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Canadian GP: Heavy Rain Affects Friday Running in Montreal

Encouraging start for George and Lewis despite tricky conditions.

The ninth Grand Prix of the 2024 Formula 1 season takes us to Canada and the iconic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The team brought some new parts with them to Montreal, including the new front wing that George had already run in Monaco and which is now available for use on both cars.

Friday was heavily affected by the Canadian weather, as rain interfered both practice sessions. Nevertheless, an encouraging day, as both drivers felt comfortable in various conditions.

The weather radar determined the course of FP2, with the rain coming and going during practice. Due to the forecast, Lewis and George hurried to complete a few laps on the Soft tyres at the start of the session. Due to the difficult conditions, both drivers had the old spec front wing on their W15.

The newly tarmacked track was very slippery, but the Mercedes duo successfully avoided the famous Wall of Champions. Lewis set the fastest time in the first two sectors on the Soft tyre, but then had to abort his lap when he hit traffic into the final chicane.

In the remaining 15 minutes, both drivers returned to the track on used Intermediates. Still too wet to use slick tyres, the second session came to an end with George in P2 and Lewis in P7.

Despite the compromised practice time, both drivers were satisfied with their Fridays and felt comfortable in the car. In total, they clocked in 71 laps around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The team experienced a wet start to the race weekend in FP1 of the Canadian Grand Prix. As a storm passed over the track before the start of the session, race control only opened the pit lane a good 20 minutes late so that the drivers could complete their first laps on the still wet track with intermediates.

The track dried quickly over the course of the session, so that the drivers were even able to complete a few laps on slick tyres in the last 5 minutes of the session. Lewis and George finished the session in fourth and tenth place.

The action continues on Saturday at 12:30 local time (17:30 BST) with FP3, before the grid positions are determined in qualifying from 16:00 local time (21:00 BST).

George Russell

It was good fun out there today. It was difficult to take many learnings into the rest of the weekend as each lap the conditions were changing. First it was spitting, then it was drying, then it was raining again! The car was feeling good overall, but we will only learn about our position relative to others tomorrow. I had faith in the car today though and felt confident throughout.

In FP3, you are usually very focused on your Qualifying performance. However tomorrow, we are also going to have to evaluate our race pace. We are going to have to be very clear on the changes we want to make ahead of Qualifying. In all honesty, there won’t be a lot that any driver or team learnt today. The weather could be similar tomorrow though so it’s going to be interesting.

Lewis Hamilton

It felt great out there today. I was raring to go throughout no matter what the conditions. I was pleased that we were able to maximise our time on track as that is what is needed around a circuit like this. It’s all about building your pace. Today, it was also about understanding the conditions plus the new surface they’ve laid.

The car felt strong throughout and I didn’t even get to finish what would have been my fastest lap. This is one of the best circuits we go to, so I really enjoyed myself out there. Recently, Saturday’s have proved more challenging for us, but I feel confident out there and that the car is reacting to my inputs. Ultimately, we won’t know until tomorrow afternoon just where we are in the order but today was a really good day overall.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

The goal for today was to make the most of the opportunities for running and learning in the mixed conditions. The team and drivers have done a good job of that. There's a chance of rain in both Qualifying and the race. We were therefore focused on covering as many conditions as possible and making sure we had the tyres in a decent temperature window along with understanding the car balance.

The car seems to be working reasonably well, but it's impossible to draw conclusions on pace from a day like today. If we get a dry final practice tomorrow, then it's going to be busy as we've still got a lot of low and high fuel work to get through. The track is tough on the cars so ideally, we'll get a long run in to check everything is OK. Considering the conditions today, it was a decent start to the weekend.

2024 Canadian Grand Prix Quiz

Q: Lewis took his first race win in Canada in 2007. Who joined him on the podium that afternoon?

2024 Canadian GP FP2 Result

1

Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin

1:15.810

25

2

George Russell

Mercedes-AMG

1:16.273

24

3

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin

1:16.464

27

4

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

1:16.556

24

5

Daniel Ricciardo

Racing Bulls

1:16.731

23

6

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1:16.773

15

7

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

1:16.908

27

8

Yuki Tsunoda

Racing Bulls

1:16.951

22

9

Alexander Albon

Williams

1:16.977

22

10

Sergio Pérez

Red Bull

1:17.041

19

11

Esteban Ocon

Alpine

1:17.417

31

12

Logan Sargeant

Williams

1:17.496

22

13

Carlos Sainz

Ferrari

1:17.722

27

14

Valtteri Bottas

Sauber

1:17.817

21

15

Nico Hülkenberg

Haas

1:17.903

20

16

Oscar Piastri

McLaren

1:19.008

20

17

Zhou Guanyu

Sauber

1:19.087

17

18

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1:19.311

4

19

Pierre Gasly

Alpine

1:20.789

26

20

Lando Norris

McLaren

1:20.843

21

2024 Canadian GP FP1 Result

1

Lando Norris

McLaren

1:24.435

8

2

Carlos Sainz

Ferrari

1:24.763

11

3

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

1:25.306

11

4

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

1:25.970

11

5

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1:26.502

10

6

Oscar Piastri

McLaren

1:26.754

7

7

Pierre Gasly

Alpine

1:27.584

8

8

Valtteri Bottas

Sauber

1:27.670

11

9

Sergio Pérez

Red Bull

1:28.058

10

10

George Russell

Mercedes-AMG

1:28.541

9

11

Daniel Ricciardo

Racing Bulls

1:28.582

9

12

Yuki Tsunoda

Racing Bulls

1:28.723

9

13

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1:29.052

8

14

Nico Hülkenberg

Haas

1:32.826

5

15

Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin

1:33.411

4

16

Logan Sargeant

Williams

1:36.586

5

17

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin

1:40.530

4

18

Zhou Guanyu

Sauber

-

4

19

Jack Doohan

Alpine

-

3

20

Alexander Albon

Williams

-

4

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