Kimi Räikkönen has set out to dispel any suggestions he is Ferrari’s number-two driver by posting the fastest time in Friday’s second practice session for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
After Lewis Hamilton had set the early practice pace in the morning session at the Montréal circuit, Räikkönen shattered the Englishman’s FP1 effort by almost a second with his 1:12.935 on the Ultra Soft tyre.
The time is just one-tenth of a second slower than Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2002 pole position effort of 1:12.836 in his Williams BMW, all but confirming that the 4.3-kilometre circuit’s lap record will be shattered this weekend.
Hamilton ended the session as his closest challenger, some two-tenths of a second off the Ferrari driver’s ultimate pace. Noticeably, the three-time World Champion took time to get his purple-marked Ultra Soft rubber to the desired operating temperature, which will prompt concerns that his practice pace may not translate in Saturday’s qualifying session where quicker tyre warm-up is needed.
Räikkönen’s teammate Sebastian Vettel competed with him in the early stages for the top spot on the time sheets, but slipped to third place behind Hamilton. The German suffered his second spin of the weekend, looping his SF17 through 180° at Turn 2 late in the session.
Also spinning at Turn 2 was the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas; the Finn finished fourth-fastest ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
Despite Verstappen impressively lapping just four-tenths of a second off Räikkönen’s fastest lap, it was a troubled session for the team as both RB13s struck trouble. The Dutch driver’s session was brought to a premature halt with a suspected gearbox issue, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo turned all of eight laps thanks to a suspected Renault engine issue.
Behind the top-five runners, there was a significant gap back to sixth-placed Felipe Massa’s Williams. The Brazilian’s fastest lap was just over a second off the leading pace, while the veteran had a similar margin to his rookie teammate Lance Stroll who concentrated on longer Super Soft compound runs in the session.
A surprise seventh-fastest was Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was sidelined for the first hour of the session while the hydraulics issue he encountered in FP1 was fixed before he was later able to get in some running. Showing his class, he popped in a late flying lap on his final run with an impressive 1:14.245 effort.
The Force India Mercedes’ of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Pérez ran comfortably in the top-ten once again – sandwiching the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat. Pérez and Kvyat were both caught out by the slippery track conditions, with each driver having a spin at the Turn 1/2 sequence.
Their efforts were overshadowed by Romain Grosjean, who looped his Haas Ferrari no less than three times in the 90-minute session. Despite this, the Frenchman managed to claim eleventh on the time sheets, while teammate Kevin Magnussen was three spots and barely one-tenth of a second slower.
Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg had a positive session to claim twelfth, half a second clear of teammate Jolyon Palmer who was sixteenth-fastest.
After his car stopped on its out-lap in FP1, Carlos Sainz Jr hit the lap counter and finished twelfth-fastest in his Toro Rosso.
The Saubers were again at the bottom of the timesheets, with Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein sandwiching Stoffel Vandoorne – the Belgian having spun his McLaren at the final chicane trying to warm up his Ultra Soft tyres.
Ericsson also came to grief at the same complex, clipping the ‘Wall of Champions’ during the session; the Swede was also reported to Race Director Charlie Whiting for allegedly blocking Hamilton while the Englishman was on a fast run.
Saturday’s final practice session in Montréal will begin at 10:00 local time (GMT -4).
|FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2017 – FREE PRACTICE 2 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Tyre||Laps|
|1.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:12.935||41|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:13.150||41|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:13.200||41|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:13.310||42|
|5.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:13.388||25|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:14.063||38|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:14.245||19|
|8.||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:14.299||46|
|9.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:14.461||38|
|10.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:14.501||41|
|11.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:14.566||33|
|12.||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:14.604||38|
|13.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:14.621||43|
|14.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:14.676||35|
|15.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:15.072||8|
|16.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:15.127||40|
|17.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:15.240||40|
|18.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:15.611||31|
|19.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:15.624||20|
|20.||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:16.038||31|
Image via Scuderia Ferrari