Hamilton quickest again – then crashes in the rain

2015 Canadian Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton was quickest in second practice but also suffered a setback when he crashed after a rain shower hit the track.

led a second practice session which was interrupted by heavy rain and a red flag – which was caused by him crashing during the downpour.

Mercedes had sent both their drivers onto the track on intermediate tyres despite the rain falling hard. Soon after the cars left the garage the race engineers were debating with their drivers whether they should switch to full wet weather tyres – also known as ‘extreme’ wets.

As Hamilton drove through the first two sectors his race engineer Pete Bonnington asked him “let us know if you think it’s X-wet [extreme wet] conditions – it looks wet out there.”

“So Lewis we think it’s X-wet conditions,” he added moments later. But it was too late to keep Hamilton from skidding off at the turn ten hairpin and into the barrier. The driver gave a one-word explanation on the radio: “Aquaplaned.”

Meanwhile Rosberg’s crew had already taken the decision to abandon the intermediate tyre run. “If you think it’s too dangerous then you can box,” said Tony Ross on the radio after Rosberg joined the track. “Just box, box, we’ll stop,” Ross added, then after Hamilton crashed he warned Rosberg urgently: “Caution, caution turn ten, Lewis has gone straight on. Brake early.”

Mercedes’ surprising decision to send either of their cars out at all in heavy rain – let alone on the shallow-grooved intermediate tyres – comes in the wake of the strategy error at Monaco which cost Hamilton a likely victory. However he will take come comfort from having headed the practice times for the second session in a row.

The rain which arrived shortly before the halfway point in the session was widely anticipated by the teams, and to a man they had their drivers out early to make sure they got their super-soft tyre run finished.

Hamilton abandoned one of his first runs on the softer rubber after hitting the kerbs hard at the final chicane. His best effort eventually put him three-tenths of a second clear of the two Ferraris – Sebastian Vettel leading Kimi Raikkonen by a mere six-thousandths of a second.

Rosberg was fourth while for the second session in a row Lotus was the quickest Mercedes customer team, this time thanks to fifth-placed Pastor Maldonado.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’15.98822
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’16.3040.31619
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’16.3100.32220
46Nico RosbergMercedes1’16.4400.45222
513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’16.6000.61215
677Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’16.8490.86118
78Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’16.8640.87615
819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’17.0411.05319
926Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’17.0921.10410
103Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’17.1111.12316
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’17.1201.13215
129Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’17.2611.27317
1355Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’17.3181.33023
1411Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’17.3671.37920
1514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’17.6271.63921
1633Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’17.6571.66923
1712Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’17.7511.76321
1822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’18.1352.14720
1998Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’19.5313.54315
2028Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’19.7343.74613

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’15.988

+0.316 Sebastian Vettel – 1’16.304

+0.322 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’16.310

+0.452 Nico Rosberg – 1’16.440

+0.612 Pastor Maldonado – 1’16.600

+0.861 Valtteri Bottas – 1’16.849

+0.876 Romain Grosjean – 1’16.864

+1.053 Felipe Massa – 1’17.041

+1.104 Daniil Kvyat – 1’17.092

+1.123 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’17.111

+1.132 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’17.120

+1.273 Marcus Ericsson – 1’17.261

+1.330 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’17.318

+1.379 Sergio Perez – 1’17.367

+1.639 Fernando Alonso – 1’17.627

+1.669 Max Verstappen – 1’17.657

+1.763 Felipe Nasr – 1’17.751

+2.147 Jenson Button – 1’18.135

+3.543 Roberto Merhi – 1’19.531

+3.746 Will Stevens – 1’19.734

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Hamilton quickest again – then crashes in the rain”

  1. Trenthamfolk (@)
    5th June 2015, 20:29

    what’s eating Toto, he looks and sounds really tense to me…

    1. Thought exactly the same. He has been spotted laughing and joking with both drivers today so it’s not that, Maybe the big wigs and Merc are giving him some heat.

  2. Well, there’s another stupid error from Mercedes if you like. Why even bother sending them out. I had no video and even I knew it was extreme wet weather tyre…

    Lewis probably on pole, maybe even ready for another grand slam if he’s lucky. Force India one stopping possibly according to Autosport, then maybe so will Ferrari…? I think they could try and if it does not work out return to a two stop and not lose track position, or even fight back to P3/4.

    1. @xtwl Toto Wolff just said on Sky that they needed to do a clutch calibration.

      He also pointed out that at the time they rolled out the garage it wasn’t raining that hard which is why they both went out on inter’s rather than full wets. It apparently started raining significantly heavier just afterwards & that it was raining even harder at the hairpin which is where Lewis went off.

      1. Even when they left the pits it was fairly obvious that was a full wet tyre condition.

        1. I was in grandstand 12 (Senna turn) today, and when the Mercs went out the rain hadn’t reached our side of the track yet. We could see from the monitors that it was fairly heavy on the far side, but along the pit straight at turns 1/2 the track surface hadn’t turned fully dark yet. It was definitely inter conditions at that point.

          However, they should have known what it was like on the other half, so yeah – bad call.

        2. I think the rain intensity depended very much on where on the track you were looking, It didn’t look so bad from the bit but as soon as you got to sector 2 that all changes.

  3. It got very dark and quiet.
    On a side note, why didn’t the drivers go out?


    1. There’s no rain forecast for the rest of the weekend so there not learning anything by going out while risking damage to the car which could affect there preparation for qualifying & the race.

      Mercedes only went out because they needed to calibrate the clutch & one of the cars went off despite driving slowly.

  4. Ah Mercedes, you’ve gone and done it again…

    Kimi, moving on up.

    Love the new visual gaps graph @keithcollantine , very effective.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      5th June 2015, 22:50

      I also love the new visual gaps.excellent presentation. thx kc

  5. Radio: “let us know if you think it’s X-wet conditions – it looks wet out there.” … “So… we think it’s X-wet conditions” … too late to keep Hamilton from skidding off …

    So it “looks wet”, presumably the driver could see more than normal raindrops on his visor, so a car skids off on semi-slick tyres — and everybody stops for the rest of the session. Nobody (as far as I could see) even tried the proper rain tyres (“X-wet”.) Where the heck has “road relevance” gone? The teams know full well that Mr Whiting will stop any race in little more than light rain, so no need to practice. Spectators like me, can get wet but not the cars. And Pirelli prove once again that their tyres are gimmicks.

    1. Well actually, they don’t go out becuase its not going to rain at any other point during the weekend so why would they go out and get necessary wear to the engine and risk failures. They gain nothing from it. Nothing to do with Mr whiting

    2. What?

  6. Finally Kimi got better position than the previous practice.

  7. Ferrari didn’t even tried the soft tyres on this practice.
    Mercedes seems to be massively faster than the others on the soft tyres, but their times hardly improved with supersofts.

    Looks like they can afford an extra stop. And overtaking on this circuit is as easy as it can be.
    Also, Lotus is looking very good. With Maldonado. Incredible.

    1. They did do a super soft run but it was hampered by the rain. They also did the option run earlier in the session

    2. They used it on the FP1, doing long runs. Ferrari had a different program that usual today not only in FP1 but also in FP2.

  8. Well for a so called professional Racing team Mercedes are making some pretty poor calls in strategy especially when common sense says ‘look at reality instead of relying on virtual information/computers. Get your heads out of from behind the computers and look at what is physically happening. Two very pathetic calls in the last two races and it seems to me that some management heads should roll!!

    1. From where they were sitting the intensity wouldn’t of looked all that bad. They should have had information on the whole track before sending them out but on this occasion I don’t think looking away from the computer screen to the skies would of helped them.

  9. Never mind the clutch calibration. I think they were trying to please the fans or show off or something.

  10. Why calibrate your clutch for conditions not expected the rest of the weekend?

  11. Nice interactive graph there!

  12. Mercedes sent him out and Hamilton is letting the world know about. They didn’t tell him to wreck the car though.

    He should keep his trap closed if he’s going to blame the team but he never learns. Monaco was part his fault but he isn’t man enough to admit it.

    Just like at McLaren, he blames his team and causes tension. You wanted him Merc and you got him. I don’t like Ferrari but I’m beginning to hope Vettel challenges him.

    1. What are you talking about?

  13. I demand to see a full radio transcript between Lewis and his engineer to determine in my own mind who was at fault so that I can come to the forums and argue about it for several weeks. Or I could just get on with my life and not worry about it – one or the other.

  14. Last time I looked Lewis was driving the car, whatever the weather, his mistake, did anyone see the amazing side shot of the wheels/tires as the car began aquaplaning ?
    Should become a public safety film.

  15. I was sitting at the hairpin and saw it happen. From what I’ve heard in the live commentary, the rain was significantly more intense in the hairpin than in the pits. We saw both Mercedes (on the screens) getting out on track (and cheered), but the rain only got more intense. Just saying in case someone comes up with conspiracy theories.

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