F1: Fastest Despite Crash, Hamilton Leads Friday’s Formula One Practice in Montreal

RaceChaser Staff Formula One, International, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

MONTREAL, Canada — official series release — Mercedes photo —

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton topped the overall timesheets in Friday afternoon’s Formula One practice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada.

However, the mark wasn’t without issue. The world champion set his marker shortly before heavy rain arrived — and then aquaplaned off into the tire wall shortly after.

“I made a couple of mistakes — [I was] pushing too hard and going over the curbs at the final chicane and then [you saw] what happened at the end there,” Hamilton admitted. “Looking at the replays, I wasn’t going that fast. But it was like sheet ice into Turn 10 so the car aquaplaned and I went off.”

“It maybe wasn’t the right call to go out but, with the weather as it eventually turned out, it didn’t affect our running. I’m fine and it looks like it’s just the front wing that was damaged to it’s not the end of the world,” Hamilton added. “In the dry, the car is feeling really good here and our long run pace was encouraging. Ferrari look like they’ve upped their pace so it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.”

The 90-minute session began with a dry track and everyone scrambling to get laps in on Pirelli’s supersoft tire before the wet weather set in.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen set the initial pace, running the upgraded engine in their Ferraris. The German lapped in 1:16.304, a significant improvement on his performance on the soft tire in FP1, with the Finn right on his tail with a 1:16.310 second lap. At that stage Nico Rosberg was third for Mercedes.

Hamilton, meanwhile, had survived a small moment when he almost ran into the back of Grosjean’s Lotus earlier in the session, then set two purple sector times before clattering over the curbs in the final corner and losing momentum. However, a lap later he banged in the fastest time of the day by 0.316 of a second at 1:15.988.

Then, with 55 minutes remaining, it began to rain. Initially, the weather wasn’t too bad, but it soon became torrential.

At the 42 minute to go mark, Mercedes boldly sent Hamilton and Rosberg out for a run on intermediate tires.

It was not a good idea.

Hamilton got as far as the hairpin before aquaplaning straight off into the tire wall and taking off his Mercedes’ front wing. The session was then red-flagged while the stricken Silver Arrow was removed. Nobody ventured out again when the track went green again.

The weather left Pastor Maldonado in fifth place for Lotus on a time of 1:16.600, ahead of Valtteri Bottas for Williams and his teammate Romain Grosjean.

In the first practice session, Grosjean was a surprising third behind Hamilton and Rosberg, with Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) and Vettel rounding out the fast five.

CREDIT: Formula One

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