silly question, but if its dry tomorrow, are the teams allowed to put slicks on?if its damp can they take a chance and also choose slicks?

and why don’t you think lewis can win tomorrow?

I think if its dry he has a great chance,hes nothing to lose and may get vettel at the start.

with the cooler temperatures, the tyres might be an issue.

you might see the old lewis back tomorrow.


Yes, everyone has new slick tyres to work with for the race.

As long as they use both compounds it doesn’t matter how they use them


Hamilton to get past vettel within 5 laps. The good early tyre temp and mercedes power VS redbulls lack of top end speed. (In any weather)


Well done to the top three.

Amazing job by Bottas, look forward to seeing more of it 🙂


This was a great qualy. Vettel seemed dominant. How many poles did he win in the wet so far? Goferet? 🙂

Great job also by Hamliton, he was sooo close. And big respect for Bottas, I didn’ see that one coming, I guess nobody did.

Penalty for Raikkonen? He sure doesn’t need this if he want’s to fight Seb and Fernando for the title… Too bad.

Tomorrow anything can happen, though… It’s Montreal.

But I hope Vettel gets his 1st win here 🙂


The Regenmeister is dead, long live the Regenmeister


I think if it’s dry, then it’s Vettel’s to lose. Everyone will have fresh slicks. If it’s intermediate wet, then he could be in trouble, b/c he said that they’d used each of their 4 sets of inters. Though everyone else in Q3 would’ve used at least 3 sets as well.


Monza 2008 was the first..


Yes, but this is the only one that comes to mind…


@Miha Bevc @goferet Also Spa 2011.


@ Mila Bevc

Yes there’s Monza 2008 and then also this year Vettel has added to his tally of wet poles including Australian 2013, and Malaysia 2013


Oh, this one worked. Cool 🙂


well done to vettel,lewis and bottas.

and apparently lewis had C.I brakes in aus,but because they put too much heat out,he had to go back to using brembo.

but they had been working on the brakes for canada,and this is the first time he has used C.I brakes since aus.

and apparently they will be bringing an update to silverstone for the C.I braking system.

if that is true,it explains why lewis looked more like his old self.


We relly need to iron out what the facts are on that story. Contradicting stories abound.


yes ,watch him fly now,he wont need redbull to give him wings.

I think he is more one with the car now,

if I was him I wouldnt of said anything,

let people think he is still slow.

don’t think ill get brembo breaks for my car now, ha ha

I bet he loses tomorrow now


Bit early to say that, Canada is Lewis’s best track arguably, if Lewis got out qualified here by nico I would have been shocked lets see how the next few races go

Alexander Supertramp

Outqualified Nico by half a second.. It’s one qualy session, he will need to confirm.


James I wouldn’t put pole all down to Vettel, I think the Red Bull is the best car overall but that particularly in mixed conditions its grip is especially strong. Webber would have challenged had he not been held up behind Button when the flag came down costing him the last lap.

I’d love it if you could ask Domenicali if he has his “We will focus on Qualifying” speech prepared for the next race yet, or if he’ll just use the same one from the last 4 races? The focusing does not work Stefano. Maybe you should focus on the fact that Massa has been unable to find qualy pace in the last couple of races. Why does Massa even have a Ferrari drive when guys like Hulkenberg and Sutil are pushing shopping carts. I like the guy but come on. As for tomorrow I’m predicting a winner outside the top 4 on the starting grid…


“Webber would have challenged”

Yeah, right *chuckles*


Button wasn’t in Q3, and no one improved in the second part of Q3, all losing at least half a second at the last corner. Webber made it through the other sessions comfortably.


Vettel seems to have a soft spot for Finns. 😀

Anyway, good job Vettel and Bottas.

Looking forward to the race.


What a great qualifying session. Congratulations to Bottas to get a great time early on in Q3. He is really showing up his more experienced teammate. Conditions thereafter deteriorated and nobody was able to improve.

Pirelli 1 Champiomnship

It is looking like 2012 all over again, but Ferrari and RBR traded places. Meaning, Ferrari is the faster car but they have bad luck/bad management while Vettel is getting everything right with the slower car.

Even the wet performance of RBR in 2013 is similar to Ferrari’s in 2012.

Nice to see a session without the tyres dominating F1. Nice one Bottas.


the Ferrari is not the faster car this year,this year is nothing like last year.

the season is not over ,there is 13 races to go.

don’t count out lewis,a few wins,help from nico, you never know.

one dnf for vettel and its wide open again.

if Mercedes have shorted the race tyre wear,they can win any race.

that’s why redbull are crying cause they no , there says faster.

ross brawn is no mug,he no’s what his doing.

lewis is getting to no the car now, everyone has to be aware.

he is still the best driver in F1.


