May 19, 2024

GP Canada 2023 (2nd practice): Mercedes duo at the front

In the first training session, fans in the stands in Montreal got just four minutes of action. After hard work behind the scenes, technicians were fortunately able to reconnect race management to the track cameras shortly before the second session. To make up for lost time, the exercise session was extended from 60 to 90 minutes.

But after nearly half an hour, the red flags had to be waved again. Nico Hulkenberg drove straight home with his tail smoking. The Ferrari engine gave up with a big bang. In order to evacuate the car and return it to the pit area, the race management stopped the session for nine minutes.

Shortly after the restart, the next team reported problems. He urged his engineer Esteban Ocon to turn off his car immediately. A water leak threatened to cause serious damage to the command module. The pilot chose turn nine as a parking spot, where he could be quickly pushed behind the barrier. The outage lasted only five minutes.


© Motorsport Pictures

Nico Hulkenberg's engine failure caused the first interruption in the second practice session.

Mercedes uses the grip feature

Several teams had to interrupt qualifying simulations due to red flags. Therefore, the picture that the timetable ultimately revealed must be viewed with caution. Mercedes was the last major team to send its drivers to the track on soft tires and little fuel, which had increased grip over time. Thanks to the grip advantage, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were able to occupy the first positions in the classification.

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The first pursuer was Carlos Sainz. The Ferrari driver finished third, 0.126 seconds behind the best time of the day. Fernando Alonso, another Spaniard, came in fourth. Aston Martin was also chasing the times relatively late and benefited from the improved conditions. Behind the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen set only the sixth fastest time. The world champion completed his chase relatively early.


© Red Bull

Max Verstappen was beaten on Friday. The competition started chasing the best times later.

The rain comes late but is heavy

So Dutch fans shouldn't worry too much. Valtteri Bottas' surprisingly strong seventh place also shows that all did not go as normal in Montreal on Friday. Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top ten. And with rain expected during qualifying, everything may look very different anyway.

The pilots got a little glimpse of the wet Saturday at the end of the second training session. Five minutes before the final whistle, the sky suddenly opened up in a sharp turn. The drivers were not able to learn much. Suddenly there was such heavy rain that the track was completely under water within seconds. It was just a matter of getting the cars back into the pits safely.

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