The first two practice sessions for the Canadian Grand Prix have come and gone and things got off to a soggy start for the Formula 1 teams in Montreal, but dried out by the end of the day.
Force India continued their impressive 2013 run by topping the time sheets at the end of a rain soaked FP1 on the strength of a 1:21.020 lap from Paul Di Resta. Di Resta didn’t fare as well in FP2 when he finished P13, but his team mate Adrian Sutil came up from P14 to P8 as the day went on.
Right behind Di Resta in FP1 was Jenson Button who turned an impressive 1:21.108. When paired with the P8 placing of his team mate Sergio Perez that made for a strong showing for the struggling McLaren crew in the first practice of the day. Button and Perez placed P9 and P12 respectively in FP2 when the track was dry, but if they hope to pull their team out of its current slump then they had better hope for a repeat of that first practice session in terms of placement come qualifying.
Mercedes AMG looked to be taking it easy while conditions were wet with Nico Rosberg turning in a P7 and Lewis Hamilton making a P16 run. The Silver Arrows turned it up in FP2 with Hamilton lapping in 1:14.830 for P2 and Rosberg making a circuit in 1:15.249 for P4.
Romain Grosjean seems to have responded well to that talk that the Lotus F1 Team bosses gave him after Monaco as he turned in a pair of P3 performances on Friday. The Frenchman will need to qualify P3 or higher in order to have any chance at a solid finish on race day since he will have to take a 10-spot grid penalty for crashing Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco.
His team mate Kimi Raikkonen also looked good in FP1 when he found P5 on the time sheets, but fell off pace in FP2 and came home P11. If Kimi can find that lost speed then Lotus will be sitting pretty to make up for the points they lost out on in Monte Carlo.
Aside from Grosjean, Fernando Alonso had the most consistent day with a P4 in the first practice session and a P1 in FP2. His Scuderia Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, sporting a car with a new chassis after his series of crashes in Monte Carlo, slid into P11 after the early session and P6 following the afternoon run. Ferrari seems to have bounced back nicely.
Red Bull Racing turned in a solid showing but no doubt fell short of where they wanted to be. Sebastian Vettel outshined Mark Webber in FP1 by finishing P9 to his team mate’s P10, but in FP2 Aussie Grit turned the tables with a P4 to Vettel’s P7.
Tomorrow’s third and final practice will be a better indication of what we can expect to see in qualifying and perhaps on race day.
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