Verstappen completes Friday F1 sweep in Canada

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has completed a clean sweep of Friday’s practice sessions for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix after inching out Charles Leclerc in Free Practice 2.

Having topped the earlier session, Verstappen was again fastest in though his best was just 0.081s quicker than his Ferrari rival.

Carlos Sainz was third while Sebastian Vettel was fourth best, 0.3s away from the outright pace and just a tenth clear of Fernando Alonso in fifth.

Sergio Perez meanwhile struggled on his qualifying simulation and was just 11th, a full second away from his team-mate.

The weather was predicted to deteriorate for Free Practice 2, though they remained similar to those earlier in the day and encouraged many on track as the session commenced.

The Mercedes duo were not among them as seemingly significant set-up work continued on both cars.

Also not heading out was Valtteri Bottas, who was sitting out of his car as the team working inside the cockpit of his car.

Kevin Magnussen was forced to jump on the anchors as he headed down the lane, Sebastian Vettel, released into his path.

The Haas driver managed to avoid making contact with the Aston Martin in an incident that would be investigated post-session.

Teams opted for a mixture of tyres, with Haas using the hards, Alpine the softs, and the bulk of the others on the mediums.

As was the case in the day’s earlier session, Verstappen was the early pace setter, logging a 1:15.096s versus Leclerc’s 1:15.675s.

The pair were running different tyre strategies, Red Bull opting for the medium tyres and Ferrari the softs, at least on the Monegasque’s car.

Across the garage, the medium tyres were fitted to Sainz’s car, the Spaniard fourth best with 1:15.839s.

Alonso had shown strong pace in Free Practice 1, and served only to underscore that potential in the early moments of the second session when he set the third best time.

Having remained on track after his initial flying lap, Verstappen improved to 1:14.792s to extend his advantage at the top of the timesheets.

The Dutchman then completed another cooldown lap before going faster again, logging a 1:14.532s.

That left him 0.5s clear of Alonso, who’d improved to second best.

Bottas finally headed out after his delayed entry, his car going into anti-stall forcing him back into the lane.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed briefly after 22 minutes for debris on the track, though it was cleared within a minute.

Soon after green running resumed, Red Bull sent Verstappen back out on a set of new soft tyres.

He quickly improved on his earlier best, recording a 1:14.127s to move 0.7s clear of Leclerc who had replaced Alonso in second.

Perez had also gone out, though his qualifying simulation was far less impressive, managing just a 1:15.167s which left him only fifth.

Leclerc moved to 0.081s shy of Verstappen on his qualifying simulation, Sainz sitting third on a 1:14.352s.

Vettel mustered strong pace in the b-spec Aston Martin, his 1:14.442s leaving him an eyebrow raising fourth.

However, they were not alone in displaying promise, as Alonso had early in the session, and the day, while the midfield proved particularly spicy.

Indeed, the single lap pace painted a fascinating picture in behind the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari, with Aston Martin, Alpine, Scuderia AlphaTauri, Mercedes, and McLaren all showing competitively.

After the mid-session flurry of qualifying simulations, attentions turned once again to race pace.

Most remained on the soft compound tyres, though Verstappen reverted to the mediums as they completed their programmes.

In the closing minutes, the circuit was busy as the weather many had predicted would arrive pre-session began looming.

Only Bottas remained in the garage, Alfa Romeo Sauber still working to resolve the antistall issue which had limited him to just three laps in the session – and no recorded lap time.

The session wound to a close without further incident, the chequered flag beating the weather to fall.

That left Verstappen fastest from Leclerc, though only narrowly, with Sainz third and Perez a surprising 11th.

Vettel ended the day fourth from Alonso, the top 10 completed Pierre Gasly, George Russell, Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, and Esteban Ocon.

A final hour of practice remains, set to commence at 03:00 AEST on Sunday, with a 90 percent chance of rain predicted.

Results: Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2

Pos Num Driver Team Laps Time Diff
1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 32 1:14.127
2 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 31 1:14.208 +0.081s
3 55 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari 31 1:14.352 +0.225s
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin F1 Team 34 1:14.442 +0.315s
5 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team 24 1:14.543 +0.416s
6 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri 33 1:14.879 +0.752s
7 63 George Russell Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 30 1:14.971 +0.844s
8 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 30 1:14.987 +0.860s
9 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team 30 1:15.033 +0.906s
10 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team 31 1:15.119 +0.992s
11 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 28 1:15.167 +1.040s
12 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin F1 Team 33 1:15.396 +1.269s
13 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 24 1:15.421 +1.294s
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 33 1:15.499 +1.372s
15 47 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team 34 1:15.516 +1.389s
16 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo F1 Team 30 1:15.526 +1.399s
17 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri 37 1:15.567 +1.440s
18 23 Alex Albon Williams Racing 29 1:16.171 +2.044s
19 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing 26 1:16.509 +2.382s
20 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo F1 Team 3

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