Lando Norris leads the first training

First part of the free training

Cloudy. Rain. Drying track. Air +17C, highway +27…32C

The first Friday practice in Montreal took place on a track that dried out after the morning rain. The session countdown started on time, but the pit lane remained closed while racetrack services attempted to clear the remaining standing water from the asphalt.

In the first ten minutes of the session, only a few drivers took their seats in the cockpit of their cars, but many were in no hurry and continued to communicate with the engineers. However, everyone knew in advance that the probability of precipitation on all days of the weekend was high, so they were ready for such a start.

Ten minutes later, while work continued in some areas of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the FIA ​​Safety Car and Medical Car entered the circuit – Bernd Mailander and his colleague Alan van der Merwe will drive an Aston Martin this weekend. Their job was to assess the situation and determine if there was a lot of water on the route.

Judging from the television picture, there were a lot of puddles and standing water. And after another 5 minutes it started raining quite heavily. However, race management announced that the pit lane would open at 1:55 PM local time, and then moved this point 4 minutes earlier.

The first car to leave the pits was Mercedes No. 44: Lewis Hamilton entered the track on intermediate tires. Valtteri Bottas came next, but his Sauber had heavy rain tires.

Naturally, Hamilton immediately informed the team via radio that the grip on the asphalt was at a very low level. He completed the lap in 1:40.077 – this obviously cannot be considered a representative time.

Bottas returned to the pits, also got intermediate tires and took to the track again, where at that moment both Haas cars were already standing, Williams, Max Verstappen and Jack Duane, an Alpine reserve, for whom this is the first Friday training of this year.

However, the Australian soon returned to the pits, but Oscar Piastri, his compatriot, the Australian McLaren driver, came out and immediately radioed to the McLaren team that the track would quickly dry out.

But 32 minutes after the start of the session it was interrupted by red flags: Guanyu Zhou, the Chinese Sauber driver, could not control the car on the wet track, he lost stability and hit the barriers quite heavily on the left . Zhou angrily told the team that he lost control of the car due to hydroplaning.

The front suspension of his C44 was broken, Zhou stopped on the highway and marshals began to tow the car.

Within five minutes the session resumed. The racers from Mercedes, Red Bull, RB, Ferrari and Pierre Gasly drove an Alpine. Soon Lewis climbed to the first line of the timing again and completed a lap in 1:29.207, but this time he was in turn blocked by the Ferrari drivers and Charles Leclerc topped the protocol with a result of 1:27.560.

However, it was clear that it was not easy for him to keep the car on track; both in corners and while accelerating, it occasionally tried to get out of control.

With around ten minutes to go in the session, Carlos Sainz, another Scuderia driver, was in first place – completing a lap less than a tenth faster, before asking on the radio if rain was expected in the second session. The engineer replied in the affirmative.

At that point it was no longer raining, the sun was even shining, but no one was working on the highway. And overall, only 11 of the twenty racers showed time at this point. The rest also made trips to the track, but opted to immediately return to the pits without completing their laps.

Six minutes before the end of the session, Leclerc left the pits again, but on slicks. The mechanic advised him to act cautiously and try to warm up the tires properly. Charles’ example was followed by Sainz, Sergio Perez, both Mercedes drivers and both McLaren drivers. At the same time, everyone preferred the softest tires and, of course, tried to stick to the main track, because it was only more or less dried out.

The replay showed how Leclerc failed to stay on track at the end of the start-finish straight – he had to pass the relegation zone in the area of ​​the intersection of Turns 1 and 2.

Jack Duane also came out and was unlucky: he was probably looking forward to this training, but in the end he was only able to complete a few laps.

At the end of the session, all cars left the pits, with the exception of Alex Albon’s Williams, and Lando Norris posted the best time on the drying asphalt: 1:24.435. At the same time, Valtteri Bottas, Logan Sargent, Lance Stroll and even Max Verstappen made involuntary excursions off the track, but without consequences.

Perhaps the general mood was well summed up by Bottas, who said on the radio: “We didn’t manage to do many laps, but the conditions are quite difficult, wet and dry sections alternate, so the grip is everywhere otherwise. time, but at least we have a general idea of ​​the balance.”

The Finnish racer loved the new asphalt of the Montreal circuit and noted with pleasure that the surface was now much smoother.

Results of the first session

Pilot Team Time Difference Circles
1. L.Norris McLaren 1:24,435 8
2. K. Sainz Ferrari 1:24,763 +0.328 eleven
3. S. Leclerc Ferrari 1:25,306 +0.871 eleven
4. L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:25,970 +1,535 eleven
5. M. Verstappen Red Bull 1:26,502 +2,067 10
6. O. Piastri McLaren 1:26,754 +2,319 7
7. P. Gasly Alps 1:27,584 +3,149 8
8. V. Bottas Sauber 1:27,670 +3,235 eleven
9. C. Perez Red Bull 1:28,058 +3,623 10
10. D. Russell Mercedes 1:28,541 +4,106 9
11. D. Ricciardo RB 1:28,582 +4,147 9
12. Yu.Tsunoda RB 1:28,723 +4,288 9
13. K. Magnussen Hare 1:29,052 +4,617 8
14. N. Hulkenberg Hare 1:32,826 +8,391 5
15. F. Alonso Aston Martin 1:33,411 +8,976 4
16. L. Sargent Williams 1:36,586 +12.151 5
17. L. Walk Aston Martin 1:40,530 +16.095 4
18. G.Zhou Sauber 4
19. Duane Alps 3
20. A. Elbon Williams 4

Source: F1 News

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