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F1 | Canadian GP | Verstappen tops FP1 ahead of Sainz and a surprising Fernando Alonso

Max Verstappen has set the fastest lap of the first practice sessions of the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, with Aston Martins in the top 10, an Alpine in the top 3 and a Charles Leclerc not finding quite the needed pace.

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F1 | Canadian GP | Verstappen tops FP1 ahead of Sainz and a surprising Fernando Alonso
Fuente imagen: MotorLat

Today is Friday June 17, 2022 and it is the first day of on-track action for the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix here at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. Drivers prepare to get into their cars and make big progress in their cars in this first free practice session. We are at an ambient temperature of 25.2°C while on the track there is a temperature of 42.4°C. Likewise, the humidity at the circuit at the moment is 42%, so the teams are expected to adapt easily to this climate. No rain is expected in this practice session so the track will be dry, just as it is expected to be on Sunday, race day. Currently, and with two minutes to go until the start of the first practice, the FIA ​​announces that there is a 20% chance of rain for this first practice session. Teams are likely to work on setting up their cars for Sunday's race as it will increase the chance of rain in second practice.

Green flag in the pit lane and the first practice session is in action as the first cars to get into the track are the McLarens, Alfa Romeos and AlphaTauris. So many cars getting out of their garages at these early times of the session. With Nicholas Latifi wearing a special edition of his helmet, the Canadian driver goes into the track for his first laps around his home Grand Prix circuit. The first timed lap is set by Valtteri Bottas who sets a 1:20.463. Every driver who is currently running at the track is on medium tyres. Witch 6 minutes already gone from FP1, Max Verstappen has the best lap time with a 1:17.991. We have the first images of porpoising at this track, and it is with Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari as he seems to have heavy oscillations in his F1-75. After 10 minutes, Max Verstappen has the first position with a just-improved lap time of 1:15.799 and a difference of -0.374 in comparison to his previous lap time.

Big lock up from Mick Schumacher as he misses the apex of turn 14. With 48 minutes to go, Red Bull position themselves in a comfortable 1-2 with Mexican driver, Sergio Perez, in P1 (1:15.660) and a +0.043 second gap between himself and one-time world champion, Max Verstappen (1:15.703). Esteban Ocon opens the radio with his team and reports a failure with his front right tyre as we can see the smoke coming from his brakes. The replay shows that the failure of his front right brake happened at the entry of turn 9, as he wasn’t able to brake enough to take the apex of said corner.

It just has been revealed that Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen and Yuki Tsunoda are going to start the Canadian Grand Prix with a new internal combustion engine, nonetheless, the AlphaTauri driver will have a grid penalty for this change, as it is the fourth of the three allowed ones. He also is getting a new turbocharger and that will be he fourth of the three allowed ones, so that will be another penalty for the Japanese driver.

Drivers are commenting that there is a lot of wind in the track as the FIA reports a 2.5 km/h for wind speed heading to the north. Both Aston Martins have just completed their first lap times with the softest tyres and sit comfortably in P3 and P4, with local hero on P3 (0.217 seconds from the lead) and four-time world champion in P4 (0.543 seconds from the lead). Leclerc also finished his first timed lap with the C5 compound and sets a P4 time, splitting both Aston Martins, with a 1:15.949 lap time. Max Verstappen also reports problems with his front left tyre as he says to his team that the tyre stayed on the air.

With 27 minutes remaining of the first practice sessions, both Ferraris have completed their first laps with the C5 compound as Sainz takes P1 with a 1:15.441 and Leclerc in P3 with a 1:15.666 and a 0.225 second gap between himself and the Spaniard. Aston Martin says that there is a problem with Lance Stroll’s car and sends him to the box as Max Verstappen completes his first timed lap with the softest tyre available and sets a 1:15.158 to get P1. Big lock-up for Sebastian Vettel as he runs wide in turn 1 and manage to continued. Mercedes are also completing their first laps with the red tyres and currently sit in P5 and P7, with seven-time world champion off the lead by 0.719 seconds and a 0.664-second gap between the other British driver and the lead.

15 minutes left on the session and Verstappen is on the lead (1:15.158) from Sainz, Alonso, Perez, Leclerc, Russell, Stroll, Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo completing the top-10. Haas is struggling to find the perfect pace as they position themselves in P18 (Mick Schumacher) and P20 (Kevin Magnussen). Latifi is also struggling as he sets the 19th best lap time of the session with a 2.083-second gap between his Williams and the lead. Alonso is really pushing his Alpine into the limit as he is the fastest car in the medium-speed corners. Traffic appears as Valtteri Bottas almost crashed into Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri. Nonetheless, the Finn driver completes his timed lap with a personal best 1:16.426.

With 8 minutes to go, Hamilton gets out of the pit lane to improve his position as there is only a 0.055-second gap between himself and his teammate. The seven-time world champion crosses the line but stays in 8th position with exactly the same time as Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin. Max Verstappen also starts a new fastest lap but traffic doesn’t play for him and could not improve his previous time. Leclerc is currently on a race simulation programme and with 1:45 minutes remaining, he affirms that his rear tyres are destroyed, something we will have to look at in the next sessions. Bottas also struggled in the hairpin as he completely flatted his tyres due to a big lock-up.

Chequered flag is out and Max Verstappen finishes the session in P1 with a 1:15.158 timed lap, as Sainz finished P2 (+0.246) and a surprising Alonso in P3 (0.373 off the lead). Perez finishes FP1 in P4, ahead of Leclerc, Russell, Stroll, Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Gasly, Norris, Albon, Tsunoda, Ocon, Bottas, Zhou, Schumacher, Latifi and Magnussen. Aston Martin seems to like this track, as well of Fernando Alonso’s Alpine. Leclerc finished the session 0.508 seconds behind Max Verstappen, as we are not familiar of seeing Charles outside of the top 3 in practice sessions. In 3 hours, the cars will run again in this Gilles-Villeneuve circuit for the second free practice session.

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