Hamilton leads Russell in the second practice of Canadian Grand Prix

Hamilton leads Russell in the second practice of Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes ended up fastest in the second practice session at the Canadian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton leading his teammate George Russell in Montreal.

Before heavy rain began to fall in the final minutes of the practice, both Mercedes drivers took advantage of new soft tyres late in the session to produce the fastest times of Friday, with Hamilton less than three hundredths of a second faster than George Russell in the sister Mercedes W14.

The second session was kicked off by Mercedes with a lengthy run, putting Hamilton and Russell out on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a hefty fuel load as their opponents were fine-tuning the setup during shorter runs. After running a long-run simulation, Hamilton set a time of 1m13.718s, finishing 0.027s faster than Russell to secure a Mercedes one-two in Montreal.

An additional half-hour had to be added to the start of the second session to give teams a chance to make up some of the track time they had missed after the first practice session was essentially scrapped owing to an issue with the circuit’s CCTV system. Only Alexander Albon’s extensively modified Williams remained in the garage as the extended practice session started, leaving 19 of the 20 cars on the track.

On the medium compound tyres, Charles Leclerc set the early pace clocking a 1’16.564 to put him two tenths ahead of the two Red Bulls. Verstappen came in second, a tenth slower than Perez’s fresh record of 1’15.230 which moved him to the top of the times.

Pierre Gasly raised the red flag that put an end to the earlier session after communication issue. But before the second session began, his team had successfully rectified the issue, and Gasly showed how well his car was performing by shooting to the top of the times with a 1’15.224.

Gasly’s reign at the top, however, was short-lived as Verstappen and Leclerc, both of whom broke the 1’15 second barrier while running on soft tires, displaced him immediately.

The session was put on hold just before the extra 30 minutes were up after Nico Hulkenberg stopped on the start-finish straight with smoke appearing from the back of his Haas VF-23. After a brief interruption of just under 10 minutes, the marshals swiftly put out the fire and moved the car out of the way, allowing practice to resume.

As soon as practice resumed, Perez pushed hard on the Red Bull running on soft tires and scraped the wall going through turn seven. He decided to abandon the run and headed back to the pits for a suspension check and a new set of tires.

Shortly before the second red flag interruption of the session, Esteban Ocon’s Alpine lost water pressure at turn nine, causing him to pull out. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz Jr. had gone to the top of the timings with a 1’13.844 when the session was interrupted for the second time.

With little about 45 minutes left, practice resumed after another brief interruption. By this point in the session, rain was steadily moving toward the Montreal circuit from downtown, making it crucial for teams to get dry running data while the conditions stood to allow it.

Sainz and Leclerc’s Ferraris rejoined the track on old tires, as Mercedes sent out its two drivers on brand-new soft tires. The fastest time was set by Russell, who took advantage of brand-new tires to post a time of 1’13.745. Teammate Hamilton came in second, but only by 0.027s, despite hitting traffic at the end of his lap.

The rain was now threatening to cover the circuit at any second with only a little under 30 minutes left. But despite the rain’s apparent reluctance to start, cars continued to make their runs. Oscar Piastri brushed the “wall of champions” with his right side of his McLaren alarming his pit wall as Lando Norris had an incident in turn one.

Overhead, storm clouds kept building, but there was no sign of rain. With the increase in wind, the track was covered in leaves. The long-awaited rain eventually started to fall with seven seconds remaining at the hairpin on turn 10 while the north of the course remained fairly dry.

Norris was the last car to head back to the garage after remaining outside for one additional lap on intermediate tyres to test the weather.

The two Aston Martins made the decision to drive out into the rain on intermediate tyres with two minutes left in the practice. The two Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, and Norris’ McLaren joined them on the circuit for one last lap. All seven made it back to the garage after a last lap at slow speeds, bringing the practice to an end.

The session’s top two finishers were the two Mercedes, with Hamilton finishing slightly ahead of Russell. Sainz finished third for Ferrari, ahead of Alonso, Leclerc, and Verstappen in the sixth-place marking the fastest Red Bull.

In seventh place, Valtteri Bottas split the Red Bulls as Perez was eighth, ahead of Stroll’s Aston Martin, with Gasly rounding out the top 10.

Canadian Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Results

144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:13.71830
263George RussellMercedes1:13.745+0.027s31
355Carlos SainzFerrari1:13.844+0.126s39
414Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:14.044+0.326s38
516Charles LeclercFerrari1:14.094+0.376s38
61Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:14.142+0.424s34
777Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:14.220+0.502s40
811Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:14.250+0.532s29
918Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:14.419+0.701s31
1010Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:14.477+0.759s39
1181Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:14.533+0.815s38
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:14.544+0.826s36
134Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:14.617+0.899s40
1424Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:14.811+1.093s37
1522Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:14.941+1.223s43
1621Nyck De VriesAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:15.002+1.284s38
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:15.003+1.285s33
1831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:15.092+1.374s17
192Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:15.426+1.708s38
2027Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:16.369+2.651s11

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