Verstappen fastest again in tight Canada FP2

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Verstappen fastest again in tight Canada FP2

Formula 1

Verstappen fastest again in tight Canada FP2

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Max Verstappen has pipped Charles Leclerc to top spot in FP2 to sweep Friday practice at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen looked comfortable immediately on his short run to set the benchmark at 1m14.127s.

Leclerc, who spent the entire session on the soft compound, built up to his ultimate time before clocking in just 0.081s behind.

The Monegasque encountered some turbocharger-related trouble on the way, however, which prevented him from completing his tire-preparing burnouts early in the session. Leclerc is expected to take a brand-new power unit and turbocharger on Saturday, which will send him to the back of the grid. He also used an extra set of the soft tire in FP2, suggesting he doesn’t intend to save a full set for qualifying.

Carlos Sainz was third, 0.225s off the pace, while suffering “very bad” bouncing. The Spaniard was less than 0.1s quicker than Sebastian Vettel who slotted into third ahead of Fernando Alonso, 0.4s behind P1.

Vettel, whose impressive time was built on a rapid second sector, will see the stewards after the session on two different matters—first for an unsafe release ahead of Kevin Magnussen at the start of the session, then for driving too slowly on an out-lap.

Pierre Gasly was sixth for AlphaTauri — to be investigated post race for improperly rejoining the track after cutting the final chicane—ahead of George Russell, the fastest Mercedes driver 0.844s behind. The Briton complained of “massive hopping” in his car, particularly through Turn 9, as the team’s porpoising problems continue.

McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo followed at around 0.9s off the pace and split by just 0.046s, while Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 for Alpine and just within a second of Verstappen.

Sergio Perez was an out-of-sorts 11th in the second Red Bull Racing car and more than a second slower than his teammate.

Lance Stroll was 12th, well down on his FP1 place and 0.9s slower than teammate Vettel in fourth. He’ll also see the stewards for cutting the final chicane and missing the bollard upon rejoining.

Lewis Hamilton was a considerably-troubled 13th. The seven-time champion is undertaking more parts and setup experiments this weekend to find ways to unlock more pace from the car, but he described it as “undrivable” late in the hour while 1.3s off the pace.

Haas teammates Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher followed in 14th and 15th ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu.

Yuki Tsunoda, whose impending engine penalty left him little incentive to chase lap time, spent the session completing a mammoth 37 laps in preparation for a long race.

Williams teammates Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi were 18th and 19th and slowest among those who set a lap.

Valtteri Bottas was last of all with just three installation laps to his name after suffering apparent electrical problems.

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