Webber and Vettel friends again and setting the pace in Canada

Red Bull vow to ‘move on’ from crash but McLaren look to build on Istanbul win

As Red Bull have spent their time recently applying sticking plaster to wounds opened suddenly in Turkey, when Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel collided and threw away a likely 1-2, the two drivers have busily been insisting here that they are still friends and that the incident is behind them.

Well, it probably is: until the next time they each want the same bit of road. Given the performance of their Adrian Newey-designed car – which has taken pole position for all seven of the races held thus far this season and won three – that may not be long. The first corner here is so tight that it could easily be just after noon, local time, tomorrow.

"I'm cool, absolutely fine," drivers' championship leader Webber said, looking exactly that. "I'm totally over it and ready to go this weekend. I'm looking forward to getting back on the track."

Vettel, sporting his new unshaven look, said: "What happened, happened, so there's not much more to say. You can look at it from many different angles and you can't change it now, so looking back I wouldn't have done anything differently.

"What happened was bad for both of us and especially for the team because we gave a present to McLaren, but the most important thing is to move on.

"To be honest, F1 is not about yesterday, it's about tomorrow. I don't want to spend much time talking about what happened. It's important to understand what happened and that's why we met and talked about it."

That last bit is certainly true, as is the fact that despite horrible weather on Thursday and gloomy conditions for yesterday's practice, everyone is delighted to be back racing in North America. Walking the track on Thursday, former racer and Virgin team principal John Booth was so excited by it that he was moved to comment: "Of all the tracks we've been to this season, this is the one that makes me want to get back into a car."

Yesterday it was the two McLaren drivers – who had a little skirmish of their own in Turkey on their way to the team's second 1-2 of the season – who swapped fastest laps as teams dialled their cars into one of the more demanding circuits, which places a high premium on braking performance, stability, poise through tight chicanes and straightline speed, and less on the high levels of downforce that have been the Red Bull's strong suit thus far.

Hamilton scored his first grand prix win here in his 2007 rookie season but then blotted his copybook a year later by crashing into the back of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari at the end of the pit lane. He had also repassed Button in Istanbul after the 2009 world champion had briefly edged ahead.

He said: "We don't have any team orders and of course we always want to support the team in getting the most points, but clearly both drivers always want to win. So if there is an opportunity to pass you take it."

This is one of those tracks, not just with that tight first corner but also with the last one which brings cars perilously close to the outer wall, where mistakes are easy to make. Vettel flirted with the concrete outrageously and at times looked ragged, as Button headed the morning times from Michael Schumacher, Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, leaving the Red Bull driver fifth. In the afternoon, Vettel was fastest, but the McLarens were doing race work. It's early days yet, but the prospects for another tight race look good.

Schumacher, though, has started to turn his attention towards next season already, in the belief that an eighth world title is out of reach.

The early fears that his comeback after three years in retirement was a mistake have slowly faded in recent grands prix, as he has displayed a steady improvement of late with Mercedes. Fourth-placed finishes in two of the last three races have proven Schumacher still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.

But after such a slow start to his return, Schumacher sits in ninth place in the drivers' standings, trailing championship leader Mark Webber by 59 points, and is already looking at 2011.

"When I started the season I was thinking about the championship – that was my aim and focus," he said. "But then at one point you understand your package is where it is and from there on you have to do a certain programme and process, and that's what we are going through.

"Although the year is still long [another 12 races remain] I don't think I'm really in a position to win the championship."

Friday Practice

First session

1 J Button (GB) McLaren 1min 18.127sec

2 M Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes 1:18.285

3 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:18.352

4 N Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:18.356

5 SVettel (Ger) Red Bull 1:18.549

6 R Kubica (Pol) Renault 1:18.662

7 F Alonso (Sp) Ferrari 1:18.726

8 V Liuzzi (Ita) Force India 1:19.097

9 N Huelkenberg (Ger) Williams 1:19.282

10 R Barrichello (Br) Williams 1:19.313

11 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 1:19.373

12 F Massa (Br) Ferrari 1:19.511

13 V Petrov (Rus) Renault 1:19.549

14 MWebber (Australia) Red Bull 1:19.609

15 K Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber 1:20.186

16 S Buemi (Swi) Toro Rosso 1:20.320

17 P De la Rosa (Sp) BMW Sauber 1:20.584

18 J Alguersuari (Sp) Toro Rosso 1:20.823

19 H Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus 1:21.869

20 K Chandhok (India) HRT 1:21.977

21 J Trulli (Ita) Lotus 1:22.543

22 B Senna (Br) HRT 1:22.701

23 T Glock (Germany) Virgin 1:22.713

N/C L Di Grassi (Br) Virgin

Second session

1 S Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1 min 16.877sec

2 F Alonso (Sp) Ferrari 1:16.963

3 N Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:17.151

4 MWebber (Aus) Red Bull 1:17.273

5 F Massa (Br) Ferrari 1:17.401

6 A Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:17.415

7 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:17.522

8 R Kubica (Pol) Renault 1:17.529

9 M Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes 1:17.688

10 V Liuzzi (Ita) Force India 1:17.903

11 J Button (GB) McLaren 1:17.961

12 R Barrichello (Br) Williams 1:18.385

13 N Huelkenberg (Ger) Williams 1:18.447

14 V Petrov (Rus) Renault 1:18.582

15 P De la Rosa (Sp) BMW Sauber 1:18.658

16 K Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber 1:19.142

17 S Buemi (Swi) Toro Rosso 1:19.168

18 J Alguersuari (Sp) Toro Rosso 1:19.274

19 H Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus 1:19.969

20 K Chandhok (India) HRT 1:20.879

21 B Senna (Br) HRT 1:21.097

22 J Trulli (It) Lotus 1:21.346

23 T Glock (Ger) Virgin 1:21.488

24 L Di Grassi (Br) Virgin 1:21.577

Qualifying: 6pm today

Grand Prix: 5pm tomorrow. TV: BBC1

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs