Lewis Hamilton fastest in a rain-soaked second free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Vettel and Raikkonen.
In a session stopped by rain, Lewis Hamilton set another fastest lap time in the second free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix. But Hamilton’s day was brought to an abrupt end when Mercedes went on a crowd pleasing exercise that caused their star to crash into the barrier at the hairpin.
Jumping back to the opening session, Hamilton had topped the time sheet ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. But in third place and leading the chase on the Silver Arrows, was Romain Grosjean after a poor session by Ferrari.
Come the green flag for FP2 and with the threat of rain at 70%, Ferrari hit the track from the off with supersoft tyres on both cars. With the softest compound Pirelli have to offer, Vettel took to P1 straight away with Raikkonen just six thousandths of a second behind.
Yet that was while both Silver Arrows ran the soft tyres but as the rain crept closer, Hamilton and Rosberg switched compound. Hamilton’s pit stop also came on the back of a slight lock up into the final chicane before heading for the new run off path thanks to a slow-moving Grosjean he had rapidly closed in on.
After a few more dirty laps and a run over the sausage curb at the final chicane, Hamilton eventually overthrew the Ferrari’s by three tenths of a second to reclaim the P1 he held in the opening session. Rosberg meanwhile sat four tenths down on his team-mate for fourth.
As the rain began to creep over the circuit, drivers continued to rack up the laps as Hamilton held onto the lead with Vettel, Raikkonen and Rosberg within four tenths. But when the rain hit the circuit with just under an hour remaining, everyone returned to the pits.
While the teams and drivers waited (and hoped) for the rain to clear so they could get back to work, Pirelli confirmed Hulkenberg’s early puncture was not to do with their supersoft tyre fitted to the Force India but rather down to the tyre rim. In the end, Mercedes decided to be the crowd pleasures and sent both of their drivers out on track with the intermediate tyres fitted despite the full wet conditions.
Not only that, rain is not even expected for the race so this was clearly a crowd pleasing tactic but it turned out to be a colossal mistake by the team as Hamilton aquaplaned into the barrier deep into the run off at the hairpin. Lewis’ crash also brought out the red flag as his session came to an end but the heavy rain would have meant the same nonetheless.
With rain stopping the action in Canada, Hamilton took another P1 in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. This time Vettel and Raikkonen split the Mercedes while Bottas split the Lotus duo in fifth and seventh. These practice results for Lotus suggest a strong weekend is on the cards for the team while Toro Rosso will be looking to pick up on scraps.