Verstappen fastest from Sainz in Montreal first practice

Max Verstappen fastest in opening practice at the Canadian GP; Carlos Sainz second for Ferrari with Fernando Alonso third for Alpine; George Russell sixth and Lewis Hamilton eighth for Mercedes; watch Practice Two live on Sky Sports F1 at 10pm, with build-up from 9.45pm

Last Updated: 17/06/22 8:58pm

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Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle looks at Max Verstappen’s leading lap in opening practice at the Canadian Grand Prix
Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle looks at Max Verstappen’s leading lap in opening practice at the Canadian Grand Prix

World championship leader Max Verstappen made a strong start to the Canadian GP weekend as he set the fastest time of the opening practice session in Montreal.

Verstappen, seeking to add to a run of four wins in his last five races, outpaced Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz by almost a quarter of a second at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with Fernando Alonso taking third for Alpine.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was fourth ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who many expect to take a new turbocharger at some point during the weekend that will see him incur a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

George Russell was sixth, two places ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with the Silver Arrows separated by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll at his home race.

The session was the sport’s first since the FIA issued a technical directive in an attempt to combat the severe bouncing of cars that has occurred this season under the all-new design regulations for 2022.

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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz somehow managed not to hit a groundhog during opening practice at the Canadian GP
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz somehow managed not to hit a groundhog during opening practice at the Canadian GP

The FIA are using this weekend’s practice sessions to gather data, with the sport’s governing body intent on introducing a limit to the level of bouncing drivers will be allowed to be subjected to.

Despite Leclerc’s protestations during Friday’s pre-practice press conference that an intervention from the FIA wasn’t required, it was his team-mate Sainz who suffered notable porpoising in the early stages of the session.

As has been the case throughout the season, it was Ferrari and Red Bull who battled for supremacy, with Sainz briefly going fastest before Verstappen produced a 1:15.158 to seal top spot.

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Esteban Ocon was briefly sidelined in Practice One at the Canadian GP after a paper towel caused his brakes to overheat
Esteban Ocon was briefly sidelined in Practice One at the Canadian GP after a paper towel caused his brakes to overheat

There was limited opportunity for Ferrari or Perez to respond, with the threat of rain looming over Practice Two later on Friday meaning teams chose to use the final third of the session to carry out longer runs.

Despite strong winds, there was limited drama, with Alonso narrowly avoiding the ‘wall of champions’ early in the session, while his Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon was forced to pit after debris caused his brakes to overheat.

Yuki Tsuonda, who will start the race from the back of the grid after taking his fourth engine of the season, escaped major damage after brushing the wall in the second sector.

Canadian GP Practice One timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:15.158
2) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.246
3) Fernando Alonso Alpine +0.373
4) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.461
5) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.508
6) George Russell Mercedes +0.664
7) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +0.719
8) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.719
9) Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +0.883
10) Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +0.925
11) Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +1.007
12) Lando Norris McLaren +1.053
13) Alexander Albon Williams +1.150
14) Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri +1.164
15) Esteban Ocon Alpine +1.263
16) Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1.268
17) Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +1.994
18) Mick Schumacher Haas +2.065
19) Nicholas Latifi Williams +2.083
20) Kevin Magnussen Haas +2.397

Source : Sky Sports