Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2018

Hamilton stays ahead but Bottas hits trouble in second practice

2018 Canadian Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton kept his Mercedes on top in the second practice session for the French Grand Prix but his team mate was forced to sit out part of the session.

Poorer track conditions in the second practice session mean Hamilton’s best effort was three-tenths of a second slower than he managed in first practice. However he was comfortably the quickest driver in the second session, lapping seven-tenths of a second quicker than the Red Bulls.

Valtteri Bottas looked to be on a par with his team mate before a technical problem ended his participation in the session. As the two Ferrari drivers also appeared to have some performance in hand, Hamilton’s ultimate margin in the session appeared to be flattered.

A dramatic spin for Sergio Perez hindered the drivers’ efforts to conduct qualifying simulation runs. The Force India snapped wildly out of control at turn seven when its left-rear wheel fell off without warning. This forced the second red flag appearance of the day.

Romain Grosjean sustained Haas’s strong performance in the second session, lapping just 1.1 seconds off Hamilton’s time. That left him seven-tenths of a second ahead of the next midfield runner, Fernando Alonso, who did his time at the end of the session when the track was at its best. He then had a quick spin of his own.

Both Haas drivers appeared in the top 10, as did the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly once again. However his team mate Brendon Hartley stopped on track with an unhealthy-sounding car late in the session.

The two Renault drivers were outside the top 10 by more than half a second. Carlos Sainz Jnr pitted early in the session complaining of a problem with his car, but ended up within two-hundredths of a second of his team mate.

Marcus Ericsson was unable to take part in the session due to the damage his Sauber suffered when he crashed at the end of second practice.

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Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’32.539 27
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’33.243 0.704 31
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’33.271 0.732 24
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’33.426 0.887 29
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’33.689 1.150 35
6 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’33.699 1.160 30
7 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’34.156 1.617 7
8 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Renault 1’34.400 1.861 24
9 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’34.457 1.918 33
10 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1’34.535 1.996 35
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’35.067 2.528 30
12 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’35.086 2.547 33
13 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 1’35.172 2.633 28
14 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1’35.583 3.044 33
15 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 1’35.697 3.158 31
16 31 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’35.705 3.166 25
17 18 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’35.936 3.397 34
18 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 1’35.970 3.431 35
19 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’36.080 3.541 13

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’32.539

+0.704 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’33.243

+0.732 Max Verstappen – 1’33.271

+0.887 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’33.426

+1.150 Sebastian Vettel – 1’33.689

+1.160 Romain Grosjean – 1’33.699

+1.617 Valtteri Bottas – 1’34.156

+1.861 Fernando Alonso – 1’34.400

+1.918 Kevin Magnussen – 1’34.457

+1.996 Pierre Gasly – 1’34.535

+2.528 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’35.067

+2.547 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’35.086

+2.633 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’35.172

+3.044 Charles Leclerc – 1’35.583

+3.158 Brendon Hartley – 1’35.697

+3.166 Esteban Ocon – 1’35.705

+3.397 Lance Stroll – 1’35.936

+3.431 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’35.970

+3.541 Sergio Perez – 1’36.080

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2018 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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24 comments on “Hamilton stays ahead but Bottas hits trouble in second practice”

  1. This circuit feels completely lifeless, at least from TV.
    Those hideous runoffs, the scenery (makes Bahrain looks interesting), everything is uninspiring… makes me want to look somewhere else.

    It’s a tough match with Sochi.

    Hopefully it is better for the people on track.

  2. Why is the fastest lap time of the session approximately three tenths slower than the FP1 equivalent? Was the track slower somehow than earlier in the day, or something else?

    1. Maybe the heat and/or the wind @jerejj? Since tomorrow will be around the time of FP2, I guess we need to take that into account for qualifying.

    2. @jerejj Wind direction changed & according to Anthony Davidson that can have a huge impact on performance around Paul Ricard because of how open it is & how strong the wind gusts can be.

      The Mistral straight is actually named because of the winds.

