Raikkonen puts Ferrari on top as Red Bull hits trouble
Canadian Grand Prix - FP2

Raikkonen puts Ferrari on top as Red Bull hits trouble

09/06/2017

Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest Friday practice time at the Canadian Grand Prix with a lap just shy of last year's pole position.

The Ferrari driver set a 1:12.935 on the ultra-soft tyres to hold a 0.215s gap over Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the end of the session. Raikkonen had a 0.219s advantage over Hamilton in the medium-speed chicanes of the middle sector alone, with the Mercedes marginally quicker on the long straight and tight chicane of the final sector.

Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, 0.265s off his Ferrari teammate Raikkonen and 0.050s off title rival Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas was the slowest of the top four drivers with a best lap 0.375s off Raikkonen's best.

The long runs produced an equally mixed picture, with Raikkonen showing the most consistent pace on the ultra-soft tyres and enjoying minimal degradation. Vettel and Bottas both spun on their first long runs before Vettel then complained about being stuck behind Hamilton later in the session. Hamilton appeared to have a very mixed high-fuel run, with a number of competitive laps interspersed with times several seconds off the pace as he appeared to randomly back off or make mistakes.

A further interruption to the long runs came for all drivers when Max Verstappen's Red Bull stopped on track with a gearbox problem. His quick lap was 0.453s off Raikkonen and he was showing fairly competitive pace on heavy fuel before the tell-tale plume of smoke came from the rear of his car entering Turn 6 and he pulled up on the following straight. The location of the stricken Red Bull meant the session had to be postponed by red flags with 20 minutes remaining.

Verstappen's issues added to a difficult day for Red Bull after teammate Daniel Ricciardo was limited to just eight laps with a Renault engine problem. The missing data may prove painful come Sunday, but Red Bull's advantage over the battle between Force India and Williams should just be enough to cement its usual position behind the top two teams in fifth and sixth.

After spending the first part of his session in the garage while McLaren rectified a hydraulics issue on his car, Fernando Alonso set a late flying lap to snatch seventh place behind Williams' Felipe Massa in sixth. Alonso's time is somewhat unrepresentative because it was set on low fuel at the end of the session when the rest of the cars were on high-fuel runs, but it shows the potential in the Alonso/McLaren-Honda package when it is working correctly.

Force India drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were eighth and tenth fastest, split by the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat. Despite spinning twice at Turn 7 on consecutive laps midway through the session, Romain Grosjean took 11th place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg's Renault, Carlos Sainz's Toro Rosso and Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen.

Ricciardo was 15th fastest ahead of Jolyon Palmer, while Lance Stroll was 17th -- 1.177s off Williams teammate Felipe Massa at his first home grand prix. The Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein were split by Stoffel Vandoorne at the bottom of the timesheets, with the McLaren driver 1.379s off teammate Alonso.

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