World champion Sebastian Vettel [ Images ] was perfectly placed to become the first repeat winner of the Formula One season after putting his Red Bull on pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix [ Images ] on Saturday for the second year in a row.
The German's 32nd career pole, a tally that lifted him level with Britain's Nigel Mansell in the record books and one adrift of F1 greats Alain Prost and Jim Clark, also denied McLaren [ Images ] their 150th.
"I think we've learned a couple of lessons from the last few races where we were quick but we didn't get it out of the car in qualifying," grinned the double World champion after only his second pole of the campaign.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton [ Images ], who took the first win of his Formula One career in Canada [ Images ] in 2007, was fastest in Friday practice but had to settle for the second front row slot when it really mattered.
A wildly unpredictable season has produced an unprecedented six different winners from the first six races with Vettel triumphant in Bahrain. Hamilton has yet to win and is the best bet to stretch the run to seven.
Red Bull have never won in Canada, with Vettel losing out to McLaren's hard-charging Jenson Button [ Images ] on the last lap in a rain-hit epic last year, and his team bosses were determined to rectify that.
Button certainly faces another big challenge after qualifying 10th.
A technical rule change after the last race had raised a question mark over Red Bull's car, whose holed floor had been under scrutiny, but any hopes rivals might have had of a drop in performance soon vanished.
Vettel was quick in all three qualifying sessions at the sunny Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and took pole with a best lap of one minute, 13.784 seconds.
Hamilton, a two-time winner in Canada, clocked 1:14.087 and said he was surprised to qualify second.
Spaniard Alonso will line up alongside the second Red Bull of Australian Mark Webber [ Images ], who will be looking to follow-up his win in Monaco.
Nico Rosberg [ Images ], who missed third practice due to a problem with a fuel connector, will line up in fifth place for Mercedes [ Images ] and will be joined on the third row by Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa [ Images ].