    3. Karun Chandok was saying on C4 that in their testing days, they used to get their best runs before 10 am, because in the afternoons the higher temps hurt them, and the winds gained strength.

  3. That’s the Lewis I know. I don’t know who was that man in Canada, that was not the best driver of the last 4 years in the sport. This is the man I know and I have known.

    1. I know Lewis can be a bit inconsistent (they all are… except for maybe Alonso) but when he’s looking as scruffy as he looked in Canada, I tend to think it’s more something wrong with his equipment rather than him. His run of success at that circuit since his debut convinces me: it’s not like he can just forget how to drive there one weekend. For whatever reason (tires, old engine, overheating IMO), he couldn’t make his car work like he wanted.

      1. Sunday was definitely heavily compromised by the overheating issue but I dont think he has any excuses for Saturday. He didn’t nail his setup and he didn’t nail his lap.

      2. @Aldoid if his performance, is top, it is his car performing… but god forbid, if something is wrong with car, it is him not performing… because he never performs, or his car performs for him :)

    2. 3 of last 4 years, Rosberg beat him in 2016.

      1. Rosberg beat him in 2016

        Not because he was the better driver though

  4. Ferrari seems to be affected by the thinner Pirelli thread like in Spain. I know they usually sandbag on Friday but 1s behind is bad.

    1. digitalrurouni
      22nd June 2018, 17:41

      Didn’t Vettel debunk the tire myth after the last race where the thinner tread tires were used that those tires specifically hurt Ferrari?

      1. Yes, he did say that the tires weren’t the reason for their poor performance in Spain.

        1. @toiago, if anything, during the post race test he conceded that, when testing the conventional tyres, Ferrari probably would have been in even bigger trouble if Pirelli hadn’t brought the thinner gauge tyres, such were their problems with blistering during the test sessions with the conventional tyres.

          @ducpham2708, It sounds to me more like a case of the two Ferrari drivers just failing to get a representative fast lap in due to the disruption caused by the red flag after Perez’s wheel came off, resulting in an abnormally large gap to Hamilton. With a few clean laps, I expect that both Kimi and Vettel would have been significantly closer, even allowing for Ferrari’s tendency to hold back some performance on Friday.

    2. Duc Pham (@ducpham2708)
      I doubt it. They usually turn the engine down in FP1, 2 & 3. They did the same in Canada, and we know how that ended. So no, I don’t think there is anything to worry about. The business end of the weekend is Saturday Quali.

      1. In the Canadian Grand Prix, the closest Ferrari was 0.1s – 0.2s behind the leading car in FP1 and FP2.

        That’s a much closer gap to what it is today. Yes, they do turn down the engine and run a bit heavier but today’s gap seems larger than normal for them.

  5. Hamilton seems 3 to 4 tenth’s quicker per lap on his long runs than the RedBull’s and Ferrari’s as well… it’s gonna be a walk in ‘car parking lot’ for them, I’m afraid.

    1. Wait until the engineers meditate over the data collected tonight.

  6. I usually don’t read too much into Friday times, but both Williams at the bottom of the time sheet is telling. I wonder if they have the resources (staff and money) to turn things around. I would think that an experienced driver to do the Friday driving would be near the top of the list.

    1. Williams have essentially admitted little will change until they address the diffuser stalling issue, and it sounds like that’s Germany at the earliest, so I think it’s after that, that you can start assessing to what extent they can turn things around. Additionally, I don’t buy into the idea that an experienced driver would change anything in this situation (putting to one side the fact that Sirotkin is apparently very technically proficient); there’s apparently a fundamental aerodynamic problem with the car, which is a physics issue rather than a feedback issue.

    2. Not only that, but the Force India too! Can their cars really be so bad as to lose all advantage that having the “best” engine gives?

  7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    22nd June 2018, 19:53

    Marcus Ericsson was unable to take part in the session due to the damage his Sauber suffered when he crashed at the end of second practice.


    I assume that you meant Ericsson was unable to run due to a crash near the end of first practice.

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