On the 30th anniversary of Gilles Villeneuve’s death, his namesake circuit bore witness to an incredibile pole lap from the German Wunderkid, Sebastian Vettel.  The double world champion stunned the paddock in Canada by getting his Red Bull into the 1m13s, almost 3 tenths quicker than Lewis Hamilton – the Montreal specialist.

Photo: Red Bull Media

Q1 began with Jean-Eric Vergne following his morning crash with a poor effort in quali, dropping in behind both the Caterhams.  Pedro De La Rosa continues to impress, managing to go 0.4 seconds quicker than Timo Glock! And, with less than a second separated the top 17 in Q1, we were shown again how close the performance of these cars is this year.

Thanks to Maldonado, Button managed to squeak into Q3.  The unhinged Venezuelan had gone purple in Q2 before – not for the first time this year – he lost control of the car.

Since moving to McLaren Jenson has been keen to point out that Hamilton has always annihilated him over one hot lap at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, so maybe we shouldn’t read too much into Jenson’s poor 10th place effort.  After all, he missed out on all of FP1, and almost all of FP2.

Michael Schumacher was bullish going into this qualifying session. After enduring F1 in the early 00s, I always extract pleasure from Michael getting his predictions wrong, as he came in 9th.  This was surprising considering the “double” DRS that Mercedes has at its disposable.

Overall, a good qualifying session entertainment-wise, although for a time yours truly had to endure Jonathan Legard’s sit-in at 5 Live.  I found it difficult, in all honesty, to trust what he was describing…

Canadian Grand Prix – Qualifying

1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault 1m13.784s
2. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes  + 0.303
3. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari  + 0.367
4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault + 0.562
5. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes  + 0.627
6. Felipe Massa, Ferrari  + 0.681
7. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault + 0.861
8. Paul di Resta, Force India-Mercedes  + 0.921
9. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes  + 1.028
10. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes  + 1.398

Q2 cut-off time: 1m14.680s

11. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari  + 0.501
12. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault  + 0.547
13. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes + 0.561
14. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso-Ferrari  + 0.891
15. Sergio Perez, Sauber-Ferrari  + 0.969
16. Bruno Senna, Williams-Renault  + 0.983
17. Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault  + 1.044

Q1 cut-off time: 1m15.552s 

18. Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault  + 1.602
19. Vitaly Petrov, Caterham-Renault  + 1.821
20. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari  + 1.941
21. Pedro de la Rosa, HRT-Cosworth + 2.831
22. Timo Glock, Marussia-Cosworth  + 3.240
23. Charles Pic, Marussia-Cosworth + 3.594
24. Narain Karthikeyan, HRT-Cosworth  + 3.669

Photo: Red Bull Media