Practice Canada: Hamilton & Verstappen, Zhou-Crash 2 / Formel 1

Third practice for the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal: Lewis Hamilton set the fastest best time for Mercedes, with Saber driver Guanyu Zhou again delivering the rubbish.

In exaggerated terms, the racing drivers and engineers might have said philosophically after the first day of practice on the island of Notre-Dame in Montreal: We know we know nothing.

The changing conditions led to too few laps to get a coherent picture of the subtle interactions between the new surface, tires and ambient temperature at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. “It’s pure lottery,” said Fernando Alonso, who set the best time in the second practice session.

After a fault with the new drive unit in Max Verstappen’s car, the world champion went into practice with the previous engine. What happened to the electric generator to create the kinetic energy will be examined at the race car factory after the Canadian GP.

Training started in sunshine, with rain expected later, with a track temperature of 35 degrees and an air temperature of 20 degrees.

Verstappen, who lost a lot of time on Friday due to an MGU-K defect, immediately took to the track to make up for the miss. On the agenda for all drivers: sound out the tires’ behavior on fresh asphalt.

Verstappen complained on the radio: “I don’t know what’s going on, but the steering has been strange since yesterday.” The Dutchman drove the last right-left combination straight before the start and finish.

And then a red flag – after Guanyu Cho slipped in the second corner. The Chinese man was on the piste barriers on Friday and crushed his Saber racing car on the right side, now crashing backwards into the barriers. Not a good weekend. Zhou on the radio: “I don’t know what happened, the rear axle suddenly blocked.”

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As the damaged Saber race car was taken away, the clock continued to run mercilessly.

After things finally got going, Fernando Alonso confirmed the good impression from the second practice session (this one on hard tyres, courtesy!) with a great time, the Spaniard ahead of Lando Norris and Max Verstappen after 20 minutes.

Lewis Hamilton reported on the radio that the wind had picked up. This wind will bring more rain, and certainly in well-timed fashion – and it can be fun.

Half an hour later, the cars finally hit the road with soft Pirelli tires and the qualifying order, and time ticked down. On Friday’s wet track, Mercedes left the new front wing in the pits as a precaution, but now George Russell and Lewis Hamilton had a go at it – Russell taking the lead.

Monaco winner Charles Leclerc complained on the radio that the car was pulling sideways on the brakes. Brake stability is a big issue in Montreal, a track with heavy braking multiple times per lap.

After 35 minutes Leclerc was still in the lead, but not for long, then Lewis Hamilton was a tenth of a second faster. Mercedes has become very competitive.

Miami winner Lando Norris had a wheel jammed at the hairpin, meaning his chance of setting the fastest time in second, eleven thousandths behind Hamilton, was gone.

Stopped 15 minutes before the end: Hamilton, Norris, Leclerc, Ricciardo (the Canadian winner until ten years ago), Piastre, then the surprisingly strong Williams of Alban and Sgt.

Russell took the lead before Alphonse hit the side of the wall of champions – breaking the right rear suspension.

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Verstappen moved up to second behind Russell before Lewis Hamilton switched to P1: seven tenths faster than Russell! Max on the radio: “The car bounces down a lot, especially when braking from 1st to 2nd to 4th.”

Meanwhile, Leclerc is on the radio: “We don’t have the best coordination to pass 1 and 2. We’re too slow.”

Champion Max Verstappen’s last word: He moved up to second behind Lewis Hamilton in what was a kiss on the back-right wall of the champions.

3. Practice, Canada

01. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, 1:12.549 min
02. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:12.923
03. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, 1:12.957
04. Lance Stroll (CTN), Aston Martin, 1:13,026
05. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, 1:13.266
06. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bulls, 1:13.279
07. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, 1:13.293
08. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, 1:13.340
09. Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, 1:13.342
10. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, 1:13,349
11. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, 1:13.439
12. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:13.570
13. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, 1:13.642
14. Logan Sargent (USA), Williams, 1:13.663
15. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, 1:13.716
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, 1:13,737
17. Nico Hulkenberg (D), Haas, 1:13.777
18. Alex Alban (D), Williams, 1:13.880
19. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, 1:14,075
20. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, 1:18,656

2. Practice, Canada

01. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, 1:15.810 min
02. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, 1:16.273
03. Lance Stroll (CTN), Aston Martin, 1:16.464
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, 1:16.556
05. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bulls, 1:16.731
06. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, 1:16.773
07. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, 1:16.908
08. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, 1:16.951
09. Alex Alban (D), Williams, 1:16.977
10. Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, 1:17.041
11. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, 1:17,417
12. Logan Sargent (USA), Williams, 1:17.496
13. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:17.722
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, 1:17.817
15. Nico Hulkenberg (T), Haas, 1:17.903
16. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, 1:19.008
17. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, 1:19,087
18. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:19.311
19. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, 1:20,789
20. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, 1:20.843

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1. Practice, Canada

01. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, 1:24.435 min
02. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:24.763
03. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, 1:25,306
04. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, 1:25.970
05. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:26,502
06. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, 1:26.754
07. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, 1:27,584
08. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, 1:27.670
09. Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, 1:28.058
10. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, 1:28.541
11. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bulls, 1:28.582
12. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, 1:28.723
13. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, 1:29.052
14. Nico Hulkenberg (T), Haas, 1:32.826
15. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, 1:33.411
16. Logan Sargent (USA), Williams, 1:36.586
17. Lance Stroll (CTN), Aston Martin, 1:40,530
18. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), clean, no time
19. Jack Doohan (AUS), Alpine, no time
20. Alex Alban (D), Williams, no time

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