(Motorsport-Total.com) – Sebastian Vettel caused a surprise in the second free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal (practice on Saturday from 7 p.m. in the Formula 1 live ticker) and secured fourth place. The Aston Martin driver ended up just 0.315 seconds behind Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz (both Ferrari).
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Sebastian Vettel secured fourth place in the second free practice session
Vettel reported towards the middle of the training session that something was loose in the footwell of his car. And he has to explain to the race stewards that he almost collided with Kevin Magnussen (Haas) because of the “unsafe release”.
But apart from that, the German experienced a very positive first day of training. He was almost a second behind his teammate Lance Stroll (12th), who is contesting his home Grand Prix in Canada.
Vettel himself was surprised after the training, “that it’s going so well. We’ve tried a few things. I’m not sure if they’re really better,” he says in an interview with ‘Sky’. (DISPLAY: Whether Sebastian Vettel can build on this strong performance in qualifying and get on the podium for the first time on Sunday can be seen live, exclusively and without commercial breaks on Sky in Germany!)
On the subject:
Result 2nd free practice
F1 live ticker: Voices about training
F1 live stream: training analysis from 2:30 a.m
Vettel and Montreal: It just fits!
Maybe it’s just because Vettel feels like a fish in water in Montreal, where they’re driving for the first time since 2019: “The track is kind of really fun, I don’t know why, but if you have confidence in the car – and that I had today – then you can get more out of the track.”
Nevertheless, Vettel is not one of the favorites for pole position. Unlike most other top drivers, he did a lap on a second set of tires. “Maybe that distorted the picture a bit that we had another round,” he admits.
‘Sky’ expert Ralf Schumacher predicts a positive weekend for Aston Martin: “The B version seems to be getting rolling more and more. Stroll wasn’t quite as visible in the second practice session, but was decent in the first.”
Ferrari: qualifying performance not there yet
Verstappen, who had complained about “clipping” in the first free practice session, set a best time of 1:14.127 minutes and took the Ferrari drivers behind him by 0.082 and 0.225 seconds respectively. “Ferrari can’t call up the performance in one lap, at least not until now,” analyzes Schumacher.
Fernando Alonso (Alpine) dropped from third to fifth place from first to second practice. The Spaniard was just 0.416 seconds off the best time. Only behind him was there a small gap of another three tenths of a second to Pierre Gasly (6th/AlphaTauri).
Sergio Perez, who was very competitive recently in Monte Carlo and Baku, fell sharply behind his teammate Verstappen on Friday. In the end, he was 1.040 seconds short. That meant eleventh place, ahead of local hero Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes / +1.294).
Mercedes is experimenting with a hole in the underbody
Mercedes is testing a new underbody with a large hole in the floor panel for the first time in Canada. Hamilton had installed this in the first practice session, but switched back to the old variant in the second – and was thus 0.450 seconds slower than George Russell (7th).
He says: “We are far behind the top two teams. And there are a few guys like Fernando and Sebastian who seem to be very strong. We have to make sure that we qualify before midfield.” But: “I think that we should be the third best team in the race.”
Hamilton looks extremely down
Hamilton was even more dissatisfied than Russell. The “porpoising” is still there, and none of the many set-ups tried really satisfied him. Five minutes before the end of the session, he radioed: “This car is now undrivable, man!”
After training, he seemed demoralized: “The more we try, the more dissatisfied I become,” Hamilton sighs. “We tried something with the underbody. It didn’t work. George and I drove completely different set-ups to see if one direction worked and the other didn’t. For me it was a disaster.”
On the other hand, the result of Mick Schumacher was pleasing: Although he was 0.017 seconds slower than Kevin Magnussen in FT2, the Haas duo finished in positions 14 and 15. Schumacher was only 1.389 seconds behind Verstappen’s best time.
“So far it’s going according to plan,” praises Uncle Ralf on ‘Sky’. “Had no problems, so he was able to adapt to the track. He did well.” Nevertheless, the expert does not expect to finish in the top 10 in qualifying: “I see that as rather difficult. I think that the performance is lacking.”
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