Max Verstappen will be hoping to extend his championship lead at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend, and practice results today shows he is in a good position to do so.
The battle between Ferrari and Red Bull seems set to continue, with Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Sergio Perez finishing FP1 first and fourth respectively. Carlos Sainz was second best for Ferrari, with teammate Charles Leclerc fifth. Fernando Alonso was the shock package of the session, with a respectable P3 running on the slower medium compound tyre. Alonso was the only driver of the 20 to set his best time on this compound.
It was a relatively drama-free FP1, with the exception of a small brake fire for Esteban Ocon early in the session, the result of a stray paper towel on the track getting into the system.
Drivers flirted with the infamous “Wall of Champions”, with Yuki Tsunoda coming closest to wrecking and scraping his AlphaTauri along the wall.
Once again, the Canadian wildlife displayed a lack of awareness during FP1, with a Groundhog threading through the field in a mad dash across the track before safely escaping on the other side.
FP2 saw a similar theme, with Verstappen leading the way ahead of Leclerc, by less than a tenth of a second, and Sainz, by 2 tenths. Perez set the 11th fastest time, a full one second behind his teammate. Valtteri Bottas failed to set a time in the session due to technical issues with his car.
Leclerc will start Sunday’s race with a 10 place grid place penalty after taking a new control electronics element, his third of the season, with a permitted two. The power unit that failed in Baku was also beyond repair which contributed towards a range of changes. Further change may see the Ferrari slip further down the grid should they be required.
Japanese driver Tsunoda will start at the back of the field for the grand prix, with a new power unit in his AlphaTauri being his fourth of the season, one more than the permitted three.
Porpoising also proved to be problematic once again at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton complaining about the stiffness of his Mercedes as a result.
FP3 starts at 5am NZ time, with qualifying following at 8am.