Hamilton “just a passenger” in Canada practice crash

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Lewis Hamilton has shrugged off his crash during the second practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday, claiming that he was “just a passenger” due to the wet conditions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Hamilton posted the fastest time in FP2 on Friday before a heavy rain shower hit the Ile Notre-Dame, prompting most of the teams to end their running and sit in the garage.

However, Mercedes believed that there was still something to be gained by sending its drivers out in the wet conditions, and opted to fit Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg with intermediate tires.

They proved to be of little use to the Briton, though, as he aquaplaned into the wall at the hairpin in the wet conditions, bringing his day to an early end.

“It literally was like being on ice and I was just a passenger,” Hamilton said. “Looking at the onboard I accelerate through the gears, come off the power, I’m cruising in and brake and it just goes straight.

“Not the greatest but you have to laugh it off and the guys will work hard to fix it.”

Hamilton remained upbeat about Mercedes’ dry pace after also finishing fastest in the first session on Friday morning, but remains wary of the threat from Ferrari behind.

“In the dry, the car is feeling really good here and our long run pace was encouraging,” Hamilton said. “Ferrari look like they’ve upped their pace so it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.

“But I’m sure we’ll still be strong. It’s great to be back in Montreal and I’m feeling good for the weekend.”

Team boss Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton’s sentiments, suggesting that Ferrari could be a threat over the long runs during the race on Sunday.

“That was a mixed bag today, like the weather,” Wolff said. “We had a strong first practice and looked competitive on the prime tire. Then in FP2, we pulled the programme forward to get as much running done as possible before the rain came.

“We managed to compare the two tires and do some high fuel running, which gave us some interesting results – and our competitors looked pretty strong in similar conditions, too, which we will have to analyze this evening to understand the competitive balance.”

For full details on NBC Sports’ coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix, click here.

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.