Fastest car in qualifying is a dog in races thus far. The Ferrari has been the fastest race car, as in it can go fast as well as prolong tyre stints. Without mistakes, or if Ferrari were to ge believed, bad luck, Alonso could have been on the podium at all races bar Monaco, giving him the WDC lead.


Mhilgtx, this is not my analysis, they themselves have said this, as well as many journalists and experts. I am not saying they would have got those podiums, I’m saying they had the pace to get them.


You make a ton of leaps to conclusions about where Ferrari could have been without mistakes.

Racing at the highest level is all about not making the fewest mistakes. We are talking about tenths of a second over 3 KM.

As far as if Ferrari had not made a mistake, there is a country (as in rural not France)saying:

“If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his (arse) when hopped”


RBR v Ferrari Qualy

Australia: Vettel 1st v Alonso 5th

Malaysia: Vettel 1st v Alonso 3rd

China: Vettel 9th(didnt run in Q3) v Alonso 3rd

Bahrain: Vettel 2nd v Alonso 3rd

Spain: Vettel 3rd v Alonso 5th

Monaco: Vettel 3rd v Alonso 6th

Canada: Vettel 1st v Alonso 6th

So how did you come to the idea the Ferrari is faster than the RedBull? The race pace is better due to the tyre wear, but that was only in China.

You’re entitled to your opinion, so I respect that, but don’t agree with it.


Ferrari’s tyres lasted better in Australia, China and Spain. We don’t know about Malaysia, the Red Bulls were marginal. Alonso could have beaten at least RoGro, maybe Kimi in Bahrain without mechanical failings.


If this email account is active your comments will continue to pass moderation

If not they will all be deleted.

Thank You.

Jesse Charlebois

Grow up? Your bias is obvious by your “name”. I hate to break it to you but tyres being the only part of an f1 car to touch the ground have always been a factor in f1. Whether it was the super strong and long “no change” tyres of a few years ago. Or how about the Austrian gp that Bridgestone almost won against the mighty Goodyear because they came up with the right formula. Goodyear vs Bridgestone, Bridgestone vs Michelin and many others. These last three years have been a golden age of f1 in terms of competition, performance and excitement. There are some classic races playing on sky today one race the top three finished the Canadiangp of 1995 with 30 second gaps between each of the top three. When was the last time that happened in this era? I for one am glad at a close fought and competitive championship and thank the tyres for doing a good job!

Pirelli 1 Championship

Touchy touchy about me mentioning your censorship when it concerns the British bias? Grow up.


To back up All-revved up I have only had one thing deleted by James and I knew it might be so I posted it seperately from my main post so that it could be easily moderated.

With that said I have been pretty outspoken about many different topics and James and his crew have been extremely fair.

All revved-up

Not that James or this forum needs any defending.

But I’ve had my politically incorrect jokes censored, and I don’t have a problem with that. It’s the prerogative of a forum creator and moderator to create a certain atmosphere or theme in his forum, to differentiate it from the many other forums on the web.

I’m not British, but I’ve not sensed a British bias. If there is any bias, it’s because the language on this forum is English and hence attracts a high proportion of commentators who only get their knowledge and information from the English language world.

This type of bias is not unique to this forum, but is found in all communities – whether online or bricks and mortar.

I’m from Asia, and I can see this bias in other language communities as well.

Sorry to go off topic. Back to F1.


No, there is no censorship or bias.

Review the 80,000 comments we had in the last year and you will see that it’s a broad church,. I couldn’t care less what nationality anyone is.

We just don’t like comments coming from people who hide behind false emails and they will not pass any more if we can help it.

Stephen Taylor

Well done Bottas.


its the 1st time I have ever saw bottas face.never seem him before.

he did well,but the rain made quali a lottery.

grosean is starting 29th ha,

so who think its time for him to go?

Stephen Taylor

It’s going to be hard for Grosjean to start 29th as their are only 22 cars on the grid . However I agree with you that he should leave f1 and get Valsecchi in until the end of the season then get Hulk for 2014.


29th was a joke(grojean said it),least he has gained 7 places.

kimi should take under him wing(not of this car).the speed is there,just needs an old head to guide him.


He brings some sponsorship money with him, so that is a consideration for Lotus as the team would presumably lose that.

Grosjean has possibly had a chassis issue for much of the season so it might be a mitigating factor. Monaco was one really bad weekend – he showed more speed than Kimi when not crashing.

Grosjean badly needs to nail a few overtaking moves like the one he made on Hamilton in Valencia. I’d give him until the summer break.

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