Scuderia Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were second and third fastest respectively come the end of the first day of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. It was a busy Friday, with the pair completing a total of 128 laps, not far off two race distances, as Sunday’s Grand Prix is run over 70 laps, equivalent to 305.27 kilometres. They ran different programmes to acquire as much data as possible, also taking into account that Charles will have to take a grid penalty on Sunday after a third CE (Control Electronics) was fitted to his car before the second free practice session.
FP1. Different programmes. On a very dirty track, Charles set off on Soft tyres and Carlos ran the Medium compound, as to evaluate two of three compounds Pirelli has brought to Canada. Leclerc began by posting a time of 1’16”500 with Sainz stopping the clocks in 1’16”952, before getting down to a 1’16”400. Charles pitted for some set-up changes after which he did a 1’15”949 and then a 1’15”666, his best of the session. Carlos then switched to the Soft tyres, lapping in 1’15”441 followed by 1’15”404. Charles then also tried the Mediums but did not go quicker. Carlos completed 34 laps in total and Charles did 30.
FP2. Charles began the session on Soft tyres while once again, Carlos was using Mediums. Leclerc did a 1’15”288 and Sainz a 1’15”458. Carlos then switched to Softs and posted a 1’14”352, while Charles improved to 1’14”208. Midway through the session the wind increased in strength and black clouds gathered over the track making it harder to post quick times. The rain only actual fell after the chequered flag had been waved. Carlos and Charles were both able to complete long runs, again using different tyres, Soft for Leclerc and Medium for Sainz. They both did 32 laps, bringing the day’s total to 128. The third free practice session starts tomorrow at 13 local (19 CEST) with qualifying at 16 (22 CEST).
‘It’s really good to be back at this track! It has a lot of character, and it’s always fun to drive on circuits where you have to ride the kerbs so much. It was a positive first day overall. We did a good job improving our set-up from FP1 to FP2. Track evolution is usually quite big at this track, which was also the case today. The wind was quite strong, but it didn’t affect my running much. Our main focus going forward will be in preparing our race in the best possible way.’
‘It’s great to be back in Canada, at a circuit that is demanding, bumpy and full of kerbs, so it’s definitely a challenge for these new cars. I’ve enjoyed the first practice day and we have been able to progress well through the two sessions. It got very tricky at times due to the strong and gusty wind, but we managed to complete all our programme without any issues. Understanding the tyres will be very important come Sunday and we gathered good data with today’s run plan. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying.’