So far the Canadian Grand Prix has been a rain soaked event, and that theme continued during qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel grabbed his 39th career pole position with a 1:25.425, edging out Lewis Hamilton by .087 seconds. Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG both grabbed double top five starts on Saturday with RBR’s Mark Webber grabbing P5 and the Silver Arrows’ Nico Rosberg making a P4 run.
The most surprising qualifying show of the day was put on by Valtteri Bottas of Williams F1 Team. The rookie wheel man gave Williams their first podium qual of the season by turning out a 1:25.897 lap. Bottas has been turning heads this season by keeping up with, and at times outshining, his more experienced team mate Pastor Maldonado. If Bottas can turn this solid qualification into a strong finish it will go a long way towards securing himself a race seat for the long term, be it with Williams or another team.
After a highly impressive showing throughout the practice sessions, Fernando Alonso missed out on the top five by just over three-tenths of a second and will start P6. His Scuderia Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa will begin his race from P16, a severe disappointment for the Brazilian as he tries to come back from a poor showing in Monaco.
Toro Rosso secured a double top 10 start with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo qualifying P7 and P10 respectively. Should Webber leave RBR at the end of the year, which has been speculated to be the case since he and Vettel clashed in Malaysia, one of the Toro Rosso wheel men is likely the best bet to replace the Aussie and strong quals like this with the potential to turn into solid race finishes only enforce that.
Adrian Sutil continued his successful weekend by bringing home a P8 start for Force India. His team mate Paul Di Resta also kept to the pattern of his weekend and slid farther down the grid with a P17 qualifying run.
Kimi Raikkonen circuited in 1:27.432 for P9. Since the first two practice sessions, when Romain Grosjean put up back-to-back P3 runs, it has been a struggle of a weekend for Lotus F1 Team. Raikkonen finished P5, P11, and P10 in his practice runs, all the while struggling to get his tire temperature to an ideal level. Grosjean qualified a lowly P19, which means he will start at the very back of the grid once his ten-spot grid penalty for crashing Ricciardo in Monaco is tacked on.
The Canadian Grand Prix is set to start at 2:00 PM local time in Montreal on Sunday. There will be a 20-40% chance of rain from 2:00 – 5:00 PM on race day, so all of these runs in the wet might pay off for the teams that have been able to find pace in the rain.
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