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Canada 2013 - Qualifying highlights // On and off rain makes it a challenging but fascinating fight for pole

Published by Christine

Valtteri Bottas making the most of the tools at his disposal
Credit: Steven Tee/Williams F1

With a shortened free practice, the teams may have been underprepared going into qualifying, but the weather made it all the more of a challenge. With the rain coming and going, the track surface drying in places and staying wet under the trees, it was mostly a day for intermediate tyres, and for getting the most out of the rubber as conditions continued to change.

Some surprising names dropped out early, and we even saw a familiar face head towards the barriers. Pole position was fought for between Red Bull and Mercedes, whilst there was a surprise in store for the second row of the grid. If you missed any of the action, relive qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix with these minute by minute highlights.

As it happened: Canada 2013 - Qualifying

  • 17:30

    Hello and welcome to the Factbyte Factbox for qualifying, it's Canada!

  • 17:31

    So far, it's been a very scrappy weekend. FP1 was wet, wet, wet. FP2 better. FP3 was shortened to just half an hour as the barriers were repaired.

  • 17:31

    What is qualifying going to hold in store?

  • 17:31

    So far, it looks overcast and cold at the track, but not raining at the moment.

  • 17:33

    Keep your eyes peeled for the medium and supersoft compounds in action this weekend, where they are not replaced by intermediates (green sidewalls) and full wets (blue).

  • 17:36

    The times aren't all that representative, Alonso's FP2 was the most realistic benchmark so far this weekend.

    Fastest Session Times
    Free Practice 1P Di Resta1:21.020
    Free Practice 2F Alonso1:14.818
    Free Practice 3M Webber1:17.895
  • 17:36

    Last year's pole position was a 1:13.784 for Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.

  • 17:43

    QuoteInterview with Martin Whitmarsh: "We're always optimistic, I always think we can be up there. I think we made a bit of progress, this is an unusual circuit and we're in unusual conditions... I don't think you can read too much into what we've done this weekend. We're working hard, bringing more developments to Silverstone, we're not where we want to be... we're working very hard to be as competitive as we can there."

  • 17:44

    Whitmarsh hedges his bets when predicting pole position, Alonso or Vettel - they're two "smart cookies."

  • 17:45

    TweetTweet from @radarguruf1: #F1 radar update: line of drizzly showers clearing east, away from #Montreal. Continuing to dry slowly during quali

  • 17:51

    Just ten minutes to go, time to make your call on who you think will be on pole position. Final preparations going on in the garages.

  • 17:51

    Lots of eyes on the skies, as rain hovers in the air and the wind gets a bit blustery.

  • 17:53

    Webber looks calm and relaxed as he studies some data screens. Button's having a good chat with his engineer. Caterham are entertaining James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence.

  • 17:56

    The track looks reasonably dry, with just a few damp patches scattered around the surface. The crowd have their ponchos on, but it's not hammering it down yet.

  • 17:57

    Team radioTeam radio between Giedo and his engineer: "It's raining again."

    "It's not clear how long it's going to last, we need to devise a strategy, just bear with us."

  • 17:57

    Weather

    16°C

    Track17°C
    Humidity85%
    Wind speed2.5mps
  • 17:59

    Alonso is tucked up in his car, watching the screens with live timing, plus a small window with the world feed on - which shows him watching a screen, etc, etc.

  • 18:00

    An engine fires up, a Toro Rosso heads to the end of the pitlane, supersofts on.

  • 18:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 18:00

    The Toro Rosso duo lead the way, as drivers pour out of the pit lane to set a banker lap in while the track is dry.

  • 18:02

    We're already seeing replays of cars troubling themselves around track. Kimi Räikkönen misses the corner of one of the chicanes, as a Marussia finds itself facing the wrong way on the runoff at the hairpin.

  • 18:03

    The drivers are coming back into the pitlane for intermediate tyres, no times set on the slicks as conditions too tricky.

  • 18:03

    There's a bit of confusion in the Ferrari garage, as Alonso was left stuck facing the wall, waiting for his team to push him back in.

