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Hamilton fastest as F1 plays catch up on peculiar Canadian GP Friday

The Mercedes driver finished top of the pile after a a day filled with CCTV issues, rain and red flags.

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To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton finished fastest at the end of a bizarre opening day at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The seven-time F1 World Champion set a best effort of a 1:14.718 to lead George Russell in a Mercedes one-two in Second Practice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

But the pace of the Silver Arrows was masked by the fact both drivers completed their lap times later in the session than rivals, making the most of rapid track evolution on the little-used track surface.

Hamilton and Russell's performance was, however, further promise that the upgrades added to the W14 have made a difference, with Mercedes aiming to consolidate the second position in the Constructors' standings it took from Aston Martin in Spain two weeks ago.

Alpine misery

Carlos Sainz was third for Ferrari, only a tenth down on Hamilton despite setting his time in the opening half an hour of the extended 90-minute session, with F1 and the FIA keen to make up for lost time after the CCTV issues that curtailed FP1 running.

Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest for Aston Martin ahead of Charles Leclerc, whilst Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were only sixth and eighth - the Mexican getting away with a near-miss during his qualifying simulation.

Valtteri Bottas split the two Red Bulls to end the day seventh for Alfa Romeo, with Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 10.

Alpine's miserable day was compounded by a suspected water leak for Esteban Ocon, which triggered the second red flag of the session after Nico Hulkenberg was forced to stop his smoke-shrouded Haas.

Oscar Piastri was lucky to escape with no damage after meeting the Wall of Champions with the rear-right wheel of his McLaren, eventually finishing 11th fastest.

A threat of thunderstorms was forecast and whilst the backdrop to Ile Notre-Dame was filled with grey, the rain only fell in the final 10 minutes, albeit heavily.

Teams fitted Intermediate tyres for an exploratory run ahead of what is expected to at least be a wet Saturday.

Result Free practice 2 - Canadian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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F1 2023 Canadian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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