Formula 1 Racing

Hamilton leads Verstappen and Russell in final practice at Montreal · RaceFans

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Lewis Hamiltonput Mercedes quickest of all ahead of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix by setting the fastest time in final practice.

Max Verstappen was second-fastest, almost four tenths of a second slower than Hamilton, with George Russell third in the second Mercedes.

After both Friday practice sessions were heavily affected by rain, drivers found a completely dry track awaited them for the final hour of practice. Most of the field headed out on medium compound tyres, as so many had opted for softs through the limited dry running they had on Friday.

Following his session-ending crash in the turn five wall in the opening practicesession, Zhou Guanyu’s weekend got even worse when he spun rounding the first corner and backed his Sauber into the barriers at the outside of turn two. After a brief red flag interruption, the session resumed and teams commenced high-fuel running.

Verstappen set the quickest time on the mediums, before Fernando Alonso moved to the top of the charts with a fresh set of hards. Around the mid-point of the session, most drivers chose to switch back onto soft tyres and Hamilton emerged on top with a lap of 1’13.464 in his Mercedes. Lando Norris was just a hundredth of a second behind for McLaren.

Alexander Albon clattered the Wall of Champions on a flying lap, damaging his right-rear suspension, but managed to recover to the pits after completing a full lap at vastly reduced speed. The stewards noted Albon for driving his car in an ‘unsafe condition’, but decided no investigation was necessary.

During the final qualifying simulation runs, Hamilton offered a statement of intent by posting a 1’12.549, comfortably the fastest time of the weekend. Only Verstappen could get within four-tenths of the Mercedes driver by the end of the session, with Hamilton confirmed as the fastest heading into qualifying when the chequered flag flew.

Russell was third-fastest in the second Mercedes, four tenths behind his team mate, with Lance Stroll fourth in front of his home crowd. Oscar Piastri was the fastest McLaren in fifth, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the RB, Norris and Alonso in eighth. Sergio Perez was ninth, with Charles Leclerc only tenth for Ferrari after complaining of being “extremely slow” over his final push lap.

Qualifying is due to begin at 4pm local time and an 80% chance of rain is forecast.

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2024 Canadian Grand Prix third practice result

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