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Canadian GP 2012

JUNE 9, 2012

Vettel tops final Canadian GP practice

Sebastian Vettel, Canadian GP 2012
© The Cahier Archive

Another closely-fought pole position battle is in prospect in Montreal as Sebastian Vettel (1:14.442) and Fernando Alonso (1:14.448) finished Saturday morning practice split by just six thousandths of a second around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.The world champion was clearly capable of going quicker too, as he set first and sector bests right at the end of the session before backing off into the final chicane and failing to improve his time.

Ferrari, with both cars running revised exhaust layouts, looks like a genuine contender for the front row in Canada with Fernando Alonso a factor throughout practice. Alonso missed the apex at the hairpin on his best lap, so there is more to come from the Ferrari too.

The same can be said of Lewis Hamilton (1:14.712), the Friday pace setter not completing his supersoft tyre run at the end of the session after setting the early pace.

Fractionally slower than the 2008 champion was Mark Webber (1:14.724) in the second Red Bull, while Spanish GP winner Pastor Maldonado (1:14.755) and Williams also seem to be right in the mix after a disatrous weekend in Monte Carlo a fortnight ago. Williams was particularly happy with its race pace on Friday afternoon too, so the Venezuelan's qualifying effort will be worth watching.

Felipe Massa lapped in 1:14.767 with the second Ferrari, fractionally quicker than Michael Schumacher's Mercedes (1:14.796).

Nico Rosberg is highly fancied to be in the thick of the pole position battle in Montreal but his day got off to a bad start when his F1 W03 ground to a halt on his installation lap after just five minutes of the session.

Romain Grosjean (1:14.873) and Kimi Raikkonen (1:14.977) were eighth and ninth for Lotus, with Nico Hulkenberg's Force India (1:14.992) completing the top 10.

Jenson Button (1:15.327) finally got some meaningful running and ended up 15th quickest. Such is the closeness of the competition this year, however, that he was still within a second of Vettel's session-topping pace.