Three wins in six at the Canadian Grand Prix is proof that Lewis Hamilton relishes racing at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He has signaled his intention of making it four from seven, by topping Free Practice 2 and ending the day fastest of all in Montreal.
Hamilton’s best lap of 1:16.118 was good enough for top spot on the timing screens at the end of the 90 minute session. Next up was teammate Nico Rosberg 0.175 of a second adrift suggesting that once again, as it has been for the previous half dozen encounters, that qualifying and the race are going to be intriguing battles between the Silver Arrows pair.
Best of the rest was Red Bull’s quadruple world champion, and last year’s winner in Canada, Sebastian Vettel albeit nearly half a second slower than Hamilton’s best. Nevertheless this was a good lap time as the RB10 is down on top speed and is somewhat compromised at this particular venue. Daniel Ricciardo in the sister Red Bull was 12th fastest, a second slower than his teammate.
Kimi Raikkonen was fractionally faster than teammate Fernando Alonso, the pair fourth and fifth fastest respectively. First day indications are that the Maranello outfit may have made a substantial leap in the pecking order with their ‘Version-B’ update package on the F14T which included tweaks to brakes, a new floor and more aggressive engine mapping.
Mercedes powered cars, relishing in the point and squirt high-speed nature of the circuit, made up the next four positions,with Williams looking particularly feisty as Felipe Massa ended the session in sixth and Valtteri Bottas seventh, while the McLaren duo of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button were in eighth and ninth on the timing screens.
There were some scrappy moments during the session with several drivers over-shooting braking points, others bouncing over kerbs and several scrapes with the myriad of walls surrounding the track, which punishes just about any mistake.
Nevertheless, despite some wayward winglets and other parts, there was no serious bent metal on the day apart from Jules Bianchi who clipped the wall in FP1, damaging his Marussia and his FP2 session was curtailed too as a problem with the Ferrari power unit limited his running.
Rookies had a torrid afternoon with Daniil Kvyat suffering with an engine problem on the Renault powered Toro Rosso and as a result could only manage nine laps in the afternoon, while Marcus Ericsson parked his Caterham with only 13 laps on his chart.
Up front it is all silver with perhaps some Ferrari red and some Red Bull blue in the mix, so much so that world champion team principal Christian Horner told BBC that the race pace of the Mercedes pair was “a bit depressing, but it’s going to get warmer over the weekend. That’s probably going to have a big influence so this might not be that relevant to Sunday.”Canadian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 6 June 2014
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:16.573||0.455||26|
|12||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:17.644||1.526||36|
|13||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:17.712||1.594||35|
|14||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:17.819||1.701||33|