2012 has seen some of the tightest results in history. The cars and drivers are so evenly matched, it has become very difficult to predict who will be competitive. Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix this afternoon could see just about anyone on pole.
As expected, McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes have been quick all weekend. Lotus were a little off the pace on Friday, but have shown their pace in third practice earlier today. The surprise package of the weekend, however, is Ferrari. After a difficult start to the season, the team from Maranello has improved massively through the last few races, and today Fernando Alonso was just 0.006s off the pace in second. Massa made a mistake on his quickest lap, which means his sixth place is not representative of what he can do in qualifying.
The top 15 cars were separated by just 0.885 seconds in third practice. And that did not include the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, who stopped on track on his installation lap with a clutch problem.
So a qualifying prediction is difficult. It could be Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Webber, Schumacher, Maldonado or any one of another 10 drivers. It is likely that there will be at least one or two big names who fail to make it into Q3, and it is probable that almost everyone will have to use the supersoft tyres in Q2, perhaps even Q1.
Follow @chrisonf1 for live Twitter commentary during today’s qualifying session.