FP2 in Canada
With scattered showers for the bulk of practice, its a wonder there were no incidents this afternoon in Montreal. Even on a wet day at the Ile Notre Dame, you can’t but help realize how beautiful the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve really is, sitting in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. As a collegiate rower I was glad to see the 1976 Olympic Rowing venue (right next to the Casino straight) being utilized for water ferries as practice developed.
Tires were the talk of today. Controversy lay its blanket over practice, with Mercedes AMG still in the headlines for their “private” 1000 km tire test with Pirelli. The FIA has scheduled June 20th for the tribunal hearing which will decide the consequences for Mercedes. Ferrari has been let off the hook due to their use of a 2011 car for their test. Overall, the teams seemed pleased with the new batch of tires Pirelli has provided, with many cars running heavy fuel loads and long runs on the super soft compound, ending in positive results. The choice tires for this weekend will be the Intermediates and Super Softs.
A new challenge presents itself on the circuit this year in the form of a three-inch curb to keep drivers from cutting turn 12 (at the end of the Casino straight). Sahara Force India‘s Adrian Sutil looked more like a rally driver after launching his car off the curb for some astonishing aerial maneuvers. Luckily the wall was untouched and no accidents to report today.
Let’s talk teams. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished at the top of the board, edging out Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for first at the end of practice. Lewis Hamilton has won in Canada more than any other current driver (2007, 2010, 2012). Lotus‘ Kimi Raikkonen looked quick on an old set of Super Softs as practice drew to a close. The Red Bulls looked composed and calculated as always. Mark Webber spun his car early in practice but quickly rejoined traffic without incident. Webber has yet to make a podium appearance in Canada, will this be the year? I’m not so sure, but desperately hoping anyway! In unrelated news, Force India turns 100 this weekend (100 Grand Prix’s that is). They seem to be making big strides, following a great showing in Monaco.
Tomorrow’s qualifying should be interesting to say the least. The forecast is calling for rain, so there should be no shortage of fantastic driving from wet weather performers like Raikkonen, Vettel, and Button. Let’s hope Felipe Massa will finish this race. “Felipe baby stay cool, stay cool!” See you there!