Canadian GP 2023

JUNE 16, 2023

Friday Report - Mercedes tops timesheet

Lewis Hamilton
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

By Peter Habicht

The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were fastest in a special extended second practice session following technical issues at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve earlier in the day.

Ferrari and Red Bull topped the timing charts early in the session, but as the dusty circuit improved steadily with driver confidence and grip increasing throughout the first hour, a cooling track and rain later in the session made for a narrow window both Mercedes drivers and Aston's Fernando Alonso were able to exploit with quick times before conditions fell off considerably.

Third fastest was Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, followed by Fernando Alonso, Sainz' teammate Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Representative times proved difficult in the changing conditions and with the session red flagged once due to a loss of drive from Nico Hulkenberg's Haas, the VF-23 bellowing heavy dark smoke thirty minutes into the session, and again after Esteban Ocon's Alpine stopped on track with a coolant issue.

Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas was seventh fastest, with Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll behind in eighth and ninth. Alpine's Pierre Gasly was next fastest, followed by McLaren's Oscar Piastri, Haas' Kevin Magnussen and Piastri's teammate Lando Norris in 13th.

Guanyu Zhou was next fastest, followed by the AlphaTauris of Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries. Williams' Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant and Nico Hulkenberg in 20th.

While the majority of the session was dry, the closing minutes ended in full wet conditions which Stroll, Alonso, Bottas, Sainz, Leclerc, Norris and Zhou used to get familiar with the intermediate tires ahead of what is expected to be a wet day of practice and qualifying tomorrow beginning at 12:30 and 4pm local time.