Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in Free Practice 2 in Montreal ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
The Finn’s best lap time of 1:12.935s was just a little over a tenth of a second off last year’s pole position time. Raikkonen was 0.215s faster than the morning pace setter Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.
Their team mates Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas were third and fourth place respectively. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fifth fastest before suffering an engine failure twenty minutes before the end of the session. That resulted in the session being briefly red flagged while the stricken RB13 was recovered from turn 7.
Felipe Massa was sixth fastest for Williams ahead of another impressive showing for Force India driver Esteban Ocon in seventh.
Air and track temperatures had picked up a couple of degrees compared to the morning as drivers headed back out after lunch onto the still-dusty track. However the skies over the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve remained overcast for most of Free Practice 2, the sun finally breaking out only at the very end of the day’s activity.
Having missing out on first practice with an engine failure, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was the first driver to set a time and was one of the most industrious drivers in FP2, completing 43 laps. However it was the Ferraris who were soon setting the pace, Raikkonen going top with 1:14.456s on supersofts and Vettel less than a tenth behind in the first ten minutes of the session. The pair continued to trade the top spot back and forth as they shaved more tenths of a second off their lap times.
Eventually the two Mercedes drivers joined the fun, Bottas initially dividing the two Ferraris by slipping into second place despite being on the soft (prime) compound. Hamilton soon went top with a time of 1:13.955s, before the Ferraris made the move to ultrasofts. Raikkonen and Vettel soon pulled a second clear of the rest of the field, until Mercedes also changed to the qualifying tyre to close things up to a little over a couple of tenths.
Pushing hard from the start, Vettel soon enjoyed a lairy early moment across the kerbs in the final chicane and came close to encountering the wall of champions. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also escaped contact albeit by spinning while exiting of the chicane, while Marcus Ericsson later made a positively sparkling impact with the wall with the right rear wheel of his Sauber.
- The updated power unit component list for Canada
Elsewhere, Nico Hulkenberg brushed the wall on the exit of turn 9 in the Renault. Turn 6 was another corner that continued to catch out the unwary, Romain Grosjean twice locking up and spinning on successive laps which he blamed on a braking system issue. “I can’t spin two times in the same corner!” he told Haas over the team radio.
Grosjean later spun in turn 2, seemingly a result of growing frustration with the situation. In this case he was in good company, Bottas also losing the back end of the Mercedes in the same section later in the session, and minutes later Vettel also followed in their skid marks.
Force India’s Sergio Perez found it just as difficult to navigate the chicane and similarly went for a spin. Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat likewise had their problems with the corner.
Daniel Ricciardo was another driver experiencing technical issues. He reported a loss of power on his Red Bull that was subsequently diagnosed as an engine mechanical issue, ending his session. Fernando Alonso also found his track time somewhat curtailed again, with McLaren labouring to fix the hydraulic issue that had wrecked his morning session. He did finally get out on track with half an hour remaining to make some runs on ultrasoft tyres.
There were a number of incidents where drivers complained that hot laps were impeded. One incident between Sainz and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was referred to the stewards for subsequent investigation. Hamilton also asked to be patched through to race director Charlie Whiting to make his own complaint about an unidentified rival. Vettel in turn was unhappy with Hamilton continually backing off after aborted flying laps.
There was a curious incident when Raikkonen radioed a warning that photographers were working in a dangerous position in turn 2. It coincided with the red flag for Verstappen’s breakdown. Away from the track, a Williams pit crew member had to receive medical attention after Felipe Massa’s car was rolled back over his foot.
Free Practice 2 results
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Gallery: All the pictures from Montreal
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