Raikkonen leads the way in FP2

09/06/2017
NEWS STORY

Ahead of today's second practice session, the air temperature is 23 degrees C, while the track temperature is 34 degrees.

If, as Toto Wolff continues to tell us, Mercedes comes here as the underdog, someone has clearly forgotten to tell his drivers. Lewis Hamilton topped this morning's timesheets, while teammate Valtteri Bottas was third just 0.237s behind.

The Ferraris were third and fourth, with the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon fifth and sixth.

Opting not to run the ultrasoft rubber, like Williams, the Red Bull duo finished seventh and eighth.

While Fernando Alonso's retirement, thought to be hydraulics related, hardly came as a surprise, Carlos Sainz engine issue on his out lap did. While it was not the Spaniard's race engine, the issue will not have inspired confidence within the various Renault supplied teams.

Other than track invasions by a squirrel and a groundhog, the other stand-outs were the numerous spins, with both Ferrari drivers losing the rear ends of their cars.

As ever, the final chicane claimed a number of victims, among them Max Verstappen.

With the temperatures closer to those expected on Sunday, and the track having been rubbered in, this session should prove more enlightening than FP1.

The lights go green and first out is Sainz who has some catching up to do. He is subsequently followed by Vettel, both drivers on the supersofts.

Sainz posts 21.491 with Vettel posting 19.446 moments later.

Ocon, Perez, Hulkenberg and Raikkonen are also on track.

As more driver head out, in the McLaren garage both cars are up on their stands showing no sign of going anywhere soon.

Raikkonen posts 14.456 as Perez goes third (16.210), ahead of Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Magnussen and Sainz.

A spin for Grosjean at T6, the chicane which has caught out a few drivers today including Raikkonen.

A lap later and the Haas driver spins at exactly the same corner, once again the rear end stepping out and the Frenchman unable to stop it.

A 14.093 sees Vettel go quickest as Hamilton and Bottas finally head out.

"There's something wrong with the rears," complains Grosjean but he is told to stay out.

Ricciardo goes third with a 15.072 just ahead of Kvyat.

Shortly after Bottas misses the final chicane, Vettel has a close encounter with the Wall of Champions. "I nearly lost it in the final corner," laughs the German. "That was a close one!"

Vandoorne heads out but no sign of his Spanish teammate.

A 14.445 sees Hamilton go third, though he's demoted when Raikkonen (13.990) and Bottas (14.079) both improve. Interestingly, while Raikkonen was on the supers, the Mercedes driver was on softs.

"I've got a loss of power," warns Ricciardo, "let me know what you want me to do." He is given the necessary instructions. Shortly after, Verstappen has similar issues, he is told to "calm down" and adopt similar measures to his teammate.

Hamilton goes top of the timesheets with a 13.955, just 0.35s ahead of Raikkonen, the top four covered by 0.183s.

Fifth and sixth, the Red Bull duo both pit following their earlier issues.

Twenty-five minutes into the session, Vettel switches to the ultras.

Arriving back in the pits, Hamilton asks to be patched into Charlie (Whiting), the Briton clearly unhappy about something. A short while earlier the Mercedes almost tripped up over Wehrlein as he entered the pitlane, but that is a common issue here.

Meanwhile, engineers are gathered around Ricciardo's car as the Australian waits patiently inside it.

On the ultras, Vettel improves to 13.744 as teammate Raikkonen also bolts on a set of the purple-banded tyres.

Ricciardo climbs out of his car suggesting the issue is more complicated than it first appeared.

"I just brushed the wall at the exit of nine," admits Hulkenberg, you'd better check the corner.

"Something is wrong with the braking," says Wehrlein, "that's the second time now," he adds, referring to missing the final chicane.

A 12.935 sees Raikkonen go quickest, the Finn still has it. Not that we ever doubted it.

Palmer improves to eleventh with a 15.171 as Alonso remains the only driver still top post a time.

On the ultras, Hamilton fails to improve on his first flying lap, which, unlike the Ferraris, clearly need at least one flying warm-up lap.

Going quickest in the final sector, Hamilton goes second (13.150) but remains 0.215s off Raikkonen's pace.

"What the hell is going on, I'm starting to get really fed up," complains - well, take a guess - as he spins at T2.

Check out our Friday gallery from Montreal, here.

PBs in all three sectors for Verstappen but he remains 0.843s off the pace.

Grosjean is getting angrier and angrier, and when advised of his teammate's progress responds "f*** him!" Oh dear.

A big, big lock-up for Sainz at the final chicane.

As Verstappen continues, Ricciardo watches his teammate's progress on the monitors, the Australian's session seemingly over.

With just under 40 minutes remaining, attention is switching to longer runs in anticipation of Sunday afternoon.

Indeed, with 36:11 remaining, Alonso climbs into his McLaren. Meanwhile, teammate Vandoorne has spun at the final chicane, the Belgian doing well to keep it out of 'the wall'.

Bottas is the latest to spin at T1, the back end stepping out and the Mercedes gliding across the grass backwards.

Soon after Bottas' off, it's Vettel's turn to spin at the first corner.

Sainz is the latest to have a big moment, the Spaniard a passenger as his Toro Rosso slides across the grass.

In all the excitement, Alonso has finally been out, the Spaniard going 16th with a 15.183.

The session is red-flagged when Verstappen stops on track following a technical failure his power suddenly cutting out.

Meanwhile Raikkonen reports a couple of photographers who are trackside with their cameras clearly under the impression we're back in the 60s.

With 14:20 remaining, the all-clear is given.

Meanwhile the cameras replay an earlier incident at the hairpin when Bottas passed Stroll and the Canadian nearly collided with Raikkonen, shades of Barcelona.

With all but Vandoorne and the Red Bulls on track, the lock-ups and excursions continue, as do the resultant yellow flags.

A 14.631 sees Alonso improve to thirteenth, the Spaniard having completed 14 laps.

Sainz has to report to the stewards at the end of the session following an incident involving Magnussen, the Spaniard alleged to have driven unnecessarily slowly and thereby being a danger to other drivers.

Interestingly, not only is Raikkonen quickest in this session, he hasn't had any noticeable incidents.

A late charge sees Alonso go seventh with a 14.245.

The session ends, Raikkonen is quickest, ahead of Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Massa, Alonso, Ocon, Kvyat and Perez.

Grosjean is eleventh, ahead of Hulkenberg, Sainz, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Palmer, Stroll, Ericsson, Vandoorne and Wehrlein.

Check out our Friday gallery from Montreal, here.

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Published: 09/06/2017
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