Hamilton fastest in final Canadian GP practice


Lewis Hamilton set the pace by nearly four-tenths of a second in final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in what was a very encouraging session for the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

Only Max Verstappen's late effort prevented the Mercedes from going 1-2, but Hamilton's record time of 1:12.549 seconds was the most convincing lap of FP3 by a wide margin.

Mercedes switched Hamilton and George Russell to its modified front wing for the first time this weekend in FP3, after the team opted to bring it back on Friday to conserve parts.

In what was essentially the first representative session of the weekend as rain made the majority of FP1 stale and also affected second practice on Friday, the W14 was most impressive during the final hour of practice.

Russell – who ran the new front wing design in Monaco – sat briefly at the top of the times but Hamilton soon smashed his time in what was ultimately the best effort of the session with more than 10 minutes left in the hour.

At that point, Hamilton had the fastest times in all three sectors and was more than seven-tenths ahead.

Both Russell and Verstappen later improved, but even with Verstappen – whose Red Bull team changed his car's engine as a precaution after an issue with the energy recovery system in FP2 – setting the fastest time in the final sector on his final attempt, he ended up 0.374 behind. second. Hamilton Mercedes.

The effort dropped Russell to third ahead of Lance Stroll's Aston Martin, one of the cars that made the soft tire work well in Friday practice as well.

Stroll was less than a tenth clear of Mercedes and had three tenths of a lead on teammate Fernando Alonso, who was quickest in the early stages of the session on the hard tires before he and Stroll turned attention to long-term simulations on the hard tires. Media.

Like Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo was another impressive interloper in the leading group and ended up setting the sixth-fastest time for Team RB, sandwiched between McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.

Ricciardo, the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix winner, was competitive throughout FP3 and finished the session more than four-tenths ahead of teammate Yuki Tsunoda – who was 15th but just 1.1 seconds off the pace.

Alonso and second Red Bull driver Sergio Perez were eighth and ninth, while Monaco winner Charles Leclerc led the Ferrari in 10th.

Leclerc complained early in the session that his car was “still on the brakes” and said “we're too slow” at the end of the session. He was eight tenths behind Hamilton, while teammate Carlos Sainz was another two-tenths behind in twelfth.

In a busy session, with 574 laps completed between the two teams, there was a brief interruption early on when Zhou Guanyu swerved on the exit of Turn 1 and lowered the wall with the back of his Sauber outside Turn 2.

But he was not the only driver forced to sit out part of the session, as Alex Albon missed his final flying attempts after colliding with the Champions Wall exiting the final corner.

His right rear tire appeared to be bent inward after this collision, although Albon was able to return his Williams to the garage.

Verstappen had a similar, albeit more consistent, effect on the final push lap, but did not appear to have suffered any damage.



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