Fernando Alonso has beaten Pierre Gasly to top spot in a soaking-wet final practice at the Canadian Grand Prix.
After a dry and warm Friday, Formula 1 woke up to a drenched circuit on Saturday morning. Only the wet tire would do for the first 45 minutes of FP3.
With an ambient temperature of just 53 degrees F and the track temperature barely 10 degrees higher, the blue-marked rubber was taking three to four laps to come up to temperature and deliver lap time.
Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, both strong performers on Friday, looked most comfortable in the conditions, and with a little more than 15 minutes left on the clock and the racing line having been cleared of the worst of its standings water, the Spaniard and German were the first to switch to the intermediate tire.
It took them two laps to come up to temperature, after which the purple sectors flowed. The track was clearly at the crossover point between the two compounds, and suddenly more drivers were out on the green-walled compound, sending the lap times tumbling.
Almost the entire field was on track finding time in the final 10 minutes to get a gauge of the track ahead of qualifying, but Alonso held the top spot throughout with a best time of 1m 33.836s.
Sebastian Vettel was pipped for second in the final minutes by Pierre Gasly, who was on track as the flag flew. The Frenchman was 0.053s slower than Alonso, with Vettel just 0.002s further back.
Esteban Ocon put the second Alpine car fourth, 0.167s behind his teammate, with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris following at 0.276s and 0.412s off the pace respectively.
George Russell enjoyed a more positive session for Mercedes after the team’s disastrous Friday, taking the car to seventh and less than half a second adrift on the full wet tire.
Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen were eighth and ninth. The conditions were treacherous enough to send the Dutchman spinning off the roar at Turn 2 and to within inches of the barrier, but he was able to reverse back onto the track to continue.
Carlos Sainz was 10th for Ferrari despite leading early on the full wets.
Alfa Romeo duo Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were 11th and 12th ahead of Lance Stroll, more than 1.5s slower than teammate Vettel, with a best lap set on full wets.
Kevin Magnussen and Lewis Hamilton were 14th and 15, 1.8s off the pace, both on full wets, ahead of Williams driver Alex Albon on intermediates.
Yuki Tsunoda, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi were 2.5s, 3.5s and 4.5s off the pace respectively — all three unable to find speed on the intermediate compound.
Charles Leclerc was classified last, without a time, and just five installation laps to his name to verify the host of new power unit parts installed in his car overnight.
The Monegasque was equipped with a new internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K to go with the new control electronics fitted on Friday night, all of which are in excess of his season’s allocation and will send him to the back of the grid.