Sebastian Vettel confident of claiming Red Bull's first victory in Canada
World Champion does just enough to stop Merc's run of poles
By Pete Gill & James Galloway
Last Updated: 09/06/13 7:46pm
Although the changeable conditions have vexed race strategist ever since F1 touched down in Canada, the fickle and fleeting appearances of rain, shine and drizzle has at least provided a welcome - if rather chilly - distraction from the ongoing Testgate saga.
It was Vettel who shone brightest amidst the gloom on Saturday, with the World Champion edging out Lewis Hamilton by one-tenth of a second to prevent Mercedes claiming their fifth successive pole position.
"It was very, very tricky because you never knew what the conditions were like next time you were out. Obviously it was intermediate tyres throughout but extremely tricky to adapt," Vettel said after claiming his 39th career pole.
"In the last qualifying section we decided to have two runs and we thought the second run would be quicker because we had a new set of tyres left, but it started to drizzle in the final chicane.
"I went straight [on] on one lap and the second lap I had a mistake somewhere else, so it turned out that the conditions were best for the first run. So that was a bit of a surprise...but very happy the first lap was good enough.
"It was very tight with Lewis and I think in the end everyone was improving in the first two sectors but the last two corners didn't allow anyone to go quicker - which I didn't mind!
"But I am looking forward to the race. We had strong strong pace yesterday so no matter the conditions we should be in decent shape."
Although Vettel has now claimed pole on each of F1's last three visits to Montreal, neither he nor Red Bull have yet triumphed on a Sunday - one of only two races remaining on the calendar the World Champions have failed to win.
The 25-year-old wasn't keen to second guess the weather given the unpredictable nature of the qualifying hour - although he currently expects the race to be dry - but reiterated his confidence that Red Bull look well set whatever is thrown at them.
"I don't know if there's anybody who can give a precise forecast for every corner. As we saw today it was really tricky in some places, and drier than expected in other places, and then the next lap was completely different," Vettel explained.
"So a bit difficult to foresee how the weather is behaving tomorrow but the forecast I think looks a little bit friendlier than today and the last thing I heard at least was we expect dry conditions. So we will see, but as I said, it doesn't really matter."
Although Vettel later confirmed he had used up all of his new intermediate tyres en-route to his first pole since Malaysia, the German added: "I think we have a couple of [wet] tyres left, lots of slick tyres, but also in the rain we should be in decent shape. I think it could be an interesting race with mixed conditions tomorrow and it's a long one with 70 laps, so lots of things can happen."