The second free practice session for the F1 2023 Canadian Grand Prix was a wet and wild affair, as rain disrupted the running and caused some drama on the track. Lewis Hamilton topped the session for Mercedes, ahead of his teammate George Russell and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
The session started with dry conditions, as the drivers went out to do some qualifying simulations and test their upgraded packages. Charles Leclerc set the early pace for Ferrari, but it was Pierre Gasly who briefly went fastest with a quick lap on the medium compound tires.
However, the session was soon interrupted by Nico Hülkenberg’s Haas experiencing a significant power unit problem, resulting in a red flag. The German driver had to park his car on the side of the track, as smoke came out of the back of his car.
After a brief delay, the session resumed, but Esteban Ocon’s Alpine encountered a mechanical issue, leading to another red flag. The French driver also had to stop his car on the track, as he reported a loss of power.
Yuki Tsunoda also had a momentary scare as he ran wide at Turn 1, but he managed to recover and continue his run. Meanwhile, there were sightings of raindrops on some parts of the circuit, as the weather forecast predicted showers for later in the session.
Lewis Hamilton, managed to set the fastest time. The seven-time world champion clocked a 1:13.718 lap, beating his teammate George Russell by 0.027 seconds.
The rain eventually arrived, intensifying quickly and causing unpredictable track conditions. Some parts of the track were extremely wet, while others remained relatively dry.
Valtteri Bottas, humorously commented on the downpour, stating, “Good weather for… a duck.” The Finnish driver finished seventh in the session, behind Max Verstappen and ahead of Sergio Perez.
With the rain persisting, visibility became a challenge, and the Ferrari cars struggled to make it back to the pits. Leclerc and Sainz had to drive slowly and carefully through the puddles and spray, as they communicated with their engineers on the radio.
Hamilton ended up topping the session, showcasing Mercedes’ strong performance. The team timed their quick laps perfectly, taking advantage of the optimal track conditions.