  • 18:03

    Sebastian Vettel hasn't hit the track yet at all, which won't really be a surprise to anyone.

  • 18:04

    The German rolls out of the garage for the first time, intermediate tyres bolted on.

  • 18:05

    Still plenty of slipping around even on the inters, as drivers find the limits of the surface.

  • 18:05

    Hülkenberg asked the team for confirmation on the DRS situation, and he was informed that it is enabled.

  • 18:06

    Our first lap times are coming in now, Massa sits in P1 for now, but these are 1:28s.

  • 18:06

    Hamilton's first time is a 1:27, his teammate Nico Rosberg posts a 1:26. On the flip side, Ricciardo's first time is a 1:32.

  • 18:07

    The rain must be coming down really heavily now, as the list of cars running off track is growing rapidly.

  • 18:08

    The Red Bull drivers pop up for a 1-2, with Vettel ahead. Meanwhile, the Caterham duo have yet to set their first times.

  • 18:08

    It's a 1:29 for Van der Garde, and a 1:28 for Pic.

  • 18:09

    The drop zone currently features Gutiérrez, Grosjean, Chilton, Ricciardo, Van der Garde and Sutil. Conditions are changing rapidly, though.

  • 18:09

    Button reports it is slippery in places, and it's definitely not time for dry tyres yet.

  • 18:10

    Alonso gets caught out at turn one, narrowly missing a collision with his own teammate.

  • 18:10

    To be honest, it would be quicker for me to type who has actually managed to stay on track for a full lap.

  • 18:10

    The times are gradually improving, with Vettel dropping the benchmark to a 1:24.788. Hamilton is sitting third, with a surprising Nico Hülkenberg in fourth.

  • 18:11

    Paul di Resta asks his team if he should come in for dry tyres, as the track seems to be clearing up. The team tell him to stay out and look after his tyres. After what happened in Monaco, should he trust them??

  • 18:12

    Another replay of Jules Bianchi bouncing over the high kerbing at the final chicane, that looked like a bumpy landing.

  • 18:13

    Mercedes are taking the fight to Red Bull this session, with Hamilton jumping up to P1 and Rosberg P3. Vettel sits between them, before improving to P1.

  • 18:13

    Some of the drivers are starting to visit the pit lane for fresh rubber, opting to put on another set of intermediates. It could be early to make that call.

  • 18:15

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Track looks like drying up quickly except for around the hairpin. Adrian and Paul return to the pits #SFI100 #FeelTheForce

  • 18:15

    The fortunes have reversed at Sauber, with Gutiérrez up in sixth and Hülkenberg dropping down to 12th.

  • 18:15

    The drop zone now features Button, Chilton, Vergne, Pic, Bianchi and Van der Garde.

  • 18:16

    There's a clear dry line on track in places, but it's still wet under the trees.

  • 18:16

    Felipe Massa jumped up to P1 for a moment, before Mark Webber topped the Ferrari. The fastest lap time now 1:23.247.

  • 18:17

    Button drags himself up from the drop zone, posting the fifth fastest time.

  • 18:17

    Yellow flagYellow flags at turns six and seven.

  • 18:18

    Green flagTrack is clear.

  • 18:18

    Fernando Alonso heads up to P1, with Valtteri Bottas moving up to third place. The times still jumping about all over the place. Hülkenberg improves to 7th.

  • 18:18

    Romain Grosjean and Paul di Resta currently in trouble.

  • 18:19

    Paul di Resta improves to 16th, but that leaves him right on the edge.

  • 18:20

    Grosjean struggles around that lap, and doesn't improve. He crosses the line just in time for another lap.

  • 18:20

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 18:20

    Di Resta is back in the drop zone as well.

  • 18:20

    Grosjean has a ten place grid drop as well.

  • 18:21

    The Force India driver can't make the difference, he crosses the line and remains 17th, and that's his session over! For the second race in a row, he's out in Q1.

  • 18:22
    Qualifying Position
    17P di RestaForce India
    18C PicCaterham
    19R GrosjeanLotus
    20J BianchiMarussia
    21M ChiltonMarussia
    22G van der GardeCaterham
  • 18:23

    Replays show Nico Rosberg got it wrong at one of the chicanes, and was stuck sideways blocking half the track. A couple of cars snaked past him, but then Rosberg pulled back in front of Massa to regain the racing line. Tricky move!

  • 18:24

    The fastest three at the end of that session were Vettel, Alonso and Webber with the fastest time a 1:22.318.

  • 18:25
    Field Spread
    PosDriverTime
    1stS Vettel1:22.318
    22ndG van der Garde1:27.110
  • 18:27

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 18:27

    It's a Toro Rosso leading the pack out of the pit lane, as the cars pile out for the start of the second session.

  • 18:28

    13 cars out straight away, Vettel, and the two Williams waiting for now.

  • 18:28

    Grosjean takes the long walk to the back of the grid.

  • 18:29

    And the Williams pair head out, leaving Vettel the only driver left in the pit lane. He does like to be fashionably late.

  • 18:30

    We cut to Massa reversing back on to track after clearly missing a corner somewhere.

  • 18:30

    Lap times start to come in. Webber is up top with a 1:29.672. Slower times again to start this session.

  • 18:31

    Vettel joins the field, meaning all 16 drivers are out on track.

  • 18:31

    McLaren sending Button on his way, via @McLarenF1

  • 18:32

    Team radioTeam radio to Sergio Pérez: "Okay, Checo, we think lap times are right on the crossover between inters and wets but we wouldn't go faster on the wet tyres at the moment."

  • 18:33

    All drivers are finding the track slippery again, we're seeing missed apexes all over the circuit, Hamilton and Sutil and Vettel in very quick succession.

  • 18:34

    More slo-mo replays as Esteban Gutiérrez bounces over that hideous-looking orange kerb. He bounced the floor right on the high point of the bump. That had to be uncomfortable.

  • 18:34

    Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado return to the pit lane for fresh rubber.

  • 18:35

    Replays show two cars heading down the escape road that Massa reversed out of earlier, explaining some brief yellow flags.

  • 18:36

    Comment from rethymno racer: "That sausage shaped curb is brought to you by the Montreal Chiropractors center. :-)"

  • 18:36

    The times aren't improving as rapidly as they did in Q1. We've got Vettel fastest with a 1:28.166.

  • 18:37

    In the drop zone, Pérez, Gutiérrez, Massa, Sutil, Maldonado and Button.

  • 18:37

    Hülkenberg has told his crew he doesn't think he can improve his time, but they've told him to stay out anyway.

  • 18:38

    Button improves to seventh place for now.

  • 18:39

    Further to the previous conversation, Hülkenberg has told the pit crew he's going to cruise and look after his tyres, in case the track picks up towards the end of the session.

  • 18:39

    Just over two minutes left on the clock.

  • 18:40

    AccidentYellow flags as Massa is off into the barriers!

  • 18:40

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 18:40

    Massa seems to be okay, he's being ushered away from the car by a marshal who, distractingly, has masses of blonde dreadlocks and a marmot beanie hat on.

  • 18:41

    Replays show Massa's left rear wheel hit the white line under braking, slipping him into a spin and into the barriers.

  • 18:42

    There is 1:59 left on the clock, which is just enough time to head out for a quick outlap and crossing the line just in time to start a flying lap before the chequered flag.

  • 18:42

    The drop zone currently features Maldonado, Button, Ricciardo, Gutiérrez, Massa and Sutil.

  • 18:43

    Massa in the wall. More replays show him hitting the steering wheel in frustration as soon as he comes to a halt.

  • 18:44

    Massa's impact registered a g force impact of 5.7 on the on-screen graphics too. Information!

  • 18:45

    Race controlSession will re-start at 13:47. That's just a couple of minutes away.

