Alonso shines, Verstappen down

Alonso shines, Verstappen down

While Max Verstappen was handicapped by a technical problem on his car, Fernando Alonso was able to be the fastest during the second free practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix before the rain came again in Montreal .

It was said that this Friday would be rainy in Montreal! After a first free practice session started on a wet track then concluded on a drying tarmac, the opposite happened during the second hour of driving on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Despite a small alert ten minutes after the green light at the pit exit, half of this session was able to take place in acceptable conditions but far from optimal. In this little game, the Aston Martin drivers exchanged the best time but it was Fernando Alonso who had the last word with a lap in 1’15”810, being the only driver to go below 1’16” during this session.

At the wheel of his Mercedes, George Russell was the one who came closest to the reference established by the Asturian but failed at 463 thousandths. He is ahead of the other Aston Martin from stage local Lance Stroll, 854 thousandths behind his teammate. Wearing medium tires, Charles Leclerc did not push his mechanics, settling for the fourth fastest time, 746 thousandths behind Fernando Alonso. A session that the Monegasque started with a small error from his team, which sent him onto the track wearing intermediate tires even though the race management had not declared the track as wet. Called to explain itself after the session, Scuderia Ferrari received a fine of 5,000 euros.

Verstappen towards a penalty?

But the notable event of this second free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix will remain the breakdown of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing. Having completed only four laps, the three-time reigning world champion saw his car emit white smoke, urging him to exercise caution and return to his garage. Very quickly, the Austrian team confirmed a problem with the hybrid system, more precisely concerning the battery installed on the RB20. However, the Dutchman has already reached the limit of two usable batteries this season without penalty. If Red Bull Racing were forced to put a third on Max Verstappen’s car, the latter would suffer a penalty of ten places on the starting grid. Which should not make things easier for the winner of five Grands Prix this season, who had been quite pessimistic before the start of the weekend due to the structural weaknesses of his car on the curbs, which were brought to light at Monaco.

On the Alpine side, Esteban Ocon set the 11th time just over a second and a half after leaving his seat to Jack Doohan during the first free practice session. Pierre Gasly, for his part, finished 19th five seconds behind and was only ahead of Lando Norris in the standings. The pilots will now hope that the weather forecasts will change for Saturdaymarked by the qualifying session, while rain is once again forecast for Montreal.

Ranking of free practice 2 – Friday June 7, 2024
1- Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin) in 1’15”810
2- George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) at 0”463
3- Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin) at 0”654
4- Charles Leclerc (MCO/Ferrari) at 0”746
5- Daniel Ricciardo (CAN/Racing Bulls) at 0”921

11- Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine) at 1”607

19- Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine) at 4”979

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