Max Verstappen claimed a clean sweep of Friday’s practice sessions at the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix, with Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen denying Red Bull Racing a 1-2 result on the Friday time sheets.
After being quickest in Friday’s opening practice session, Verstappen used a set of Hypersoft Pirelli tyres to knock the 2007 World Champion off of top spot just after the 45-minute mark.
His quickest time, a 1:12.198, edged out Räikkönen – who had himself just eclipsed Lewis Hamilton’s earlier benchmark time – by just 0.130 seconds.
A point to note, however, is that neither Hamilton nor teammate Valtteri Bottas – who finished the session sixth-fastest behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – ran the theoretically quickest Hypersoft tyres, with the Mercedes drivers only having five sets of the compound available to them for the entire weekend.
Daniel Ricciardo overcame a disrupted session to move into third-fastest in the final minutes. The Australian spent much of the session in the garage while his Red Bull Racing mechanics rectified an apparent electrical problem. He returned to the track in the final 10 minutes, vaulting to fourth on his first flying lap on Hypersoft tyres before improving to third at his next attempt.
Behind the ‘big three’ teams, Romain Grosjean led the midfield charge in his Haas Ferrari, however the Frenchman’s session was interrupted when he collided with a marmot. The incident, sadly fatal for the poor native animal, cause substantial front wing and parts damage to Grosjean’s VF-18.
The two Force India drivers finished eighth and ninth-fastest in the session, with Esteban Ocon outpacing teammate Sergio Pérez by just seven-thousandths of a second.
Fernando Alonso completed the top ten in his McLaren, with a late effort knocking Sauber’s Charles Leclerc into P11 on the timesheets. The Monégasque driver could well have gone quicker but for a lock-up on his qualifying simulation run.
Brendon Hartley showed improved pace in the Toro Rosso as speculation over his future with the team continues to swirl. The New Zealander – who it is rumoured could be replaced by McLaren protégé Lando Norris – finished twelfth-fastest overall, despite another off-track moment during the session.
Renault’s mixed fortunes continued into the second practice session. After missing the first fifteen minutes of practice while gearbox replacement works were completed following his stoppage in FP1, Nico Hülkenberg went on to finish thirteenth-fastest behind Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.
This time, however, it was the turn of teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. to come unstuck. The Spaniard lost the rear end of his car exiting the Turn 6/7 chicane shortly before the half-hour mark and damaged his rear wing. Although he was able to limp back to the pits, he didn’t manage any further running.
He wasn’t the only driver to come to grief during the session, with McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne swiping the wall exiting the Turn 3/4 chicane. The Belgian tried to get his car back to the pits but was advised by his engineers to pull off the circuit to avoid the risk of damaging the floor of his MCL33.
The third and final practice session for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix gets underway on Saturday at 11:00 local time (GMT -4).
|FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX HEINEKEN DU CANADA 2018 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 2 TIMES|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB14||1:12.198||39|
|2.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF71H||1:12.328||+ 0.130||42|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB14||1:12.603||+ 0.405||17|
|4.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09||1:12.777||+ 0.579||39|
|5.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF71H||1:12.985||+ 0.787||24|
|6.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09||1:13.061||+ 0.863||40|
|7.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-18||1:13.620||+ 1.422||34|
|8.||Esteban Ocon||Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM11||1:13.747||+ 1.549||40|
|9.||Sergio Pérez||Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM11||1:13.754||+ 1.556||40|
|10.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren F1 Team Renault MCL33||1:13.866||+ 1.668||30|
|11.||Charles Leclerc||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C37||1:13.884||+ 1.686||39|
|12.||Brendon Hartley||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13||1:13.889||+ 1.691||42|
|13.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-18||1:13.956||+ 1.758||39|
|14.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS18||1:13.967||+ 1.769||37|
|15.||Marcus Ericsson||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C37||1:14.108||+ 1.910||41|
|16.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren F1 Team Renault MCL33||1:14.167||+ 1.969||14|
|17.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Renault Sport F1 Team RS18||1:14.433||+ 2.235||9|
|18.||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13||1:14.486||+ 2.288||39|
|19.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41||1:14.703||+ 2.505||40|
|20.||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41||1:14.782||+ 2.584||35|
Image via Aston Martin Red Bull Racing