Formula 1 Racing

Alonso tops damp practice as electrical fault halts Verstappen · F1 · RaceFans

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time on slick tyres before rain fell in second practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell.

The Aston Martin driver was quickest on a slightly damp track on soft tyres before rain intensified, preventing anyone from improving their times.

Championship leader Max Verstappen completed only four laps after suffering an electrical problem in his Red Bull, leading to his car receiving intensive repair work in the garage for the majority of the session.

After the opening practice session was affected by rain and effectively shortened to 40 minutes as a result of water on track, the track was dry enough for slicks in the minutes leading up to the second hour of practice. However, a shower fell over the circuit as cars queued up at the end of the pit lane forcing all of those who headed out on softs to return to the pits.

Charles Leclerc was sent out on intermediate tyres as the rain began to fall, however, this was before race director Niels Wittich had officially declared the track as ‘wet’. This was in violation of the regulations, with race control announcing that Leclerc would be investigated for the violation after the session.

Despite the rain making the track damp, the shower was short and drivers soon headed back out on slick tyres. Alonso set the quickest time with a 1’15.810 on soft tyres, while drivers enjoyed their first meaningful running on dry tyres of the weekend.

Verstappen’s running was interrupted when he returned to the pit lane with smoke from his Red Bull. After returning to the garage, the team cordoned off the RB20, with Verstappen made to jump clear of the car after climbing out of the cockpit, indicating an electrical fault.

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Rain returned to the circuit with greater intensity than at the top of the hour, resulting in the field making for the sanctuary of the pits. Eventually, the bulk of the field rejoined the track to complete more wet weather running on the intermediates, but Verstappen was unable to join them with the ongoing work on his car.

Eventually the hour elapsed and the chequered flag signalled that Alonso would end Friday as the quickest driver, his best time four tenths better than Russell’s

Montreal’s own Lance Stroll was third fastest, six tenths slower than his team mate on slicks, with Charles Leclerc in fourth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton and Yuki…

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