Grand Prix of Canada – Qualifying

Vettel leads the Drivers’ Championship by 25 points over Hamilton after Monaco, and Ferrari are just 17 points ahead of Mercedes in the Constructors’. Hopefully HAM and Mercedes can fight back in Montreal and give us a real fight throughout the season.

The good news is that Wehrlein has been given the all clear [grandprix.com] after his collision with Button, for which BUT was a 3-place grid penalty [my notes] despite it being very unlikely he’ll race in F1 again.

The weather forecast is for a dry weekend, with it being a few degrees warmer on Sunday than for Qualifying. [BBC]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:13.809), VET, BOT, RAI, PER, OCO, VER, MAS, RIC, KVY
    ALO’s McLaren failed him yet again, which doesn’t bode well given he said on Thursday that he’ll stay with McLaren next year if he wins a race this season [BBC]
    A groundhog made a dash across the track in front of HAM and survived
  2. FP2: RAI (1:12.935), HAM, VET, BOT, VER, MAS, ALO, OCO, KVY, PER
    Apparently McLaren are still working on a hydraulic leak on ALO’s car
    GRO spun at the same point (Turn 6) on two consecutive laps
    VET almost tapped the Champions Wall
    RIC complaining of a lack of power; told to change some settings
    VER has a similar complaint a lap later but sounds quite frustrated; told by his engineer to calm down and make a setting change
    Sounds like RIC’s Red Bull may have a cracked exhaust; update from the team suggests it’s a mechanical problem
    HUL brushes the Wall with his front right wheel, and then RAI gets very close to doing the same
    GRO spins again; on the radio telling his team he’s “starting to get a bit fed up”
    One of the Williams mechanics is receiving medical attention after getting his foot caught under MAS’ car as they pushed him into the garage
    VAN spins in the final chicane but somehow misses the wall
    30mins left of FP2 and ALO is only just now coming out of the garage; meanwhile Red Bull continue working on RIC’s car
    BOT spins in Turn 2 having just made some setting changes on the straight
    Now it’s VET’s turn to spin – looks like Turn 1 / Turn 2 is getting slippery, as KVY spins there too
    VER is coasting – looks like his Red Bull has lost power
    VER has tried to pull to the side of the track but there’s no gap in the wall to be able to remove the car
    Radio from RAI warning about a couple of photographers in a dangerous position
    SAI will be talking to the stewards after this session for blocking MAG
    Update: Carlos Sainz Jnr has been given a formal reprimand for causing a potentially dangerous incident by driving too slowly. [f1fanatic] Sainz’s reprimand is his first of the season. He also has six penalty points on his superlicence, half the amount needed to incur a one-race ban, which will remain the case until at least the end of July.
  3. FP3: VET (1:12.572), RAI, HAM, VER, BOT, HUL, MAS, RIC, OCO, SAI
    BOT came close to swiping the Champions’ Wall, but PAL and ERI nearly made contact too

Statistically the least important Qualifying session of the season because there are multiple passing opportunities at this circuit. (Yes, I still think Monaco should be dropped from the calendar!)

Air temperature 22°C; track 44°C; wind 0.6km/hr; it’s clear and dry
Qualifying Session 1 (Q1)
SAI leaves the pits first; he’s on ultra-softs
KVY and MAG on ultras too
SAI 1:14.785
VET 1:13.787 on super-softs
RAI 1:13.548 on supers too
Radio for OCO warning him to watch his mirrors
Yellow flags briefly and then GRO on the radio complaining about lack of grip – did he spin again?
No, it was WEH who ran wide in Turn 1
VET 1:13.046
HAM goes P2, 0.03sec slower than VET but HAM is in the faster ultrasoft tyres
BOT 1:12.864 on ultras
MAG locks up and cuts Turn 8
OCO goes P5 – a Force India ahead of RIC’s Red Bull!
VAN runs wide and clips a wall, but not the Wall of Champions
HAM 1:12.692
BOT 1:12.685
RAI locks up into a chicane, brushes a non-Champions wall
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are VAN, PAL, WEH, ERI, MAG
Radio from VER asking about his brakes – concerned about locking up
STR to P17
MAG to P18
Yellow flags – WEH spins in Turn 1 again
Replay shows WEH touched the grass under braking, spun his Sauber and backwards into the tyre walls
Chequered flag
Radio from SAI – “I’m not going to let [teammate] Danii get my slipstream – it’s really unfair”
Tail end of the grid: VAN, STR, MAG, ERI, WEH

Qualifying Session 2
A lot of cars heading out for an early run in Q2
2mins into the session and only ALO left in the pits
MAS 1:18.625
SAI 1:13.756
KVY 1:13.690
OCO 1:13.320
PER 1:13.262
MAS 1:13.027
HAM 1:12.496
Yellow flags – SAI spins under braking for Turn 1 but kept it out of the tyre wall, unlike WEH
Radio from VET saying he’s “lost the car in terms of grip”
Radio from SAI complaining “traffic is a nightmare – I cannot do anything”
ALO leaves the pits as most of the other runners are returning – smart tactic to miss a lot of the traffic
PAL locks up into Turn 1 and cuts the corner
Radio from ALO complaining “I have less power than in Q1”
4mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are KVY, SAI, ALO, GRO, PAL
Looks like even the guys at the top of the timing charts are heading out for another run
Only VET remains in the pits
HUL can’t improve on his time; he’s still P10 and in danger of not progressing to Q3
Chequered flag
KVY has a puncture – looks like he’s hit a wall
Middle of the grid: KVY, ALO, SAI, GRO, PAL

Qualifying Session 3
Top ten shootout is between HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, VER, RIC, MAS, PER, OCO & HUL
VET 1:12.423 after a bit of a lock-up in the hairpin
HAM 1:11.791
HUL P3
VET P3
BOT P2
PER P6
RAI P3
MAS P7
RIC P8
OCO P6
Order after first run: HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, VER, OCO, HUL, PER, MAS, RIC
MAS P7
RIC P6
PER P8
Quick pit stop before the final Quali runs
Order is HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, VER, RIC, MAS, PER, OCO, HUL
VET P2 – just 0.004sec “slower” than HAM
VET dives in for another set of tyres – it’s been a while since I’ve seen anyone do 3 runs in Q3
HAM 1:11.459
BOT stays P3
RAI P4
VER P5
MAS P7
OCO P9
RIC P6
PER P8
VET P2
Front of the grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, MAS, PER, OCO, HUL

HAM has matched Ayrton Senna with 65 pole positions!

Provisional grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, MAS, PER, OCO, HUL, KVY, ALO, SAI, GRO, PAL, VAN, STR, MAG, ERI, WEH.

HAM hangs out of the window of the FIA official medical car as the top 3 drivers head to Turn 1 for post-Quali interviews 🙂

Noooo!!!! The Senna family have presented Lewis with one of Ayrton’s race helmets!! Wow!
And HAM took it straight out of the case – obviously not a collector nerd! 🙂
“I’m shaken, speechless! Ayrton was why I wanted to be here today. A big thank you to the Senna family”
He hangs on to the helmet as the medical car drives them back to the pit lane
Wow!

It was a great qualifying session, but the presentation of Senna’s race helmet was the best part!

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