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Slick Raikkonen masters slippery surface to top second F1 Canadian GP practice

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Slick Raikkonen masters slippery surface to top second F1 Canadian GP practice
Jun 9, 2017, 9:05 PM

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen led the second practice session of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix for the first time this season with a composed, confi...

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen led the second practice session of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix for the first time this season with a composed, confident performance.

The Finn stuck out among a frustrated field which struggled to find grip during both practice sessions, with a raft of errors from numerous drivers as the track was dusty and slick.

0.453 seconds separated the top five drivers and Raikkonen's time of 1m12.935s on ultra-softs was enough to beat Lewis Hamilton by more than two tenths of a second. The Finn set the time on the third push lap on the tyres, indicating that once again the tyres need careful management to get the maximum.

The long runs looked promising for Ferrari too. Raikkonen and Vettel both ran in the low 1m 16s range on used ultrasofts and a similar pace on the used supersofts.

Championship leader Vettel finished third, just 0.050s behind Hamilton, who was fastest in FP1 and gained the most time in Sector 3. Hamilton took a different approach to bringing the ultrasoft in for his qualifying simulation; he did two gentle laps and then a push lap. His long run pace on the ultrasofts was not quite as good as Ferrari's, but the supersoft long runs looked competitive.

Fourth place Bottas spun with 30 minutes of FP2 to go in Turn 2 but the lack of grip was also Ferrari's to bear as Vettel made an error in Turn 6 a few minutes later, adding to his FP1 difficulties.

Red Bull hit serious trouble as Daniel Ricciardo reported a loss of power after eight laps of the second practice session.

With 20 minutes remaining, the reliability issues spread to Max Verstappen and a red flag was triggered for seven minutes as his transmission cut out in the middle of the Turn 6 chicane.

“It's been frustrating on one hand as it looks like we've lost and engine with Daniel and it looks like a suspected gearbox issue with Max,” said Team Principal Christian Horner.

Ricciardo will not be hit by a penalty for changing power units. He finished 15th fastest, 2.137s off the pace having gone out on the super-soft compound.

There was a huge gap back to the best of the rest; Williams' Felipe Massa finished sixth, 7/10ths slower than Verstappen, but 0.182s faster than Fernando Alonso, who only managed 25 minutes of running in FP2. Alonso stopped in FP1 with a hydraulic leak.

His running was, of course, severely hampered and he was put on ultra-soft tyres with just 10 minutes of FP2 remaining. Alonso's seventh-fastest time of 1m14.245s showed that there was no rust to shake off after his one-race IndyCar stint.

Esteban Ocon, in eighth, was the fastest Force India while Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat split the two pink cars, the Russian ending up 1.526s off the pace.

Haas' Romain Grosjean couldn't contain his frustration as he made spun twice in consecutive laps at Turn 6 early in the session.

“I can't spin twice at the same corner, something is not going right,” said a fed-up Grosjean.

“It's the same in Turn 1 and Turn 2 - no grip on the rear,” he continued, before going off at Turn 2 around 30 minutes later.

Stoffel Vandoorne (19th) lost control at the Wall of Champions but avoided any contact with it, though he ruined his qualifying simulation run and triggered a short caution mid-way into the session.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson was the only driver to hit the exit of the famous final corner and ended up 18th; he did so just before Vandoorne made a rude introduction to the tricky chicane. Sauber counterpart Pascal Wehrlein finished last, 3.373s slower than Raikkonen.

FP1

The first practice session started with a stutter as Carlos Sainz Jr's Toro Rosso suffered an engine failure early on and both Ferraris spun on a slippery surface within 10 minutes of each other.

Mercedes took the top spot eventually, in a FP1 session which was 0.9s faster than last year's equivalent through Hamilton's time of 1m13.809s. He beat championship leader Vettel by 0.198s.

Alonso was a spectator for a large chunk of FP1 as he still hadn't managed to set a time 30 minutes into the session. The situation looked dire for the want-away two-time champion as he stopped shortly after having set his first laptime.

The McLaren driver chucked his headrest back into the car and gave the spectators a wave before returning back to the paddock. Alonso cited the gearbox as the culprit this time, though McLaren later blamed a loss of hydraulic pressure.

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Canadian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 times:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

LAPS

1

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m12.935s

-

41

2

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m13.150s

0.215s

41

3

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m13.200s

0.265s

41

4

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

1m13.310s

0.375s

42

5

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1m13.388s

0.453s

25

6

Felipe Massa

Williams

1m14.063s

1.128s

38

7

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1m14.245s

1.310s

19

8

Esteban Ocon

Force India

1m14.299s

1.364s

46

9

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

1m14.461s

1.526s

38

10

Sergio Perez

Force India

1m14.501s

1.566s

41

11

Romain Grosjean

Haas

1m14.566s

1.631s

33

12

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

1m14.604s

1.669s

38

13

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

1m14.621s

1.686s

43

14

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1m14.676s

1.741s

35

15

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m15.072s

2.137s

8

16

Jolyon Palmer

Renault

1m15.127s

2.192s

40

17

Lance Stroll

Williams

1m15.240s

2.305s

40

18

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1m15.611s

2.676s

31

19

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

1m15.624s

2.689s

20

20

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

1m16.308s

3.373s

31

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