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SEBASTIAN VETTEL (Red Bull) will start on pole-position for the sixth race out of seven this season after setting the fastest time in Q3 for today’s Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

The German’s Q3 time was 1:13.014 (133.618-mph), 0.185-seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who will line up second on the grid. His Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa will start from third.

Fourth to tenth place on the grid are: 4th) Mark Webber (Red Bull), 5th) Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) – the first time he has not been on pole in Canada, 6th) Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 7th) Jenson Button (McLaren), 8th) Michael Schumacher (Mercedes), 9th) Nick Heidfeld and 10th) Vitaly Petrov (both Renault).

Q2 saw the grid places 11-17 filled by: 11th) Paul di Resta (Force India), 12th) Pastor Maldonado (Williams), 13th) Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), 14th) Adrian Sutil (Force India), 15th) Sébastien Buemi (Toro Rosso), 16th) Rubens Barrichello (Williams) and 17th) Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber).

Pedro de la Rosa is driving Sergio Pérez’s car in the race today after the Mexican complained of feeling ill during Friday’s first practice session. He was given the all clear to race by the FIA doctors after his accident in Monaco last time out, but he didn’t want to risk hurting himself again or anybody else. The reason why de la Rosa is driving for the team who fired him last season is because Sauber’s regular reserve driver, Mexican Esteban Gutiérrez, is not in Montreal.

How daft is this?! Unless Gutiérrez is not in Canada for a really good reason Sauber have shown themselves up in a huge way here. There was a chance that Pérez may not have felt well enough to race and they haven’t brought their third driver to the race! Apparently de la Rosa (now a McLaren test and reserve driver) was given just 10 minutes warning that he would be driving a Sauber in Friday practice two and had to do it in his McLaren overalls.

But to his credit he did get himself into Q2, but the following drivers didn’t and will line up thus: 18th) the under pressure Jamie Alguersuari (Toro Rosso), 19th) Jarno Trulli and 20th) Heikki Kovalainen (both Lotus – Trulli out-qualifies his team-mate for the first time this season), 21st) Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT), 22nd) Timo Glock (Virgin) and 23rd) Narain Karthikeyan (HRT).

The 107% Rule claimed Virgin’s Jérôme d’Ambrosio in Q1. The Belgian rookie could only manage a 1:19.414 (122.850-mph) lap when he needed to set a time of at least 1:18.989 (123.511-mph). However he will start the race from 24th on the grid after the stewards declared that he had set a fast enough time during Friday practice one before he stuffed his car in the wall at Turn Four and had to change chassis.

Montreal has been deep McLaren territory for the past few seasons, but I can only see one winner today, and he is the man sitting on pole, Sebastian Vettel.

Past winners of the Canadian Grand Prix on the grid today:

  • Michael Schumacher: 1994 for Benetton, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 for Ferrari.
  • Lewis Hamilton: 2007 (his first win) and 2010 for McLaren.
  • Fernando Alonso: 2006 for Renault.

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