F1 – Verstappen Continues To Set The Pace In Montreal

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen topped the timesheet in the second practice session for this weekend’s 2022 FIA Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, though the F1 championship leader finished just eight hundredths of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

At the start of the session Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas led the field out on track, but the Finn was soon back in the pit lane as a mechanical issue forced him back to his team’s garage where he stayed for the bulk of the first half of the session.

As running got underway properly Verstappen, on medium tyres, laid down the first benchmark of the late afternoon session as he posted a lap of 1:15.618. He steadily chipped away at that time as he progressed though his first run of the afternoon and as the first quarter of the session ended he eventually reached a best medium-tyres time of 1:14.532.

Leclerc closed in on that time but the Ferrari driver used soft tyres to get to within three tenths of a second of the Dutch driver.

Verstappen then made the switch to soft tyres for his first qualifying simulations of the weekend and he shaved fourth tenths of a second off his previous best to hold top spot with a time of 1:14.127.

The world champion’s performance on soft compound Pirellis couldn’t be matched by team-mate Sergio Pérez. The Mexican only managed to make his way to a best time of 1:15.167, which ultimately only netted him an uncharacteristic 11th place at the flag.

Leclerc then went out for his qualifying runs and the Monegasque driver went quickest in the middle sector of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to take P2 with a lap of 1:14.208.

The Ferrari driver’s team-mate Carlos Sainz took third place with a lap of 1:14.352 while Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was the afternoon’s surprise package, taking fourth spot with a lap of 1:14.442, 0.315 off Verstappen’s pace.

Vettel’s afternoon wasn’t incident free however. Earlier in the session the German was released from his garage into the path of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, which was set for investigation after the session, and then later on he was handed a second investigation for not following the race director’s instructions in Turn 14 as he failed to stay to the left of the bollard in returning to the track.

Behind Vettel, Fernando Alonso took fifth place for Alpine ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. George Russell claimed seventh place for Mercedes ahead of the McLaren cars of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and the final top 10 place was taken by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon who beat Pérez, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who also set to be investigated for the Turn 14 offence as his team-mate, and the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

2022 FIA Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:14.127 33 211.793
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:14.208 0.081 32 211.562
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:14.352 0.225 32 211.152
4 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:14.442 0.315 35 210.897
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:14.543 0.416 24 210.611
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:14.879 0.752 34 209.666
7 George Russell Mercedes 1:14.971 0.844 31 209.408
8 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:14.987 0.860 30 209.364
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:15.033 0.906 31 209.235
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:15.119 0.992 32 208.996
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:15.167 1.040 29 208.862
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:15.396 1.269 34 208.228
13 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:15.421 1.294 25 208.159
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:15.499 1.372 34 207.944
15 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:15.516 1.389 35 207.897
16 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:15.526 1.399 31 207.870
17 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:15.567 1.440 37 207.757
18 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:16.171 2.044 30 206.109
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:16.509 2.382 27 205.199
20 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari – 3

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