Max Verstappen completed the Canadian GP’s first free practice on soft tires (1: 15.158s) with the best time, beating Carlos Sanz’s time at 0.246s, as well as soft tires. The big news in the top 5 was the inclusion of Fernando Alonso with the third best time of practice, but with medium tires (+ 0.373s). The Spanish alpine driver split the four drivers between Red Bull and Ferrari, dropping Sergio Perez (+ 0.461s) and Charles Lacklerk (+ 0.508s) in the first five.
George Russell (+ 0.664s) was out of the top 5 and more than half a second into Max Verstappen’s time, followed by Lance Stroll, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
In terms of what’s new for the Canadian GP, Mercedes has modified the rear suspension and bottom, possibly for self-control, and Aston Martin, Ferrari and McLaren (with new lower edges in the MCL36) have a new rear wing. Single seat Red Bull, Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, Haas and Williams showed no updates in Montreal.
Red Bull and Ferrari return to the top of the timesheets, surprisingly. At Ferrari, Carlos Senz performed better than Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso infiltrated both teams.
The time gained by Fernando Alonso (1: 15.531s) with about 3 laps on the middle tire is a good record for the alpine driver, who hit the time between Ferrari and Red Bull less than 15 minutes after the end of the session. , Behind Max Verstappen and Carlos Senz, is taking the third fastest time.
Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll led the so-called “Second Platoon” in fifth and sixth place, respectively, despite good performances from two Aston Martins and not all drivers were strong enough. They have seen Mercedes improve their fast times, but the highlights are the time they have reached about 20 minutes after the end of practice.
Mercedes took the lead in the “second pack” and made George Russell faster than Lewis Hamilton. At McLaren, Daniel Ricardo was the fastest driver, closing in the top 10 in the first practice, but behind both Aston Martin and Mercedes.
Kevin Magnussen was the slowest driver in practice, separated by Nicholas Latifi, who finished 19th in “his” GP’s first practice timesheet.
Zhou Guanyu (17th) and Voltaire Botas (16th) went a long way in the first ten but engaged in race simulation by changing between medium and soft tires during practice.
How the session went:
Since 2019, Formula 1 has not visited Montreal and Circuit Giles Villeneuve, and as soon as the first car leaves the track, we can hear the driver’s welcome from the audience.
Hoping to get the data as soon as possible and in the danger of rain, most riders got on track at the first moment, with Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc on soft tires. Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Okon were the last two drivers to leave the garage.
In the first ten minutes of practice, two Red Bull drivers leapfrogged Max Verstappen (1: 16.507s) and Sergio Perez by 0.582 seconds at the top of the timesheet. Leclerc, on soft tires, 0.626 s above the time of Worstapen on medium tires.
Less than 15 minutes of practice, and the right front brake of Esteban O’Connor’s car overheated due to debris in the air intake, the driver was slowly approaching the pit, smoking heavily with the brakes. Behind Carlos Senz, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, his teammates closed the top 5 at the time.
With caution in the pits of Mercedes technical director James Allison, Lewis Hamilton completed his first fast lap to 11th place on the timesheet, 1.677 seconds ahead of Verstappen’s time, which had recently improved to 1.15.660.
Coming out of the last corner, Alonso tried to make his “Wall of Champions” debut, but the Spanish driver did not succeed. However, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, racing at home, as well as Daniel Ricciardo, were cycling faster than the Spaniard, soon after Alexander Albon trailed him to seventh in the timesheet.
In the aftermath of the Canadian GP’s first free practice, most drivers got back on track with soft tires.
In the first attempt on the fast lap, Carlos Sanz (on soft tires) replaced the fastest driver in practice with a time of 1: 15.441, followed by Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc. Max Verstappen, who complained of not having the best setup, was only the fourth fastest. After one lap, Worstapen regained the lead in the timesheets, with a lap of 1: 15.158 and Senz dropping 0.283 seconds.
Most drivers didn’t attack much in the first practice, but two Aston Martin cars were fifth and sixth in the timesheet, leading the way in the “second pack” with 20 minutes to go to the session.
Hamilton, who used the new modified background on his car, broke into the Aston Martin drivers, while George Russell – who tried the team’s new rear wing – finished fifth in the timesheet, 0.664 seconds ahead of Worstappen’s time. Which was still. Benchmark of the session.
In the last 20 minutes of the session, most of the drivers, except Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, Esteban O’Connor, Kevin Magnusen and Voltaire Botas, went on track on medium tires who put softs in their cars. At the time, Alonso, taking a really good time, finished third in the timesheet, 0.373 s longer than Worstapen’s time on the middle tires.
Some riders complained of moderate rear tire damage after completing some laps.