Mercedes impressed Challengers Struggle at Montreal GP

Hamilton Leads as Verstappen, Ferraris Lag in Canada


Day two at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve saw Hamilton and Mercedes dominate, with Verstappen and the Ferraris trailing in a thrilling lead-up to tonight’s qualifiers.

The second day of action at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve began under clear skies, though gusty winds and looming showers threatened the third practice session and the qualifiers set to be broadcast live tonight from 22:00 to 23:00.

Max Verstappen initially set out for a swift lap but skidded and missed the final chicane, complaining of persistent steering issues with his Red Bull: “I don’t know why, but the steering has been very odd all weekend.”

Sergio Pérez posted a time of 1’18″096, quickly bested by Pierre Gasly with 1’16″412. Guanyu Zhou then triggered a red flag by veering off at the second turn after a spin, puzzled by the behaviour of his car: “I have no idea what’s going on. The rear is locking up.”

The session resumed after less than a five-minute pause as clouds gathered. Verstappen clinched the best lap at 1’15″495, with Gasly and Esteban Ocon close behind, and Alex Albon just a whisker away.

The McLaren F1 drivers slotted in ahead of Albon, before Logan Sargeant took the seventh spot. Albon misjudged the chicane on the opposite side of the circuit while Valtteri Bottas ran wide. Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen secured the second and third fastest times respectively.

Despite his early struggles, Fernando Alonso, on hard tyres, secured the fastest lap with 1’14″870, only to be outpaced by Oscar Piastri and then teammate Lando Norris. Alonso further improved to 1’14″445, placing Lance Stroll third.

Pérez encountered traffic with a Haas, while Piastri faltered at the final chicane. Norris, however, advanced to second, behind a swiftly moving Alonso. Ricciardo clinched second place.

Unlike typical third practice sessions, the drivers engaged in distinctly separate programs, many conducting long stints to prepare for the race following a rain-affected first day.

Sargeant topped the timesheets with 1’14″355 on soft tyres. Carlos Sainz also set an initial time on softs but could not improve beyond third. George Russell led briefly with 1’14″279 on soft tyres.

Struggling until then, Charles Leclerc found pace on soft tyres, taking the lead with 1’13″581. Sainz couldn’t better his time and settled for third, quickly overtaken by Russell and then Albon, while Hamilton set a new benchmark of 1’13″464. Sargeant secured third ahead of Albon.

Norris recorded the second-fastest time, merely 0.011 seconds behind Hamilton. Russell improved to 1’13″274. Albon hit the wall at the final chicane, damaging his rear right wheel and limping to the session’s end.

Verstappen posted his first timed lap on soft tyres, slotting in second between the Mercedes drivers, but Hamilton pushed further ahead with 1’12″549, seven-tenths clear of Russell and Verstappen. Alonso and Piastri advanced, with Ricciardo claiming third.

Pérez settled for ninth on soft tyres, and Gasly recorded the 15th fastest time. Norris improved to fifth, with Magnussen eighth. Leclerc voiced concerns over time losses in certain turns: “I think there’s something we’re not getting right.”

Verstappen secured second, Piastri third, while Sainz had two laps invalidated. Stroll improved to second, overtaken by Russell. The session saw a flurry of dangerous incidents, with Piastri blocking Sargeant at high speed.

Leclerc remained disgruntled: “We are extremely slow.” Verstappen bettered his time, reclaiming second, 0.374 seconds off Hamilton. Notably, the Dutchman grazed the ‘Wall of Champions’ on the final turn, escaping unscathed. Stroll and Sainz made gains, but Sainz ended 12th, a second off the pace.

Thus, Hamilton clinched the fastest time ahead of Verstappen and Russell, followed by Stroll and Piastri. Ricciardo took sixth, ahead of Norris, Alonso, Pérez, and Leclerc. It was a challenging session for Alpine, finishing 16th and 19th.

01Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:12.54931
02Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:12.92332
03George RussellMercedes W151:12.95733
04Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:13.02627
05Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:13.26632
06Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:13.27934
07Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:13.29332
08Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:13.34030
09Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:13.34229
10Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:13.34928
11Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:13.43930
12Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:13.57033
13Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:13.64232
14Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:13.66331
15Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:13.71631
16Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A5241:13.73729
17Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:13.77727
18Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:13.88022
19Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:14.07531
20Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:18.6564

Mercedes impressed Challengers Struggle at Montreal GP. Mercedes impressed Challengers Struggle at Montreal GP

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