clear
Tuesday June 19th, 2018 9:33PM

Vettel claims pole with record lap at Canadian Prix

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MONTREAL (AP) — Sebastian Vettel had a steering problem that washed out much of the first practice session at the Canadian Grand Prix and then brushed the wall later in the day.

When he brought his Ferrari out for qualifying a day later, his problems — and the rest of the field — were behind him.

"Yesterday, I wasn't really in charge. More of a passenger," Vettel said Saturday after earning his 54th career Formula One pole with the fastest lap ever on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. "Today was a lot more natural."

Vettel covered the 2.71-mile (4.36-km) track in 1 minute, 10.764 seconds to deprive Lewis Hamilton of a record seventh pole in Montreal. It's Vettel's fourth pole on the Ile Notre-Dame, but his first since 2013, when he was on his way to a fourth straight world championship for Red Bull.

It's the first pole for Ferrari at the track named for one of its most celebrated drivers since Michael Schumacher in 2001.

"Being on pole here with Ferrari means something extra," Vettel said. "Gilles Villeneuve, the favorite driver of Enzo Ferrari, and I think his charisma, his character that he brought to Formula One, to racing in general, is still alive today."

Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes will also start in the front row, coming in about one-tenth of a second slower than Vettel. After leading all three practice sessions, Max Verstappen will start third in his Red Bull, alongside Hamilton.

Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari and Monaco winner Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull are in the third row, with Nico Hulkenberg seventh and the best of the rest.

Ferrari is running an engine update in Montreal. Mercedes was expecting to do the same, but it wasn't ready in time; they also decided to bring fewer sets of the softest tires.

"The numbers are just in theory, but there would have been gains," Bottas said. "I think it would have been a close fight for the pole with the new engine. But we're going to get it later anyway, so that's all good."

Vettel won the first two races of the year but did not return to the podium until his second-place finish in Monaco last race. The only thing slowing the German down on Saturday was a line of cars that interrupted his attempt at going even faster.

"This is ridiculous. What are these guys doing?" he asked over the radio.

"It's never happened to me," he told reporters afterward. "Either they weren't told or they weren't looking. ... I had to abort; there was no chance to slalom around them. It was a bit surprising. There was no way for me to carry on."

A day earlier, Vettel was back in the pack — seventh and fifth on the first day of practice.

"Yesterday, I think were a bit in trouble. I wasn't really happy with the car. We had some problems. I just couldn't get the rhythm," he said. "Usually, I like this track. Yesterday was very difficult, but today it switched on. I guess I woke up the right way and what a day."

Hamilton tops the championship leaderboard, 14 points ahead of Vettel, as each pursues a fifth Formula One title. Ricciardo is third in the standings, 38 points behind Hamilton, and Bottas is another four points back, in fourth.

"As difficult as days like today are, there's no points today," Hamilton said. "The points are tomorrow."

Verstappen arrived in Montreal amid an error-prone season and bristled at questions about his recent crash history, even threatening to head-butt any reporters who asked him about it. But he dominated in practice, with the fastest time in all three sessions.

"We extracted the best we could out of qualifying," he said. "The car all weekend has been really strong. Every session we made progress."

Earlier in qualifying, local favorite Lance Stroll failed to make it out of the first session and will start 18th. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is in 14th position.

Romain Grosjean was unable to complete any laps in qualifying and will start in the back of the field, in 20th. On Saturday, he hit an animal that had wandered onto the track and damaged his nose cone.

"Maybe the beaver from yesterday was still in there somewhere," he said. "We've had some really tough luck. ... Starting last is never ideal, but it's one of those racetracks where you can overtake, so luckily it's not Monaco."

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, Formula One Racing
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Open Wheel, Auto Racing, Asphalt, road course, F1, Formula One
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gay pride parade turnout defies conservative times in Poland
The capitals of Poland and Romania hosted thousands of people taking part in festive gay pride parades where emboldened participants vowed to push for the eventual freedom to marry
3:37PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Vettel claims pole with record lap at Canadian Prix
Sebastian Vettel has claimed the pole position in the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix with the fastest lap ever on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
3:18PM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: Baffert off to 2-for-2 start at Belmont Park
Baffert off to 2-for-2 start at Belmont Park before Justify's bid for Triple Crown later Saturday
3:14PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Belmont fashion scene diverse as New York itself
Belmont fashion scene diverse as New York itself
2:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
Sloane Stephens' 1st loss in any final comes at French Open
Sloane Stephens was 6-0 in tournament finals until letting a lead slip away and finishing as the runner-up to Simona Halep at the French Open
2:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: French duo Mahut-Herbert win men's doubles title
French players Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut have won the doubles title at Roland Garros for the first time
1:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Larson trying for 4 straight wins at Michigan
Kyle Larson is still seeking his first victory of the season, but he's won three Cup Series races in a row at Michigan, the site of this weekend's event
6:50PM ( 20 hours ago )
Max Verstappen fastest in both practices at Canadian GP
Max Verstappen has fastest laps in both practices at Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal
5:25PM ( 22 hours ago )
Detroit race delayed after GM executive crashes pace car
The start of an IndyCar race in Detroit was delayed when the General Motors executive driving the pace car crashed into a wall
2:02PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
Will Power the latest Indianapolis 500 champion for Penske
Australian Will Power used to hate racing on oval tracks and is now an Indy 500 champion
3:05AM ( 1 week ago )
The Latest: Busch wins Coca-Cola in dominating fashion
Latest from the busiest day in motorsports, from Monaco to Indianapolis to North Carolina
10:50PM ( 1 week ago )
The Latest: Busch dominating 600, setting records
Latest from the busiest day in motorsports, from Monaco to Indianapolis to North Carolina
9:58PM ( 1 week ago )
Formula One Racing
Gay pride parade turnout defies conservative times in Poland
The capitals of Poland and Romania hosted thousands of people taking part in festive gay pride parades where emboldened participants vowed to push for the eventual freedom to marry
3:37PM ( 11 minutes ago )
The Latest: Baffert off to 2-for-2 start at Belmont Park
Baffert off to 2-for-2 start at Belmont Park before Justify's bid for Triple Crown later Saturday
3:14PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Trump holds solo news conference, defends bashing press
President Donald Trump defends his constant bashing of the press, during his first solo news conference in more than a year.
3:06PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Moschino hosts a big top bash for circus-themed resort show
Designer Jeremey Scott plays the ringmaster at Moschino's California circus celebration
3:03PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Ovechkin's first pitch performance mirrors playoff career
Alex Ovechkin succeeds on his second try at a ceremonial first pitch after finally breaking through to win Stanley Cup
3:02PM ( 46 minutes ago )