Monday, April 15, 2024

Hamilton Leads Mercedes 1-2 in Extended Canadian GP Second Practice

Lewis Hamilton led George Russell in a Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, with the British pair putting in late laps in the second practice at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The session was extended from the usual 60 minutes to a 90-minute session due to Free Practice 1 being cut short because of CCTV problems that were found around the problems, and the FIA deeming it a safety concern. 90 minutes of action saw two red flags, some surprises and a constant threat of rain, and it was Mercedes that came out on top ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. in third.

Hamilton secured the fastest time with a laptime of 1:13.718s on the soft compound tyres, edging ahead of his teammate Russell by a mere 0.027 seconds. The Scuderia Ferrari pair of Sainz and Charles Leclerc sandwiched Fernando Alonso’s upgraded Aston Martin, occupying positions three to five. Alonso left it late to set his time, and he will be hoping for more pace compared to the Mercedes if he is to get back on the podium after missing out in Monaco and Spain.

The soft tyre runs, however, were influenced by various factors. A red flag was brought out when Nico Hülkenberg’s Haas started smoking, causing him to come to a stop, and then another red flag stopped the running, with Esteban Ocon being instructed to halt his Alpine in the middle sector due to suspected water pressure loss.

Oracle Red Bull Racing shifted their focus fairly quickly to longer runs on medium tyres, so their lap times on the soft compound aren’t representative of their capabilities. As a result, world champion Max Verstappen and teammate Sergio Pérez finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

Valtteri Bottas once again impressed for Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake after topping Free Practice 1 and managed to finish between the Red Bulls in seventh place, while home favourite Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly, who managed to get back out on track after a car issue early in the first practice, rounded out the top 10. Gasly managed to survive a momentous slide through Turn 4 when the wind intensified, and he’ll find himself lucky to come away with no damage to the car.

Oscar Piastri encountered some drama late on as he grazed the notorious “Wall of Champions,” ultimately ending up in 11th place, as the lead McLaren F1 Team driver with Lando Norris thirteenth. Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen finished in 12th, while Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries looking to be struggling for pace for Scuderia AlphaTauri.

Alex Albon secured 17th as Williams Racing experimented with a range of new upgrades on his car. Ocon and Hülkenberg claimed 18th and 20th places, respectively, after their aforementioned issues, while Logan Sargeant, Albon’s teammate without any of the new updates, concluded the day in 19th place. Sargeant will receive the upgrades at the British Grand Prix.

Rain started to fall at the end of the session, but with only five minutes to go when the heavy shower hit, not many drivers went onto track but with rain forecasted throughout qualifying tomorrow, it should mix up the order and make for an interesting day of Formula 1 action!

1 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:13.718 30
2 George Russell MERCEDES 1:13.745 +0.027s 31
3 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:13.844 +0.126s 39
4 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:14.044 +0.326s 38
5 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:14.094 +0.376s 38
6 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:14.142 +0.424s 34
7 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:14.220 +0.502s 40
8 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:14.250 +0.532s 29
9 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:14.419 +0.701s 31
10 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT 1:14.477 +0.759s 39
11 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:14.533 +0.815s 38
12 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:14.544 +0.826s 36
13 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:14.617 +0.899s 40
14 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:14.811 +1.093s 37
15 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:14.941 +1.223s 43
16 Nyck De Vries ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:15.002 +1.284s 38
17 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:15.003 +1.285s 33
18 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:15.092 +1.374s 17
19 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:15.426 +1.708s 38
20 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI 1:16.369 +2.651s 11