F1 race LIVE: Canadian Grand Prix build-up with Max Verstappen takes pole

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·43-min read
F1 race LIVE: Canadian Grand Prix build-up with Max Verstappen takes pole
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Max Verstappen stormed to a scintillating pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix as he dominated in changeable conditions to continue his quest for a second world championship.

The Red Bull driver was untouchable in the rain as mistakes and mechanical issues rained on the parade of his closest challengers.

With the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit drying out throughout qualifying, Verstappen was the man who mastered the conditions, clocking an impressive time of one minute 21.299 seconds as Formula One delivered on its return to Montreal following a three-year hiatus.

Fernando Alonso will start second for Alpine, the experienced campaigner also getting on top of the weather to take his first front-row start in over a decade.

Carlos Sainz starts third for Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton able to compete near the top of the field due to the inclement weather, the seven-time world champion taking fourth for Mercedes.

It was a fine session for the Haas team, who locked out the third row of the grid with Kevin Magnussen fifth and Mick Schumacher sixth.

Follow all the latest updates as we build towards this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix:

F1 Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying

  • Qualifying underway in wet conditions

  • Fernando Alonso fastest in FP3

  • Max Verstappen goes fastest in first two practice sessions on Friday

  • Charles Leclerc to take grid penalty

  • Lewis Hamilton brands Mercedes W13 ‘undriveable’

Max Verstappen masters conditions to take pole position at Canadian Grand Prix

Saturday 18 June 2022 23:03 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen stormed to a scintillating pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix as he dominated in changeable conditions to continue his quest for a second world championship.

The Red Bull driver was untouchable in the rain as mistakes and mechanical issues rained on the parade of his closest challengers.

With the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit drying out throughout qualifying, Verstappen was the man who mastered the conditions, clocking an impressive time of one minute 21.299 seconds as Formula One delivered on its return to Montreal following a three-year hiatus.

Fernando Alonso will start second for Alpine, the experienced campaigner also getting on top of the weather to take his first front-row start in over a decade.

Carlos Sainz starts third for Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton able to compete near the top of the field due to the inclement weather, the seven-time world champion taking fourth for Mercedes.

It was a fine session for the Haas team, who locked out the third row of the grid with Kevin Magnussen fifth and Mick Schumacher sixth.

Max Verstappen masters conditions to take pole position at Canadian Grand Prix

Slicks didn’t pay off for Russell

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:58 , Michael Jones

George Russell took a risk in Q3 and tried to take pole position off Max Verstappen by swapping to soft tyres with the track still drying out.

He hit a wet line on the first corner and skidded off into the grass meaning he has to settle for a P8 finish. It was a risk worth taking according to the Mercedes driver but didn’t come off this time.

Mick Schumacher speaking to Sky Sports

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:50 , Michael Jones

The Haas driver recorded his best ever qualification in F1 with a P6 finish said: “The car was feeling great, especially in these rainy conditions

“I found grip everywhere I put the car - which is obviously what I wanted. Unfortunately on those last set of tyres, that wasn’t the case. Up to then, I was very, very happy and it’s something I can build on.

“I always love to go racing in the wet conditions and going quick and trying to find a limit. Especially in a qualifying like this and a track like this, there’s big potential for drivers to show what they can do, and I felt like I was able to do that today.

“It will be tough, for sure. But we will try our best.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

What’s in store tomorrow?

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:47 , Michael Jones

Will the Canadian Grand Prix be a shootout out between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz?

 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

Or can Fernando Alonso makes headlines from his P2 start on the grid?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Sainz keeping Ferrari in the hunt

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:43 , Michael Jones

Carlos Sainz attempted to take pole position off Max Verstappen but lost half a second’s pace on the final turn and had to settle for third.

“Today I was feeling quite OK with the car, especially as the track was drying.” he said, “I think I was going purple one then in sector two, I knew I had lost a bit too much. And then in the last corner, I just tried to do a very quick last corner and that cost me half a second, just trying to go for it, for the pole.

“In the end, it was that mistake but the rest I think we’re in a good position for tomorrow. It’s going to be a good fight with with Max up front and let’s see what we can do with Fernando because he’s been very good all weekend,

“Let’s see how it goes.”

 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

Max Verstappen will start on pole position

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:39 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen gave he reaction after qualifying saying: “Still expect it not to be a straightforward race, with the tricky conditions today.

