Monthly Archives: June 2013

Canadian Grand Prix Friday practice: Alonso, Mercedes and Red Bull all looking strong

Fernando Alonso has set the fastest time in Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard battled it out with the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers for top spot, and it is still unclear if any team is a clear favourite for this weekend.

First practice

Extreme rain last night meant that the track was soaked come Friday morning. Plans to run Pirelli’s experimental harder tyres were put on hold, as drivers ventured out on the wet tyres.

Over the session, more switched to the intermediates, and eventually slicks with 20 minutes to go.

The main incident of the session was Pastor Maldonado crashing his Williams with 5 minutes to go. He got his entry wrong into Turn 3, spun and slammed head-first into the barriers, putting out the yellow flags for several minutes. Mark Webber is under investigation for potentially speeding at this yellow flag zone.

Jules Bianchi also spun at the same point, but he didn’t hit the barrier. However, an overheating engine quickly put an end to his day.

Paul di Resta ended up on top, after setting an impressive time on his final attempt. Alexander Rossi made his first appearance in a Formula 1 car, and was reportedly delighted after his experience.

Times from FP1:

Pos Driver                Team                      Time      Gap     Laps
 1. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes      1:21.020          10
 2. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes          1:21.108  +0.088  20
 3. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault             1:21.258  +0.238  21
 4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                   1:21.308  +0.288  16
 5. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault             1:21.608  +0.588  22
 6. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari        1:22.068  +1.048  18
 7. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                  1:22.402  +1.382  22
 8. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes          1:22.587  +1.567  17
 9. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault          1:23.047  +2.027  26
10. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault          1:23.131  +2.111  16
11. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                   1:23.341  +2.321  13
12. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault          1:23.352  +2.332  17
13. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari        1:23.386  +2.366  19
14. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes      1:23.417  +2.397  19
15. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari            1:23.957  +2.937  33
16. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                  1:25.054  +4.034  21
17. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari            1:25.354  +4.334  22
18. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault          1:25.753  +4.733  21
19. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth         1:25.821  +4.801  19
20. Alexander Rossi       Caterham-Renault          1:27.143  +6.123  20
21. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault          1:27.522  +6.502  11
22. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth         1:29.306  +8.286   8

Second practice

The second session saw a topsy-turvy battle between Alonso, Webber, Vettel, Raikkonen, Rosberg and Hamilton, with all of the aforementioned drivers taking top spot at different times.

After initial runs on the Pirelli development tyre, most drivers took a stint each on the medium and super-soft tyres. Alonso’s best time of 1:14.818 was slightly faster than Lewis Hamilton behind.

Brief rainfall saw a quiet end to the session, with most teams opting to finish FP2 on heavy fuel loads. Jenson Button’s session was ended prematurely, as his gearbox continually selected neutral, and eventually failed.

Times from FP2:

Pos  Driver               Team                  Time      Gap     Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1:14.818          48
 2.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1:14.830  +0.012  45
 3.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1:15.083  +0.265  40
 4.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1:15.212  +0.394  46
 5.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1:15.249  +0.431  46
 6.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1:15.254  +0.436  43
 7.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1:15.280  +0.462  41
 8.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1:15.396  +0.578  43
 9.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1:15.422  +0.604  29
10.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:15.566  +0.748  38
11.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1:15.599  +0.781  35
12.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1:15.661  +0.843  39
13.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1:15.855  +1.037  22
14.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1:16.319  +1.501  46
15.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:16.351  +1.533  38
16.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1:16.374  +1.556  40
17.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1:16.475  +1.657  45
18.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1:16.929  +2.111  35
19.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1:17.070  +2.252  41
20.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1:17.236  +2.418  35
21.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1:17.888  +3.070  45
22.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1:18.392  +3.574  39

Ferrari also to be investigated over tyre testing debacle

The FIA is to include Ferrari in its investigation of in-season testing performed by Pirelli this season.

The only form of in-season testing as of now is straight-line aero tests, up to 4 promotional runs, and any young driver sessions that take place during the year. However, Pirelli and Mercedes have recently come under fire for undertaking 1,000km of testing after the Spanish Grand Prix.

However, Ferrari have now been included in this ever-heatening debate, after it emerged that they also performed a test session with Pirelli after the Bahrain Grand Prix. Both teams will now be forced to report to the FIA on the matter. It must be noted, though, that Ferrari were using their 2011 car instead of Mercedes’ 2013 model.

In a press conference today, Pirelli claimed that they had notified the teams of potential testing in 2013, but few of them had taken note. They also stated that they were not using their 2013 compounds, and Mercedes were not aware what type of tyre they were running on their car.

Whatever the result, it is clear that this saga will only generate more controversy and surprise as the season goes on.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers