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