ADVERTISEMENT
Canadian GP FP2: Alonso tops, rain hits again

Canadian GP FP2: Alonso tops, rain hits again, Verstappen breaks down

Canadian GP FP2: Alonso tops, rain hits again

Fernando Alonso was the fastest driver at the end of FP2 for the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix, posting his best time before the rain hit the track.

FP2 started in dry conditions with just a few spots of rain hitting the track, and while drivers rushed to do some dry running, as it turned out, the rain gave them the chance to run up to the halfway mark.

That meant that drivers were able to sample the Soft tyres putting in some qualifying runs, and it was Alonso who managed the best time to go fastest.

ADVERTISEMENT

George Russell was second fastest in the Mercedes while Lance Stroll was third fastest in the sister Aston Martin ahead of Charles Leclerc in fourth.

Leclerc will meet with the stewards after the session since Ferrari sent him out on Intermediate tyres at the start of the session, when the track was not yet declared yet.

It was a session to forget for Max Verstappen who had to park a smoking RB20 in the middle of the session and failed to set a competitive time before that. He was 18th fastest.

And while Lando Norris was fastest in FP1, the Briton was only good for 20th in FP2, having opted to run the Medium tyre when the track was dry and could not manage a fast lap.

Again it was an inconclusive session, as we have yet been able to see the best from the top runners, aka, Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren, all of which makes the weekend more interesting going forward, as the weather continues to be a major factor.

Buildup towards FP2

Image

The heavy rains ahead of the first practice session in Montreal meant that we did not get to see any meaningful running or lap times.

And while FP1 ended with a dry track and some running on Soft tyres, there is risk of rain for FP2, which means we may see some running dry running before the rain returns.

The most unlucky driver was obviously Jack Doohan who was given a chance to drive Esteban Ocon’s Alpine, but he could only run three laps.

But since it’s unclear who’s hot and who’s not, let’s see what 1997 Formula 1 Champion Jacques Villeneuve said as part of his guest commentator role on Sky Sports F1.

Villeneuve said: “We’ve seen different balance in who’s quick or not, which car is good on high-speed, low-speed, straight lines.

“The one that seems to put everything together, not the best at anything, but manages to do a good mix, is Ferrari, he added. “On this track it’s a mix of all these things, so they could shine.”

FP2 Session Highlights

Image

The session started in dry conditions with track temperature at 27 degrees Celsius and air temperature at 20 degrees, but the chances for rain were 100%.

No driver wasted time, as the drivers line out in the pitlane waiting for the green light to do some running before the rain, Verstappen the leader of the pack.

Russell soon reported: “It’s coming down much harder right now.” Carlos Sainz told his team it was too wet for the Medium compound which his SF-24 was on, Leclerc had the Intermediates on.

Leclerc was going to be under investigation for tyre usage, it seems he was on the Inter before race control declared the session wet, which they didn’t. He boxed immediately.

Lewis Hamilton lost his Mercedes at the hairpin and had to run through the run-off area, and soon returned to the pits, as now the session was declared wet, and all the drivers returned to their respective garages, except for Pierre Gasly who was putting in the laps on Softs, going fastest.

Around ten minutes into the session, Gasly was asked about the track conditions, he responded: “Getting better.”

And soon after that, the Frenchman’s rivals got encouraged to get out and do some running of their own on dry tyres, a mix of Softs and Mediums. Zhou Guanyu was in Inters but returned to the pits for some slicks.

It seems that the rain was not too bad, and the cars running have kept the racing line dry, but Kevin Magnussen got caught out in Turn 8 and ended up in the run-off area, causing a brief Yellow flag.

Alonso was unhappy with Leclerc in the final chicane, he reported: “Leclerc is the slowest person in the last corner. No mirrors. Typical Ferrari.”

Hamilton had a moment with Sainz on track but that got interesting as a ground hog got involved, but managed not to get driven over.

25 minutes into the session, Verstappen reported smelling smoke, and he parked his RB20 and gets out of it. It is a new power unit on the #1 RB20 by the way.

Hamilton was on a fast lap, purple first two sectors, but has to back out in the end with Leclerc seeming to impede him, the Briton complaining: “These guys keep backing up in the final corner.”

Worth noting that there have been various moments when drivers got in the way of each other.

Earlier, Alex Albon had a moment in the final corner but saved it.

The drivers kept putting in the laps, as the conditions were still acceptable for slicks, which Verstappen was out of his cars as his mechanics frantically worked on sorting out the problem.

A few minutes past the halfway mark, the rain increased and the conditions were too wet for slicks as the drivers returned to the shelter of their garages, waiting for the conditions to become wet enough for Inters and do some running on those.

In the meantime, Verstappen’s car was up on the stands and stripped down, which does not look good for Verstappen.

Soon the track was wet enough for Inters and the drivers head out again for some wet running. But Alonso soon reported it was too dry for Inters.

Norris in the meantime went off track at the chicane and re-joined but not from the left of the marked board and was noted for not obeying the race director’s instructions.

Down at Red Bull, Red Bull were still working on Verstappen’s car, as the mechanics created a human wall to block off the curious eyes and cameras.

Verstappen did not manage to return to track.

Leclerc soon has a spin on the tricky track but manages to keep it together with no damage done to his SF-24. And while Norris reports the track is drying up, he insisted it was not doing that fast enough to return to slicks with a few minutes remaining.

The session was concluded with practice starts.

How they finished

Alonso posted a 1:15.810 to go fastest of all and was 0.463s faster than second-placed Russell in the Mercedes, who in turn was 0.191s ahead of Stroll in third.

Leclerc was fourth fastest in the Ferrari, 0.746s off the pace and 0.175s ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian fifth fastest in the VCARB.

Up next was Magnussen, sixth fastest for Haas, and almost one second off the pace, with Hamilton, 0.135s behind the Dane and seventh fastest.

Yuki Tsunoda was eighth fastest in the second VCARB, 1.141s away from the top and 0.026s ahead of Albon, ninth fastest in the Williams.

Sergio Perez was tenth in the Red Bull, with Sainz 13th fastest. Oscar Piastri 16th, Verstappen 18th and Norris dead last.

Canadian GP FP2 Classification

Image