Hamilton back on top in Canada as Red Bull stall

Montreal, June 17 (BNA): Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes set the fastest time in a second extended practice session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday as rain and technical glitches kept the Red Bulls off the top of the time sheets.

Building on the momentum of a double podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton set a best lap of 1 minute, 13.718 seconds around the island circuit as he took the first of his record 103 Grand Prix wins in 2007. He is a seven-time Grand Prix winner Canadian.

Behind the seven-time world champion was his Mercedes teammate George Russell, Reuters reported, by just 0.027 seconds.

“I think there is a lot to improve on the car before we get to qualifying and I think all we can read is that the car is in good shape,” Mercedes technical director James Allison said. “Lewis was blocked in his last corner so there’s more.”

The dominant Red Bulls, who have won all seven races this season, did not appear on a cloudy day with world championship leader Max Verstappen sixth best and Sergio Perez eighth.

While the results for Mercedes and Ferrari were promising, it was too early to tell if they could close the gap to Red Bull in Sunday’s race.

“It’s nice to be in the front rather than the back, but I don’t think you can read much into it,” Allison said. “We chose, thinking this rain would come a little earlier than it came, our long runs at the start of the session and our short runs at the end. Everyone else did that and vice versa, so we were doing our short runs when the course was at its best.”

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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who finished second last year in Montreal behind Verstappen, posted the third-best time ahead of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in an Aston Martin.

Charles Leclerc was fifth best ahead of Verstappen.

The Red Bull team appeared to be keeping their powder dry as of late, but any hope of a top timesheet was ended when a massive rainstorm engulfed the circuit in the dying minutes.

The Canadian Grand Prix got off to a stuttering start when first practice was halted due to technical problems with the track cams that developed after Pierre Gasly stopped in the Alps at the side of the track due to a red-flagged clutch issue a little later. five minutes.

While Gasly’s car was sprinted to safety, the race was never restarted as technical issues prevented a restart.
Only 12 cars made it to the lap with Valtteri Bottas’ fastest Alfa Romeo car ahead of the Aston Martins of Lance Stroll.

Due to regulations that there must be 2.5 hours between practices, the FIA ​​would not extend the session but added 30 minutes to the second instead.

“I don’t know what happened to the CCTV cameras or something like that,” said Hamilton. “I’m glad we got out and it was nice to have an hour and a half session. I love driving this track.”

“The car didn’t feel bad but I think we definitely have some work to do.”


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