Site logo

Verstappen reigns in final practice


Ahead of today's sole session the air temperature is 14 degrees C, while the track temperature is 17 degrees.

Other than being a little nippy, it is wet. Indeed, it has been raining for much of the morning and though it has now stopped there is likely to be further downpours. Indeed, race control helpfully advises that there is a 100% chance of further rain. Oh, and it's also windy.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell topped the timesheets in yesterday's extended second session, yet curiously both appeared determined to talk down their chances. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen was unhappy, complaining mostly, among other things, about the bumps.

There were red flags in both sessions, with Pierre Gasly suffering an electrics issue in the morning and teammate Esteban Ocon sidelined by a water pressure in the afternoon.

Another red flag was caused when Nico Hulkenberg suffered a power unit related issue after just 11 laps.

Other than the stoppages, the weather didn't help with a heavy downpour causing havoc in the final minutes of the afternoon session. It would appear that we can expect more of the same this afternoon.

Adding to the conundrum is the fact that while both today's sessions are likely to be rain-affected, tomorrow is looking set to be dry.

The lights go green but there is no immediate rush to action. A couple of minutes later the Haas pair head out. Both are sporting full wets, full wets which do not require pre-heating.

The Haas pair are subsequently joined by Sargeant, Alonso and Russell.

"We believe we should be staying out on wets," Magnussen is told. "I agree," he replies.

The Dane goes on to post a 34.797.

"Bit of pulling to the left-hand side under braking," reports Russell.

Alonso goes straight to the top of the timesheets with a 32.217, the Spaniard no doubt hoping that these conditions continue.

Stroll goes third (33.446), ahead of Hulkenberg, Russell, Sargeant and de Vries.

"Who is the blind guy in the AlphaTauri," asks Alonso. "Tsunoda," he is told.

The Japanese driver subsequently spins at Turn 3.

"More rain is expected in nine minutes," Ocon is advised. The Frenchman subsequently goes quickest (31.428), as Perez goes second (31.473).

Piastri goes third, but is immediately demoted by Hamilton (31.515).

Alonso, Stroll, de Vries, Bottas and Zhou switch to Inters, but Piastri feels it is too early. "There's too much water," he says.

A 30.685 sees Tsunoda go quickest, ahead of Hulkenberg, Verstappen, Gasly and Magnussen.

Sainz goes second on the Inters (30.541), while, having gone quickest in the first two sectors, Alonso makes a mistake at the final chicane.

Verstappen goes top with a 29.190.

"Very close to inters, it's just a bit of standing water in a few places," says Perez.

Leclerc improves to second with a 29.334, as Stroll struggles on his Inters. Indeed, like his teammate, he misses the final chicane.

Bottas (Inters) goes quickest (28.968), but is immediately demoted when Alonso stops the clock at 27.517.

"I hit the kerb a bit," admits Ocon, "so check the left-hand side of the floor."

Sainz leapfrogs his countryman with a 27.245.

No sooner has Hulkenberg gone third (28.003), than he is demoted when Leclerc crosses the line at 26.733.

Another spin for Tsunoda, this time at Turn 2, while there are offs for Stroll and Hulkenberg.

Albon is unhappy with the antics of Sainz, accusing the Spaniard of simply stopping without any consideration for those behind him.

"It's dangerous, all the time, he just stops it in the middle of the chicane," says the Williams driver.

Hulkenberg goes quickest with a 26.431, while a 26.726 sees Tsunoda claim second.

While the rain closes in, Leclerc goes quickest (24.724) ahead of his Ferrari teammate.

At the other end of the timesheets, Hamilton has completed just 5 laps and remains 5.7s off the pace. He heads out on Inters, subsequently posting a 27.677 to go eleventh. Teammate Russell is currently 17th.

A 24.977 sees Verstappen go top, 0.747s clear of Leclerc.

Despite his pace, Verstappen complains that his downshifts are getting worse and worse.

Meanwhile Albon complains about Sainz once again, and as he calls for the stewards to be involved race control confirms that the Spaniard's antics will be looked at after the session.

Another improvement for Verstappen (24.480) as Leclerc also improves (24.850).

Oh dear. Albon has stopped at the end of the pit straight, the Ferrari missing its front wing and the rear wing askew.

"Sorry guys, I crashed," he confirms.

As it happens he had just improved to second (24.765), when he appeared to lose it under braking for Turn 1 and spun into the barrier.

The session is red-flagged.

It had just started raining again at that point, but this is not thought to have been a contributing factor.

Then session resumes with 22 minutes remaining, in no time at all there 14... 15... 16 drivers on track.

One of those 16 is Hamilton who misses the first corner.

"We're expecting heavier rain in ten minutes," Piastri is warned.

Russell improves to 7th with a 26.479, as Alonso goes tenth (26.874). Next time around the Briton goes fourth (25.483), only to be demoted by the Spaniard (25.226).

Meanwhile, Verstappen raises the bar ever higher with a 23.779, 0.986s quicker than second-quickest Sainz.

Albon goes fifth (25.379), ahead of Russell, Bottas, Piastri and Tsunoda.

"Grip is very poor," reports Hamilton as Norris posts a 25.1987 to go fourth.

Yet another improvement from Verstappen who posts a 23.154, 1.6s up on the Ferrari pair.

Offs for Zhou and Russell as Leclerc posts a 23.397, closing to within 0.243s of Verstappen... who improves to 23.106.

"I'm coming in mate, I'm just wasting my time," reports Hamilton.

Alonso goes third with a 24.483.

With 10 minutes remaining, Perez is warned that more rain is imminent.

Gasly improves to sixth with a 24.825, as Bottas reports that his (right) mirror is hanging off. On-board footage shows the Finn holding the errant mirror with one hand while steering his car with the other.

Having stayed out, Hamilton has improved to tenth with a 25.087.

Magnussen goes fourth with a 24.715.

As the rain intensifies, with 7 minutes remaining, Leclerc is the last to head back to the pits.

Surprisingly, Leclerc heads out again, on fresh Inters. Seemingly on the instructions of his engineers who wanted him to perform a practice start.

The rain is teeming down and it is clear that there will be no further action.

Verstappen is quickest, ahead of Leclerc, Alonso, Magnussen, Sainz, Gasly, Stroll, Tsunoda, Bottas and Hamilton.

Hulkenberg is eleventh, ahead of Piastri, Norris, Albon, Russell, de Vries, Perez, Zhou, Ocon and Sargeant.

If it continues, we can expect some serious fun and games in qualifying.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Montreal here.


more news >



galleries >

  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images


or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment



No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms