(Motorsport-Total.com) – Sebastian Vettel caused a surprise at the second free practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal (training on Saturday from 7pm on the F1 live stream) and finished fourth. The Aston Martin driver finished just 0.315sec behind Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz (both Ferrari).
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Sebastian Vettel finished fourth in the second freestyle session
In the middle of the practice session, Vettel reported that something was loose in the foot of his car. And he has to explain to the race hosts that he nearly bumped into Kevin Magnussen (Haas) because of his “unsafe release”.
But apart from that, the German lived the first day of training very positively. He was nearly a second behind teammate Lance Stroll (12), who is racing the Grand Prix at his home in Canada.
Vettel surprised himself after training, “He’s going well. We’ve tried a few things. I’m not sure if they’re really better,” he said in an interview with Sky. (Announcement: Whether Sebastian Vettel can build on this strong qualifying performance and reach the podium for the first time on Sunday can be seen live, exclusively and without commercial breaks on Sky in Germany!)
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The second result is free practice
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Vettel and Montreal: It fits perfectly!
Maybe it’s just because Vettel feels like a fish in the water in Montreal, where they’re driving for the first time since 2019: “The track is really fun, I don’t know why, but if you trust the car – and that’s what I have today – then you can have more path”.
However, Vettel is not one of the favorites to win the first place. Unlike most other big drivers, he rolled a second set of tires. “Maybe that distorted the picture a bit so much that we have another round,” he admits.
“Sky” expert Ralf Schumacher predicted a positive weekend for Aston Martin: “The B-version seemed to be rolling more and more. Stroll wasn’t completely visible in the second practice session, but was decent in the first.”
Ferrari: Qualifying performance not yet achieved
Verstappen, who had complained about a ‘shot’ in his first free practice session, set a best time of 1:14.127 minutes and the Ferrari drivers trailed him by 0.082 and 0.225 seconds respectively. “Ferrari cannot call the performance in one lap, at least for now,” Schumacher analyzes.
Fernando Alonso (Alpine) fell from third to fifth from first to second. The Spaniard was just 0.416 seconds short of his best time. Just behind him was a small gap of another three tenths of a second for Pierre Gasly (6th / AlphaTauri).
Sergio Perez, who has been very competitive recently in Monte Carlo and Baku, fell sharply behind his teammate Verstappen on Friday. In the end, it was short by 1,040 seconds. That means 11th place, ahead of local champion Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes/+1.294).
Mercedes tests a hole in the lower body
Mercedes is testing a new undercarriage with a large hatch in the floorboard for the first time in Canada. Hamilton fixed this in the first practice session, but reverted to the old variant in the second – thus 0.450sec slower than George Russell (7th).
“We are far behind the top two teams,” he says. “There are a few players like Fernando and Sebastian who look very strong. We have to make sure we qualify before the midfield.” But: “I think we should be the third best team in the race.”
Hamilton looks way too low
Hamilton was more resentful of Russell. “Pig hunting” still exists, and none of the many groups that tried it really pleased it. Five minutes before the end of the session, he said on the radio: “This car is now indestructible, man!”
After training, he sounded frustrated: “The more we try, the more unsatisfied I get,” Hamilton sighs. “We tried something with the lower body. It didn’t work. George and I drove a completely different group to see if one direction worked and the other didn’t. For me it was a disaster.”
On the other hand, Mick Schumacher’s result was satisfactory: although he was 0.017 seconds slower than Kevin Magnussen in FT2, the Haas duo finished 14th and 15th. Schumacher was only 1.389 seconds behind Verstappen’s best time.
“So far it’s going according to plan,” he praises Uncle Ralph on “Sky.” “He didn’t have problems, so he was able to adapt to the track. He did really well.” However, the expert does not expect to finish in the top ten in the qualifiers: “I find it rather difficult. I think the performance is lacking.”