Friday, July 19, 2024

Verstappen Leads Leclerc in Wet Final Canadian GP Practice

Max Verstappen returned to the top of the charts in the third and final practice session of the weekend after a poor showing on Friday, edging out Charles Leclerc in the wet.

The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver had a much-needed good session after an inconsistent session on Friday and will have his sights set on pole position in qualifying, but with more rain forecasted, it could be a very interesting hour of Formula 1.

After a predominantly dry day of running on Friday, the drivers were met with a wet track as heavy rain persisted in the area. Consequently, teams opted to equip their cars with extreme wet tyres in the early stages of the session. As the session progressed, around 10 minutes in, drivers began transitioning to intermediate tyres. This move allowed teams to assess the optimal point at which to switch tire types, considering the conditions they are likely to encounter during qualifying later today.

During the intermediate tyre phase, Verstappen and the Scuderia Ferrari drivers posted the fastest laps. Verstappen, which was a major improvement from Friday’s running, emerged as the quickest, surpassing Carlos Sainz Jr. by a margin of over two and a half tenths, with a time of 1:24.480s.

Unfortunately, Sainz’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when he spun into the barrier at Turn 1, causing substantial damage to both the front and rear of his SF23. The incident led to red flags and presented his mechanics with a significant repair task ahead of qualifying. It will be a tough one to take for Sainz, with Ferrari’s weekend going so well well up to this point, and the race is now on to have the car ready for qualifying.

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

When the session resumed, Verstappen continued to dominate the timesheets, setting the fastest lap of 1:23.106s on the intermediates. This propelled him to the top of the standings, followed by Leclerc in second place, trailing by 0.291s.

Aston Martin’s Armaco Cognizant F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso secured the third-fastest time but was over a second behind Verstappen’s pace. Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen impressed with the fourth-fastest lap, while Sainz managed to hold on to fifth place despite his incident.

Other notable performances included Pierre Gasly in sixth for BWT Alpine F1 Team, followed by the hometown favourite Lance Stroll and Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in seventh and eighth, respectively. Valtteri Bottas, who ended the session in ninth, suffered some damage on his car and showed some remarkable multitasking skills as he navigated the rain while holding onto his damaged wing mirror, and also continued his impressive run in practice after doing well on Friday.

In contrast, Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team teammate George Russell, who finished first and second in Free Practice Two, faced challenges in generating tire temperature and ended up in tenth and fifteenth place, respectively.

Nico Hülkenberg, recovering from an engine failure, secured the 11th fastest time. McLaren F1 Team’s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris claimed 12th and 13th places, with Alex Albon rounding out the top 14.

George Russell mentioned earlier, finished ahead of AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries in sixteenth place, while Sergio Pérez continued to struggle and ended up in a disappointing seventeenth place for Red Bull.

Zhou Guanyu finished in eighteenth place, ahead of Esteban Ocon, who continued his recovery from a water pressure issue in Free Practice, in nineteenth. Logan Sargeant completed the field, putting in the slowest laptime.

1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:23.106 22
2 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:23.397 +0.291s 22
3 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:24.483 +1.377s 18
4 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:24.715 +1.609s 23
5 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:24.765 +1.659s 14
6 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT 1:24.825 +1.719s 19
7 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:24.944 +1.838s 22
8 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:24.955 +1.849s 24
9 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:24.988 +1.882s 22
10 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:25.087 +1.981s 20
11 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI 1:25.140 +2.034s 20
12 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:25.191 +2.085s 25
13 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:25.198 +2.092s 21
14 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:25.379 +2.273s 21
15 George Russell MERCEDES 1:25.435 +2.329s 20
16 Nyck De Vries ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:25.725 +2.619s 24
17 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:25.857 +2.751s 20
18 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:26.750 +3.644s 23
19 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:26.840 +3.734s 10
20 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:27.279 +4.173s 16