Lotus and Ferrari stand out in rain-hit practice

2015 Canadian Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Rain on the first day of practice disrupted teams’ race preparations for the second weekend running. But unlike in Monaco all were able to test the softer compound for qualifying and even string a few laps together to evaluate tyre performance over a race stint.

From the word go, Lotus looked in good shape at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Romain Grosjean, who was the fastest driver not in a Mercedes W06 in first practice, said his car “felt good straight away and we had a set-up which worked well”.

Pastor Maldonado backed up his performance in second practice, where they slipped behind the Ferraris. His time ensured Lotus remained the quickest Mercedes-powered customer team – ahead of the two Williams drivers.

However Valtteri Bottas was not concerned by the times posted by the Enstone cars. “Today we were as competitive as we have been on any Friday this year,” he said, “so we should be looking at least at the same kind of performance as in Barcelona”.

Aside from the Force Indias, all the Mercedes-powered teams have the benefit of new engines for this weekend, at a track where straight-line speed is crucial. Both Red Bull drivers, who are already on their fourth engines and will take a penalty next time they change one, have decided to stick with their current units. “We will keep pushing with this engine and when we need to change it, we’ll change it and deal with penalties then,” said Daniil Kvyat.

Despite losing almost a third of the day’s running due to rain – and Kvyat being hampered by a brake problem – Red Bull managed to evaluate four set-ups between their two cars. Nonetheless they may find their lack of horsepower confines them to the lower reaches of the top ten.

In second practice the two Ferrari drivers were very closely-matched and little more than three tenths of a second behind Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. This probably flatters their performance deficit – Hamilton looked to have more time in hand with a clean lap – but not for the first time this year their long-run pace was strong, at least until the rain curtailed their running.

Whether their upgraded power unit will allow them to narrow the deficit to Mercedes is something we won’t know until they turn them up fully for what should be an exciting qualifying session.

Longest stints – second practice


Lewis Hamilton79.61479.78579.81879.37679.64981.04179.29179.501
Nico Rosberg79.28679.75679.67379.5679.4379.39179.30979.84579.837
Daniel Ricciardo77.11185.96377.19888.0677.138
Daniil Kvyat77.20290.58377.092
Felipe Massa77.32687.50983.10377.15184.22977.041
Valtteri Bottas76.87889.29276.84986.91681.98586.155
Sebastian Vettel78.61185.06578.48578.32178.95378.9279.16679.39982.15379.16879.332
Kimi Raikkonen78.29778.21978.31178.38378.56578.74978.90778.54578.93680.485
Fernando Alonso77.75287.33177.62786.35981.841103.38381.56383.73683.29179.73479.99880.24279.792
Jenson Button82.50381.42495.72378.13584.37684.28579.75280.76880.73879.886
Nico Hulkenberg77.4881.50477.1283.80277.7777.88778.64
Sergio Perez80.40580.12980.62380.36380.62280.3380.57280.73184.328
Max Verstappen77.94490.86378.19988.87778.17688.16278.02789.06278.14388.19177.91187.25277.65790.85478.11787.128
Carlos Sainz Jnr86.32778.13487.12477.97788.16178.07100.48677.81490.06577.77293.72177.31889.19677.71279.845
Romain Grosjean76.86493.96985.1686.40977.45986.403
Pastor Maldonado86.28378.25484.91177.64381.977.419
Marcus Ericsson91.29690.3478.79791.02378.118
Felipe Nasr77.84692.52777.9893.14678.05598.75677.75186.58478.64281.616
Will Stevens86.34889.96887.87680.453
Roberto Merhi88.16579.598100.84179.531

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.2121’15.98856
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1’17.9051’16.30444
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’18.4391’16.31046
4Nico RosbergMercedes1’16.6271’16.44060
5Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’18.0261’16.60056
6Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’18.3251’16.84958
7Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’17.7211’16.86450
8Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’17.9851’17.04147
9Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’18.0211’17.09240
10Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’18.7751’17.11140
11Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’17.8711’17.12049
12Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’19.1651’17.26149
13Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’19.0651’17.31846
14Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’18.5031’17.36748
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’18.1281’17.62755
16Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’18.2571’17.65747
17Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’18.9481’17.75151
18Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’18.7861’18.13545
19Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’20.6161’19.53148
20Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’20.6241’19.73440

2015 Canadian Grand Prix

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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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6 comments on “Lotus and Ferrari stand out in rain-hit practice”

  1. LOL at the STRs long runs :)

    Ferrari seem strong here. With overtaking opportunities aplenty, it should make an exciting race.

    1. LOL at the STRs long runs :)

      Yeah, what was going on there? Very funny!

  2. Well, I hope Williams are a bit better than they were at Barcelona. I caught one of Allan McNish’s trackside reports and he was impressed by their performance around the hairpin.
    With Lotus and Force India (basically anything Mercedes-powered) looking better too, maybe we’ll finally see the mix-up of teams near the front that F1 this year really needs.

  3. I have a naive question to ask: What do the X- and Y-axes represent on the “Longest stints” graph?

    1. X-> The lap (1st, 2nd etc), Y -> The time in seconds only (1:19 = 79s) @rocknrolla

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