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What we learned from Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix

What we learned from Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix



What we learned from Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix

What we learned from Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix

Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix started with a sinking feeling among many Formula 1 fans as a Mercedes-dominated weekend looked on the cards, however, come the end of the day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, hopes are raised once more of a thriller to come.

After Lewis Hamilton ended FP1 top of the timesheets and a second clear of the third-placed Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, win number seven for the Silver Arrows seemed a cert.

However, the afternoon session ran much differently, with Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel ending on top.

Making matters all the more intriguing was Hamilton losing a chunk of track time after damaging his Mercedes in the wall.

Ferrari fight back

FP1 is rarely representative, and that is especially the case in Canada as the cars spend much of the opening session cleaning a circuit rarely used over the rest of the year.

However, Hamilton sat a second ahead of Leclerc by the end of the session was enough to leave a lump in throats across F1 fandom.

Ferrari had been expected to be stronger this weekend, and so it proved when conditions were more balanced over the qualifying simulations in FP2.

Leclerc led Vettel by less than a tenth, with Valtteri Bottas also in close quarters, as he had been to Hamilton in FP1.

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Hamilton would likely have made it a close-run quartet had he not clonked the wall slithering out of Turn 9, prompting an entire rebuild of his car's rear-end.

Gasly's ghastly day

Pierre Gasly came into the weekend batting away rumours linking Nico Hulkenberg with his seat for 2020, but the Frenchman might have wanted to respond on the track a bit better.

Having run a programme seemingly without a flying lap in FP1, his soft-tyre runs in FP2 were only fractionally faster than team-mate Max Verstappen managed on the hard compound.

With an offset of about 1.2seconds between C5 and C3, Gasly will need to improve drastically for qualifying.

Gasly's main issue might come with his impact on Verstappen's own quali simulation, however.

VIDEO: Verstappen hits 'Wall of Champions' in FP2!Read more

Verstappen had gone quicker than Leclerc in sector one, and looked set for a decent time until a slow-moving Gasly got in his way coming into the final corner.

The Dutchman tagged the 'Wall of Champions' and was lucky to see significant damage only done to his lap time.

Tyre trouble to mix up quali

Temperatures are slightly higher than usual this weekend, and the long-run simulations were particularly affected as rear tyres fell off rapidly across many teams.

Hulkenberg asked to get rid of soft tyres that he said had become "dangerous", while Kevin Magnussen said his car was swiftly rendered "terrible" after a handful of laps on the quickest compound.

The top teams also seemed to be impacted, with Bottas on hards lapping nearly a second quicker on average than a medium-shod Leclerc towards the end of FP2.

If teams don't trust the softs to last long enough into the race, it could tempt teams, particularly the quicker ones to try and get through Q2 on mediums – remember how that ended for Leclerc in Azerbaijan?


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