Max Verstappen had fun on the first day of action Canadian Grand Prixin Montreal, where he dominated the two free practices, confirming his favoritism beyond that of Red Bull, since in the second act he took more than a second to his teammate, Checo Pérez, who was 11th, too far from the best of the session with which the Formula 1 activity ended before the rain said present, at night, like on Thursday.
In the second round, there were no surprises because Verstappen from the start was the best by stopping the clock in 1:15.618 with new medium tires, the same condition in which Checo Pérez rode but with which he could barely finish 770 thousandths, too far from his Red Bull teammate.
Even stronger was the Dutchman’s next flying lap, with a time of 1:15.096. But the exit to the Ferrari track was still missing, where Charles Leclerc again chose the soft tire to start the session and was 579 thousandths of a second from the new record of the reigning champion of the category.
When ten minutes of practice had already passed, the Spanish F1 experienced a technical tie, which Fernando Alonso won by one thousandth, finishing third place ahead of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.
But it was Verstappen who was untreatable, even with medium tires. The Dutchman was the first to lower the records to one minute and 14 seconds, when he closed his lap as leader with 1m14s792, a time that was not going to be the last for the best driver of the moment at just 24 years old, while Lewis Hamilton, his maximum competitor until last year, he was last, without time and modifying the configuration of his Mercedes to try to improve, although at the end of the session he assured that it was “unmanageable”.
Those who are also working to improve are those of Ferrari and Leclerc’s car, although they assure that they will not change the power unit so as not to be penalized with ten places on the starting grid, but rather they will work on it. It was not the choice of Alpha Tauri, where Yuki Tsunoda received four penalties for a completely new engine, with a new internal combustion engine and turbocharger, among other new technical elements, for which he will start from the bottom on Sunday.
With Verstappen with an overwhelming pace (1:14.532), Sainz managed to finish second with the medium tire at 455 thousandths when they averaged the 20 minutes of training, in which several teams took the opportunity to implement changes to reduce the rebound of the ground effect and thus avoid the penalty of the FIA, which wants to lower the cars by 10 millimeters, which would cause a lower performance of the single-seater. Minutes later, with the red rubber, Leclerc improved it and was second at 298 thousandths, still far from the pace shown by Red Bull.
It was worse for Valtteri Bottas, who due to technical problems he kept his helmet on but without times. In the middle of the session he was only able to go out for a spin, although he immediately reported on the radio that the problems with “something strange” continued and the team asked him to return to the pits without being able to do a fast lap, so he finished without a time.
While some worried, someone had a party: Verstappen lowered all his times (in the first session it was 1m15s158) and nailed a 1:14.127 in the leaderboard to leave his teammate, Checo Pérez, far behind, who could not match his pace and had to settle for 11th place, more than a second from the Dutch.
Half an hour from the end, Leclerc seemed to find the return to his Ferrari and was just 81 thousandths behind Verstappenwhile Sainz was third at 225 and Sebastian Vettel surprised with the Aston Martin in fourth place, at 315. Fernando Alonso, third in the first practice, stayed close, in fifth place at 416, ahead of Pierre Gasly and George Russell , who again beat his Mercedes teammate, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton (13th).
Unlike the Haas, who in the first practice, had been the worst with Kevin Magnussen 20th and Mick Schumacher two places ahead, this time the Dane was 14th and the German, 15th, which compromised Williams, who he was only saved from last place by mechanical problems in Bottas’ car.
The activity will continue on Saturday, with the third practice (at 2:00 p.m.) and classification (at 5:00 p.m.), while the race will be on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. (Star+)