Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest lap in the second practice ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. The Finn set his fastest lap on the ultrasoft tyres going two-tenths faster than Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was fourth, the top four drivers were covered by less than four-tenths of a second. Teams started the session on the supersoft, before doing the qualifying simulations on the ultras.
Hamilton only managed to outpace his German rival by only a few tenths, while Bottas was a further tenth behind. However, Bottas was ahead by less than a ten over the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
But it wasn’t trouble free for the Dutch teenager, he brought out the red flag in the closing half hour. His car stopped on track with a gearbox issue, at the beginning of sector two, that brought out the red flag.
This weekend appears as if it maybe another battle between Mercedes and Ferrari. The Scuderia had the upper hand in Monaco a fortnight ago, and they appear to have the momentum at a similar style of circuit.
But this weekend, the teams look more evenly matched on their performance runs on the ultra-soft which all four drivers set their best times on as well as on their race simulations later in the session.
There were a number of incidents on track and the cool temperatures didn’t help. Many drivers struggled with grip, with Bottas running wide in turn two and Haas’s Romain Grosjean having several off moments on his way to eleventh.
Williams’s Felipe Massa was sixth fastest ahead of Verstappen. Red Bull appear to have enough pace to allow them to seal fifth and sixth, as their rivals Force India and Williams appear behind them on track.
Fernando Alonso spent most of the session in the garage because of a hydraulics problem, but he did slip into seventh. But, it’s not really a capable lap as it was set when everyone else was doing their high-fuel runs, but it shows the potential in the Alonso/McLaren-Honda package when it is working correctly.
Things weren’t going better for team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, he could only manage nineteenth and his best time came on the slowest ‘soft’ tyre after he made spun on his run on the quickest ultra-soft.
Force India drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were eighth and tenth fastest, split by the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat. Romain Grosjean endured a tough afternoon, the Haas driver spun twice on his way to eleventh.