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Max fifth in rain affected FP1

Published on 07 June 2024 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen clocked the fifth fastest time a wet first practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix. Lando Norris lapped the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve quickest in his McLaren, ahead of the two Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. Max’s Oracle Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez finished in ninth.

At the start of the session the pitlane remains closed as the marshals are working frantically to disperse the rain water from the track. All the while, the clock continues to run. It means that when the pitlane does open – 21 minutes into FP1 – only two-thirds of the session still remains.

To minimise the loss of track time, most drivers head out immediately to tentatively make their way around the partial street circuit. Among the drivers to venture out is Jack Doohan, who’s taken over Esteban Ocon’s Alpine driving duties for FP1.

Lewis Hamilton is the first driver out on track with his Mercedes sporting the intermediate tyres. Valtteri Bottas heads out on the full wets but quickly returns back to the pits to bolt inters on his Sauber.

Max steers his RB20 out of the garage at the halfway point. Unfortunately, the Dutchman is unable to clock his first timed lap due to a red flag; Bottas’ teammate Guanyu Zhou has hit the wall and his Sauber is stranded on track.

Little under ten minutes later, the session is resumed with 22 minutes left to go. Max takes to the track immediately and is on his way to P1 with purple sectors, before deciding to dive back into the pits and forego a timed lap.

With ten minutes to go, all drivers are back in the pits, seemingly all waiting on who will take the gamble and switch to slick Pirelli tyres. Eventually, Charles Leclerc is the first to do so, followed by the majority of the other drivers, including Max.

In the end, Norris is quickest ahead the two Ferraris, with the reigning world champion having to settle for fifth.

Contest GP Canada: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!

Results first free practice Canada:

1Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:24.435 8
2Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:24.763+0.328s11
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:25.306+0.871s11
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:25.970+1.535s11
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:26.502+2.067s10
6Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:26.754+2.319s7
7Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:27.584+3.149s8
8Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:27.670+3.235s11
9Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:28.058+3.623s10
10George RussellRUSMercedes1:28.541+4.106s9
11Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:28.582+4.147s9
12Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:28.723+4.288s9
13Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:29.052+4.617s8
14Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:32.826+8.391s5
15Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:33.411+8.976s4
16Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:36.586+12.151s5
17Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:40.530+16.095s4
18Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari---4
19Jack DoohanDOOAlpine Renault---3
20Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes---4