Hamilton & Raikkonen share practice honours – Practice Report

Canadian Grand Prix – Both Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in the two free practice sessions, as Alonso hit technical troubles.

With Mercedes looking to bounce back from a podium-less Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the first free practice session, leading the Mercedes-Ferrari duel. Hamilton was the only driver to break into the 1:13’s in FP1.

His championship rival Sebastian Vettel was two tenths shy of the benchmark, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Raikkonen in close company.

The Force India’s of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon claimed a surprise fifth and sixth in the opening session with their ultra-soft tyre laps.

However, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo (both Red Bull) and Williams’ Felipe Massa followed closely on the time sheets, despite only using the super soft tyres. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat completed the top ten.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was once again subjected to technical issues with his car, this time he missed much of free practice one before pulling off the track with a hydraulics issue. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz also suffered a suspected engine failure and failed to complete a lap.

Fernando Alonso McLaren Practice One Canadian Grand Prix
Octane Photographic Ltd.

Ferrari fought back for the second free practice session; Kimi Raikkonen put his Ferrari atop the timing charts with a 1:12.935, becoming the only driver to dip into the 1:12’s.

He finished ahead of Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas and Verstappen, who all finished within half a second of the pace.

Despite Verstappen closing in on the front four, it was a problematic second practice session for Red Bull. Verstappen stopped with gearbox problems and Ricciardo spent much of the session in the pits with power unit troubles, failing to set a competitive lap time.

Massa was ‘best of the rest’ in sixth place ahead of a recovering Alonso, Ocon, Kvyat and Perez.

Across both sessions, low grip was a common problem with several spinning off including Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

To view the full practice results, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.