It was very hot today in Montreal, and not only in terms of the weather. It was enough actions for Friday on the track too.
The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve wasn’t used for a year, after the Grand Prix last season it was closed for the construction of a new complex of boxes, and now opened again, and the track wasn’t in the best condition. On Friday morning the asphalt was dirty and slippery; the cars raised clouds of dust.
Lance Stroll isn’t the only Canadian F1 driver in Montreal this weekend. In Friday’s opening session Nicholas Latifi – Williams’ reserve driver – got his first practice with the team, where he replaced Robert Kubica. It wasn't his debut FP1 appearance: last year he worked with Force India (Racing Point) 5 times on Fridays, and already had a chance to drive Williams' car in Bahrain and Barcelona tests this season. Today’s FP1 can’t be called successful for Nicholas, he finished it on P20 and almost hit an errant groundhog on the track.
Among the major occurrences – it was Antonio Giovinazzi. After hitting the curb, his car was turned around and thrown to the barrier in the Turn 9. The rear suspension was damaged, what affected his work in the second practice.
There were spins, too, for Vettel at the hairpin and Romain Grosjean at Turn 6, but without consequences. By the way, as for Sebastian, at the beginning of the session, the mechanics were working hard with his car in boxes, due to what Vettel had to miss part of FP1. However, soon the German began the work on the track, and after a small spin ended the session on P5.
As for the leaders, there were no surprises - updated Mercedes took two first positions.
The second practice was much more interesting, and ended with unexpected results.
So, at the beginning of the practice the situation on the track was quite calm, except for strong gusts of wind, what teams warned their drivers about.
Antonio Giovinazzi, who damaged the car in the first session, spent half of FP2 in boxes, waiting for the mechanics to prepare his car. The team decided to change the gearbox on Antonio’s car as a precaution.
27 minutes after the start of the session there was a truly turning point - Lewis Hamilton’s crash. Lewis hit the curb and strongly touched the wall (not Champions!). Hamilton punctured the rear right tyre, damaged the right side of the front wing and barely made it to the pit lane. As a result, the right side of the car was seriously damaged, so obviously internal mechanisms also have some damages. That's why Mercedes had to change the whole rear-end of Lewis's car.
At the end of the session, the drivers who were on Soft and Medium had problems with the tyre wear. Charles Leclerc reported he was overheating as crazy, and Sebastian Vettel said his rear tyres were melting away. However, this fact didn’t stop Ferrari drivers from becoming FP2 leaders. As for the leader of previous practice, missing the end of FP2, Lewis Hamilton moved to the 6th position, losing the lead to Charles Leclerc.
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