Kimi Raikkonen moved Scuderia Ferrari to the fore in second practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, with the first 1:12 lap of the weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Raikkonen’s best time of 1:12.935 occurred in the opening half of the 90-minute session, and wasn’t supplanted after teams switched from qualifying runs to race simulations.
A Raikkonen and Ferrari win at the track would end respective droughts dating to 2005 (Raikkonen) and 2004 (Ferrari), respectively. Of course this is only second practice and even if Raikkonen was to take pole, as he did last race in Monaco, he’d need to back it up in the race.
The Ferrari man that is ahead in the championship, Raikkonen’s teammate Sebastian Vettel, was third this session, 0.265 of a second back.
After Mercedes AMG Petronas was 1-3 in the morning session, it was Ferrari 1-3 this afternoon with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton splitting them in second. Hamilton was just 0.215 of a second back.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth but had a ragged sesssion with a couple lockups and a spin through Turns 1 and 2.
Max Verstappen had an even worse session when his Red Bull TAG Heuer slowed with a lack of power after Turn 7 and stopped on course, which brought out a red flag. Coupled with Daniel Ricciardo being stuck in the garage most of the session as well, it was a day to forget for Red Bull Racing.
Williams’ Felipe Massa was sixth with Esteban Ocon (Force India), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) completing the top 10. All of the best times were set on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound.
Grosjean was particularly frustrated during the session, with radio transmissions catching him saying “I’m starting to get a bit fed up” after several spins. Grosjean, who’s had persistent brake issues at Haas, may be in for a long weekend at the brake-heavy circuit that features so many straights and long braking zones.
After a hydraulic issue sidelined Fernando Alonso in the first practice session, the McLaren Honda did make it back out in free practice two. Alonso got within 1.310 seconds in the session on the ultrasofts, which was good for seventh right at the end of the session.
Lance Stroll was 17th for Williams to complete his first day as the first Canadian driver in the Canadian Grand Prix in 11 years.
Third free practice is live Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET, streaming online and on the NBC Sports App.
Qualifying coverage is live Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET on CNBC.