F1: Verstappen tops opening practice for Canadian GP

The forecast rain held off and F1 points leader Max Verstappen turned the fastest lap in opening practice for the Canadian GP in Montreal, Canada on a very green track.

Verstappen’s lap of 1m15.158s with his Red Bull mounted on the soft Pirellis was 0.246s faster than Carlos Sainz Jr.’s Ferrari on the same rubber.

Fernando Alonso was a surprise 3rd for Alpine, 0.373s off the pace, but on the medium tires. Alonso was consistently fast in a straight-line in Baku, so it was no surprise to see Alpine competitive in Canada given it is a low downforce track.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522. Canadian GP, Montreal.

Sergio Perez Was 4th quick in the #11 Red Bull, 0.461s behind his teammate, while Charles Leclerc rounded out the top-5 in the #16 Ferrari.

Ferrari said Leclerc’s Baku PU is “beyond repair”. But while he will take a new ICE, MGU-H, MGU-K and CE (his third of each), none of those switches triggers a penalty in Canada.  However, he will eventually be hit with one or more 10-race grid positions penalties. There are plenty of rumors that the Ferrari man may well take on some new PU components this weekend. That would lead to a grid drop, so we’ll keep a close eye on his program to see if he concentrates more on race pace than usual.

Yuki Tsunoda will have his work cut out in the pursuit of points in the Canadian Grand Prix after his AlphaTauri team fitted his car with a series of new engine components that triggers a grid penalty.

Tsunoda will take a completely new engine – with fresh internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-K, MGU-H, control electronics and energy store – plus a fifth exhaust of the season.

As these will be his fourth ICE, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K of the year, thus exceeding his allocation, he will be handed four penalties by the stewards, which means a back-of-the-grid start for Sunday’s race.

Everyone got a decent amount of track time in there – the only ones to have a slightly compromised session were Ocon and Norris. The Frenchman still managed 26 laps despite getting some tissue stuck in his brakes, while Norris managed 17 before that unknown issue ended his participation in FP1 slightly early.

Practice 1 Results

1 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:15.158 +0.000s 26
2 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:15.404 +0.246s 33
3 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:15.531 +0.373s 30
4 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:15.619 +0.461s 31
5 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:15.666 +0.508s 29
6 63 George Russell MERCEDES 1:15.822 +0.664s 28
7 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:15.877 +0.719s 31
8 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:15.877 +0.719s 26
9 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:16.041 +0.883s 32
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:16.083 +0.925s 28
11 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:16.165 +1.007s 28
12 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:16.211 +1.053s 17
13 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:16.308 +1.150s 28
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:16.322 +1.164s 32
15 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:16.421 +1.263s 25
16 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:16.426 +1.268s 27
17 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:17.152 +1.994s 29
18 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:17.223 +2.065s 24
19 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:17.241 +2.083s 32
20 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:17.555 +2.397s 30