Sebastian Vettel and teammate Kimi Räikkönen have claimed a Ferrari 1-2 in final practice for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix, putting the Italian team as favourites to claim back-to-back pole positions in qualifying.
Under clear conditions Vettel lapped the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a fastest time of 1:12.572, just under a quarter of a second slower than Lewis Hamilton’s pole-winning time at the venue last year.
Friday afternoon’s pace-setter Räikkönen finished second-quickest, a fraction under 0.3 seconds off the German’s pace. The Finn was unhappy with overnight set-up changes to his car, and amusingly asked over the pit-to-car radio: “Can we go back to tomorrow’s set-up? Sorry, yesterday’s set-up.”
Five-time Canadian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton was third-quickest in his Mercedes, and once again devoted a number of laps trying to warm up his Ultra Soft Pirelli tyres before attempting to post a representative time. He ultimately finished 0.354 seconds slower than Vettel, with his engineer confirming that the deficit was coming in the final sector which features the circuit’s longest straight.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas came within centimetres of wiping his F1W08 out against the barriers at the exit of the tricky Turn 4. The Finn finished fifth-fastest as a result of this mistake, enabling Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen to sneak ahead and claim fourth on the timesheets.
Having missed vital running in FP2 thanks to an engine issue, Verstappen’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo wound up eighth-fastest behind Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg and Williams veteran Felipe Massa.
Force India maintained its top-ten form thanks to ninth-placed Esteban Ocon, while the Frenchman’s teammate Sergio Pérez was thirteenth-fastest overall, three-tenths of a second slower than the French youngster.
Scuderia Toro Rosso claimed the midfield of the timing screens, with Carlos Sainz Jr narrowly outpacing teammate Daniil Kvyat to claim tenth. The pair finished ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who had a drama-free session en route to going an impressive twelfth-fastest.
Jolyon Palmer (Renault), Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) and Lance Stroll (Williams) were all considerably off the pace of their respective teammates, taking 15th, 16th and 18th at the end of the one-hour session.
Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were 14th and 17th fastest respectively in their Ferrari-powered VF-17s.
Slowest of the field was Sauber, hampered by running last year’s Ferrari engine, with Marcus Ericsson edging Pascal Wehrlein.
Saturday’s qualifying session in in Montréal will begin at 13:00 local time (GMT -4).
Image via Scuderia Ferrari