After leading the first free practice of the Formula 1 Canadian GP with a 0.246s lead over Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen saw his rival Ferrari improve in the second session, but not enough to take first place. Dutchman Red Bull led again and clocked a fastest lap of 1min14s127 of the day at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, just 0.081s quicker than second-placed Leclerc followed by team-mate Carlo Sainz in third.
Off the schedule for the past two seasons, due to limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian GP has seen its first practice sessions well appreciated by more experienced riders. Winner of the stage in 2018, the penultimate before the parenthesis, and in 2013, the quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel, 34, set the fourth fastest time on his Aston Martin.
The fifth went to double champion Fernando Alonso, who had already surprised by taking third place in practice 1, in pursuit of Ferrari and Red Bull. The Spaniard also made it to the podium in Montreal, but that was much longer than the German: he won the 2006 edition, the year in which he was also the drivers’ world champion.
Lewis Hamilton, winner of the last Canadian GP before the pandemic and holder of six other triumphs in the stage, gave signs that there are no great hopes of climbing to the top step of the podium for eighth time. In another bad day for Mercedes, the seven-time champion set the 13th fastest time, under teammate George Russell, who finished seventh. Pierre Gasly finished fifth and Lando Norris eighth, while Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon closed the Top 10.
The Mexican Sergio Pérez, who finished fourth on the first test and finished second in 11th, was excluded from the top ten positions. Canadians Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi didn’t race so well at home and took 12th and 19th place respectively. Valtteri Bottas was the only one not to time the session.
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