Vet­tel bounces back to lead Cana­dian pole chase... but so does Fer­nando

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

MON­TREAL: Se­bas­tian Vet­tel set the pace in prac­tice for the Cana­dian Grand Prix yes­ter­day with a fastest lap of 1min, 16.877sec, show­ing Red Bull has more than enough speed to ex­tend its sea­son-open­ing pole streak to eight.

Re­bound­ing from a spin two weeks ago in Turkey, when he tried to pass team­mate Mark Web­ber for the lead, Vet­tel edged Fer­rari’s Fer nando Alonso by 0.086 sec­onds in the sec­ond 90-minute prac­tice ses­sion at Cir­cuit Gilles Vil­leneuve.

Mercedes’ Nico Ros­berg was third, 0.274 sec­onds back on the 4.4km course. Web­ber, a two-time win­ner this year and the leader of the driv­ers’ stand­ings, was fourth – 0.396 sec­onds be­hind Vet­tel.

Red Bull has won the first seven poles of the sea­son, with Vet­tel – the Malaysian Grand Prix win­ner in April – tak­ing the top spot three times and Web­ber four.

Alonso has in­sisted that Fer­rari can still win the For­mula One world cham­pi­onship de­spite a drop in form in re­cent weeks.

Alonso fin­ished eighth in Is­tan­bul two weeks ago, while team­mate Brazil­ian Felipe Massa was sev­enth as Fer­rari strug­gled to match the pace of ri­val teams Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes.

Alonso still lies fourth in the driv­ers’ stand­ings, 14 points be­hind leader Mark Web­ber, and be­lieves that there are enough races left for Fer­rari to chal­lenge for the ti­tle.

“I think we are in a good po­si­tion to fight for this cham­pi­onship,” he said.

“There have been some races bet­ter than oth­ers and some ups and downs. But we need to be not too high when we win and not too low when we don’t per­form.”

How­ever, the 28-year-old dou­ble world cham­pion ad­mit­ted that it would not be an easy task. “We need to stay con­sis­tent all through the cham­pi­onship,” he added.

“We need to stay fo­cused. We know it is long, but we are in a fight in the mid­dle of the top guys in terms of points.”

Alonso hopes that ma­jor up­grades, ex­pected in Va­len­cia, will im­prove his car’s per­for­mance. – Sapa-AFP

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