  • 18:45

    The cars are piling out to queue up at the end of the pit lane. It looks like two Saubers at the front, and all those cars are by no means in single file.

  • 18:46

    There are 13 cars all lined up at the pit exit, in places almost three abreast.

  • 18:47

    They've been sat there for a couple of minutes too, this can't be good for them!

  • 18:47

    Green flagSession re-started.

  • 18:48

    Vettel didn't bother to queue, but he's just gone out - leaving a gap to those in front, but he may not get around in time to set another lap. He sits second on the timesheets, behind Webber.

  • 18:49

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 18:49

    Who will make it to the line? Button and Webber did not, meaning Button is dropping out.

  • 18:50

    They're crossing the line, some times are improving, we'll have to wait and see how this shakes out.

  • 18:51
    Qualifying Position
    11N HülkenbergSauber
    12S PérezMcLaren
    13P MaldonadoWilliams
    14J ButtonMcLaren
    15E GutiérrezSauber
    16F MassaFerrari
  • 18:51

    Valtteri Bottas improved to fourth fastest - his first time in the top ten! Jean-Éric Vergne also getting through to Q2.

  • 18:52
    Field Spread
    PosDriverTime
    1stL Hamilton1:27.649
    16thF Massa1:30.354
  • 18:54

    QuoteInterview with Paul di Resta: "It's not even acceptable what happened there. We had a bit of an issue with the gearbox, then sat in the garage for four minutes to try and fix it... if there was any time you had to be out on track... When you've had a day like we had yesterday, to blow it all away again. Fortunately it's a track you can overtake. We need to go back and analyse what's going on here. It's not acceptable, and I'm sure the management won't be happy either."

  • 18:54

    The top ten shootout will be contested by two Red Bulls, two Mercedes, two Toro Rossos, plus Bottas, Räikkönen, Alonso, and Sutil.

  • 18:56

    QuoteInterview with Romain Grosjean: "It's 29th for tomorrow, it's far. We got caught by the weather. We stopped for inters mid-session, then went out and a lap in the dry, a Caterham went straight out in front of me, there was a yellow flag, I had to respect it and that was it."

  • 18:57

    It's queue o'clock at the end of the pit lane again, this time it's Vettel at the head of the pack!

  • 18:57

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 18:57

    Impatient Räikkönen cuts in front of Webber to get track position as the lights turn green and the queue surges forward.

  • 18:58

    TweetTweet from @GvanderGarde: Not a good qualy, made a error in my fastest lap and than a yellow flag in the next push lap, very tricky conditions, it was quite slippery!

  • 18:59

    Valterri Bottas is the last to leave the garage, joining the other nine cars out on track.

  • 18:59

    It's intermediate tyres all round as the track remains wet under the trees.

  • 19:00

    Webber went off track and continued at turn three, that's one lap ruined.

  • 19:00

    Vettel sets the first lap time of the session, a 1:25.425.

  • 19:00

    The two Mercedes drivers slot in behind Vettel, Rosberg initially second then being pushed down by Hamilton.

  • 19:02

    Webber improves on his second lap, jumping up to P4. Meanwhile, Räikkönen returns to the pit lane as the first to put on new tyres.

  • 19:02

    Bottas' first lap on his first top ten session is good enough for third for now.

  • 19:03

    Four minutes left as the Red Bull duo head back to the pits for some back-to-back racing style stops. Fresh interes going on the cars.

  • 19:03

    Team radioTeam radio to Räikkönen: "Okay, Kimi, this is a run of three timed laps."

  • 19:04

    Nico Rosberg's radio informs him that the rain is increasing, so we could see the times drop off again.

  • 19:05

    If it ends like this, it would be super impressive to see Bottas starting on the second row of the grid.

  • 19:06

    Alonso runs wide at the hairpin, another lap ruined in the tricky conditions.

  • 19:06

    None of the times are improving at the moment, we could have our grid sorted already.

  • 19:07

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 19:07

    Hamilton misses the chicane on his final run, no improvement for him.

