Vettel leads another Ferrari one-two in final Canada practice

Image by Steven Tee/LAT

Vettel leads another Ferrari one-two in final Canada practice

Formula 1

Vettel leads another Ferrari one-two in final Canada practice


Sebastian Vettel was fastest as Ferrari again finished first and second in final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

It was Charles Leclerc who had led his teammate in FP2, and Leclerc looked the quicker of the pair throughout Saturday morning until the final low fuel attempts. The top teams each completed three push laps on their soft tires, with Leclerc 0.4s clear of Vettel for the first two runs until Vettel then went fastest on a 1m10.843s.

Leclerc was looking to respond once again with his third timed lap but locked up heavily into Turn 1 and had to abort, leaving him 0.139s adrift of Vettel.

Third was Lewis Hamilton who recovered from his wall-brushing incident on Friday afternoon — after which he missed the majority of FP2 — to post a 1m11.236s, leaving him nearly 0.4s off Vettel’s time as Ferrari looks a threat for pole position heading into qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas struggled compared to Hamilton and was almost 0.7s off the pace in fourth, with Max Verstappen the only other driver within a second of Vettel. After struggling on Friday, Pierre Gasly enjoyed a more encouraging session as he ended up sixth quickest, 0.072s slower than Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo headed the close group of midfield cars in seventh place, with Lando Norris eighth, Sergio Perez ninth and Daniil Kvyat rounding out the top 10. There was just 0.3s between seventh and 12th — consisting of Renault, McLaren, Racing Point, Toro Rosso and Haas — in a sign of how tight the battle for Q3 will be.

Racing Point will have been encouraged by Perez’s pace but lost a whole session with his teammate’s car, as Lance Stroll suffered a spectacular failure on his installation lap.

Stroll’s session ended prematurely after something failed in the back of his car toward the end of the back straight. After a blast of smoke, flames were emerging from the rear of the Racing Point as he approached the pit lane, in a failure that will also have caught the eye of Mercedes and Williams as all three Mercedes-powered teams are running updated power units this weekend.

Romain Grosjean tapped the ‘Wall of Champions’ during the session and missed out on his soft tire run later on, spending a long spell in the garage as damage was checked and completing just 11 laps in total.

There was one incident for the stewards to look at after final practice as Lando Norris bounced across the curbs at the final chicane and did not stay to the left of the marker when rejoining the track, something Kevin Magnussen escaped punishment for on Friday.