The long-awaited and promised rain finally gave the air of its grace in Montreal. The third and final free practice of Formula 1 in Canada, held this Saturday (18), was therefore not under normal conditions. And in such a scenario, who was responsible for interrupting Max Verstappen’s 100% use at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit was Fernando Alonso and Alpine.
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The last F1 free practice in Canada was, in addition to rainy, sleepy. Understandable: the weather conditions implied a fear of the teams to put their respective qualifying training at risk. In addition, with the prediction of a race on a dry track, it was difficult to make any type of configuration adjustment and data analysis thinking about the race.
To give you an idea: Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, from Red Bull, did exactly 10 laps (only). Charles Leclerc, who will start from the back of the grid after changing his engine, didn’t even set a time. The leader of turns completed in FP3 was Yuki Tsunoda, with just 27.
As such, Alonso topped the timesheets – which saw a sudden shift in the order of forces: Pierre Gasly in second, Sebastian Vettel in third. Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, George Russell, Pérez, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz completed the top 10, in order.
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Check out how FP3 of the F1 Canadian GP went:
Last in FP1, Kevin Magnussen was the first to experience the wet Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – as soon as the clock allowed. As promised, the rain was present in Montreal – as well as the intense cold.
Alongside the Dane on the track, only his Haas teammate Mick Schumacher – who complained about the track conditions with profanity – and the Ferrari duo. Understandable: The Italian team didn’t want to waste any time after seeing Max Verstappen and Red Bull dominate the first day of F1 action in Canada.
As Aston Martin launched its drivers onto the circuit, the FOM broadcast showed a carefree Esteban Ocon, out of his car and in jeans, joking and chatting with Alpine employees.
On the wet track, Carlos Sainz had everything to be the first driver in the front pack to set a fast lap, with seven minutes into the session, but Ferrari called the Spaniard into the pits. The interim lead, therefore, went with Kevin Magnussen – not that there was any heavy competition, of course.
With 15 minutes past FP3, it was still impossible to ride on intermediate tires – only blue belt tires on the track. Actions, however, remained sleepy: McLaren was the only one that sent its drivers to the company of Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda.
40 minutes to go and Alfa Romeo finally launched Valtteri Bottas onto the track. The Finn did not participate in FP2 due to faults in his car. In any case, the damage was already ‘guaranteed’, since the tendency is to race on a dry circuit – riding on a wet track would not help in matters of set-up and the like. Meanwhile, Bottas turned in 1min37s909 and remained in the lead of the session.
That changed when Ferrari finally returned with Sainz on track: 1min36s831 for the Spaniard, on his first recorded fast lap. Detail: already with more than 25 minutes of FP3. The Italian team took advantage and launched Charles Leclerc on the circuit as well – only the two of them and Ocon were on the track.
+ Ferrari chooses to change entire engine, and Leclerc starts from the back of the grid in Canada
Sainz improved his own time, dropping to 1min35s858, as more cars finally appeared on the track. Even so, short sequences of laps: nobody wanted to risk staying on the track for too long.
In the second half of FP3, few changes to the timesheets. Significant, however: Fernando Alonso and George Russell went to the top, but it was Vettel who was responsible for ousting Sainz: 1min35s821 for the four-time world champion.
With 17 minutes remaining in the session, Alpine released the intermediate tires for Alonso. After a slow lap, the Spaniard climbed to the top of the timesheet: 1min34s836. The green band compounds showed a path – and, precisely because of this, Sainz and Vettel were the next to try them.
The two-time world champion lowered his mark even further in the next round, clocking 1min34s229. Verstappen took to the track, still with heavy rain tires, but missed the chicane and aborted the lap – so he returned to the pits.
Little by little, intermediaries became predominant. Vettel took Alonso out of the lead, with a time of 1min33s891. The two-time world champion got the change: 1min33s836. So, whoever was putting on the green belt tyres, was climbing the timesheet: Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly…
With six minutes to go, Magnussen escaped the track and, standing on the grass, caused a yellow flag regime. Verstappen, on a slow lap and at the same point on the track, ran alone. The rain intensified towards the end of the session.
Ocon even promised to take the winger out of teammate Alonso at the end, but a mistake in the last sector left him only in fourth. Gasly moved up to second and overtook Vettel, but the lead was left with the Spaniard.
F1 2022, Canadian GP, Montreal, FP3:
|two||P GASLY||AlphaTauri Honda||1:33,889||+0.053||18|
|3||S VETTEL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:33,891||+0.055||18|
|6||L NORRIS||McLaren Mercedes||1:34,248||+0.412||13|
|8||S PEREZ||red bull||1:34,498||+0.662||10|
|9||M VERSTAPPEN||red bull||1:34,616||+0,780||10|
|11||V BOOTS||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:35,016||+1,180||15|
|12||G ZHOU||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:35,213||+1,377||15|
|13||L STROL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:35,531||+1,695||23|
|14||K MAGNUSEN||Haas Ferrari||1:35,643||+1,807||17|
|17||Y TSUNODA||AlphaTauri Honda||1:36,261||+2,425||27|
|18||M SCHUMACHER||Haas Ferrari||1:37,388||+3,552||18|
|19||N LATIFI||Williams Mercedes||1:38,394||+4,558||11|
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