  • 19:07

    Vettel has pitted, leaving all the pressure on Webber, but he can't improve either.

  • 19:08

    There's nothing in the track at all, as each driver crossing the line remains exactly where they are.

  • 19:08

    StopwatchPole position for Sebastian Vettel with a time of 1:25.425.

  • 19:09
    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stVET1:25.425
    2ndHAM+0.087
    3rdBOT+0.472
    4thROS+0.583
    5thWEB+0.783
  • 19:10

    It's worth noting that Valtteri Bottas promised that if he scored points in Canada, he'd jump in the lake. He's off to a good start!

  • 19:13
    Qualifying Position
    1S VettelRed Bull
    2L HamiltonMercedes
    3V BottasWilliams
    4N RosbergMercedes
    5M WebberRed Bull
    6F AlonsoFerrari
    7JE VergneToro Rosso
    8A SutilForce India
    9K RäikkönenLotus
    10D RicciardoToro Rosso
  • 19:13

    Sutil outqualified the Lotus of Kimi Räikkönen, who appeared to be struggling with a car light on its tyres.

  • 19:15

    The top three pose for their media shot, a happy thumbs up from Bottas, with a congratulatory clap on the shoulder for the Finn from polesitter Vettel.

  • 19:15

    Now they're climbing in the medical car to be ferried towards the press conference.

  • 19:16

    TweetTweet from @F1PitRadio: Vettel almost tripped while walking on the weigh bridge to the scale pad, while taking his helmet off at the same time, but caught himself

  • 19:18

    TweetTweet from @WilliamsF1Team: It's Valtteri's dad's birthday and he's here today - what a present to see his boy P3!

  • 19:20

    QuotePress Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "It was very tricky, especially becasue you never knew what the conditions were like next time you were out. It was intermediate tyres throughout, but tricky to adapt. In the last session, we decided to have two runs. We thought the second would be quicker... but it started to drizzle...

    The conditions were best for the first run, that was a bit of a surprise. Very happy the first lap was good enough, it was very tight with Lewis. I think everyone was improving in the first two sectors, but those last two corners didn't allow anyone to go quicker, but I didn't mind. It showed how difficult the whole qualifying was for everyone."

  • 19:21

    QuotePress Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "I was doing a pretty good lap, six or seven tenths up, I ran wide, I don't know whether I would have kept it. Bit unfortunate, but I'm still happy to be here for the team."

  • 19:21

    QuotePress Conference Quotes - Valtteri Bottas: "It means a lot, way more up the grid than we could imagine. It's been so difficult, the first six races for us, it'll be a nice boost for the team, we got everything quite right today."

  • 19:24

    QuoteInterview with Daniel Ricciardo: "It's not the summer I'm used to, that's for sure. It's a shame, maybe tomorrow we'll get some sunshine. As a team, it's a great result today. On my side, we were a bit lucky to get Q3. In Q1 I wasn't looking too good, I wasn't expecting to see the end of qualifying... The inters are a bit tricky, and I haven't quite grasped it yet.

    "Q3 was good but unfortunately from then on, the last ten minutes, I didn't really have any chance. Different parts of the circuit, it seems each lap the rain was following a different corner. It wasn't easy. If you were up on one sector, you sort of expected to be down on the next. It wasn't easy but we can race from here tomorrow."

  • 19:26

    "We are so proud of him ❤ @ValtteriBottas!!! Amazing job."

    Bottas' girlfriend Emilia Pikkarainen shows her support.

  • 19:30

    And so, Sebastian Vettel is back on pole position, but all the attention is on the second row and the surprise appearance of the Williams. The mixed conditions flattered them a little, but it's also setting us up for a good race tomorrow.

  • 19:31

    It's really anybody's race tomorrow, Canada allows for overtaking, it's not unusual to see a Safety Car period or two, and the weather continues to raise question marks.

  • 19:32

    It should be a really fascinating and exciting afternoon in Canada. I'll be back to cover it all lap by lap, and I hope you'll join me then for more facts and bytes!

All content in the series Canada 2013