“We stayed calm, we made no mistakes, so of course super happy with that, with pole position here - and also to be back here in Montreal. It’s great to see all the fans.

“You really get that go-karting sensation with proper kerbs around here. We always enjoy driving here and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Incredible result for Haas

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:33 , Michael Jones

Team Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher finished P5 and P6 respectively. For Schumacher it is his best qualifying result ever in Formula 1.

Alonso on front row

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:31 , Michael Jones

A brilliant run from Fernando Alonso.

Canadian Grand Prix qualifying results

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:25 , Michael Jones

Alonso’s reaction

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:24 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso spoke to Sky Sports F1 after qualifying and was delighted with the performance from the Alpine. He said:

“It feels great, it was an unbelievable weekend so far for us... the car was mega, I was so comfortable driving this car, and the fans pushed me to make an extra push. “I think we’ll attack Max on the first corner!”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen on pole in Canadian Grand Prix

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:20 , Michael Jones

Red Bull take pole position but the fans went crazy for Fernando Alonso finishing P2. What a qualifying session for the two-time world champion.

Max Verstappen on pole in Canadian Grand Prix

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:18 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen takes pole position in tricky conditions in Montreal. Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz round out the top three with Lewis Hamilton setting a personal best qualifying position for the season in fourth.

Here are the top 10 positions:

1 Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing) 1:21.299

2 Fernando ALONSO (Alpine) +0.645

3 Carlos SAINZ (Ferrari) +0.797

4 Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes) +1.592

5 Kevin MAGNUSSEN (Haas F1 Team) +1.661

6 Mick SCHUMACHER (Haas F1 Team) +2.057

7 Esteban OCON (Alpine) +2.230

8 George RUSSELL (Mercedes) +2.258

9 Daniel RICCIARDO (McLaren) +2.450

10 Guanyu ZHOU (Alfa Romeo) +2.731

Here comes Alonso!

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:15 , Michael Jones

Where has this come from?! A rather sedate Q3 from Fernando Alonso comes to barnstorming conclusion as he flies to the front row with a lap (+0.645) slower than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen!

What a run from the 40-year-old.

Qualifying 3 chequered flag

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:14 , Michael Jones

The chequered flag is out and Hamilton has taken it. Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz are in a race on their final laps.

Verstappen puts in a 1:21.299 and Sainz can’t catch him. He goes into second ahead of Hamilton.

Qualifying 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:12 , Michael Jones

One minute to go in Q3 and Lewis Hamilton puts himself on the front row with a lap (+1.271) slower than Max Verstappen.

Qualifying 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:11 , Michael Jones

It feels as though the only person who can compete with Max Verstappen is George Russell on the slicks but he’s gone off at the first turn!

The tyres aren’t warm enough and Russell slides into the barriers.

Qualifying 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:09 , Michael Jones

George Russell has come out of the pits on slick tyres! This is either a very bold or very silly decision. Will it work out for the Mercedes man?

Qualifying 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:08 , Michael Jones

Kevin Magnussen and Lewis Hamilton have gone into the pits for a fresh set of intermediate tyres.

Max Verstappen is first with Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso behind him. Mick Schumacher is up to fourth ahead of both Mercedes.

Qualifying 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:05 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen flies over the line in a 1:22.701. That’s over a second faster than the two Mercedes. Carlos Sainz drops in between them but Russell and Hamilton respond with laps in the 1:23 range.

Qualifying 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:03 , Michael Jones

10 minutes to go in Q3 and Lewis Hamilton is on a flying lap. It’s not very quick though and just behind him George Russell has gone purple through the first two sectors. He is going quick.

Hamilton 1:24,360, Russell 1:24.006,

Qualifying 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 22:01 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen was over a second quicker than the nearest challenger in Q2. If he gets it right in Q3 then pole position should be his.

Lewis Hamilton is told he’s +1.7 seconds off the lead and is puzzled as to how that’s even possible.

A good showing from Zhou

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:59 , Michael Jones

Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu is into Q3 for the first time in his Formula 1 career. He’ll have the chance to fight for pole after finishing Q2 in seventh place.

Daniel Ricciardo also snuck into the top 10 for McLaren after his teammate Lando Norris encountered power unit issues.

Verstappen leads the way

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:57 , Michael Jones

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is the fastest through Q2 but he’s got competition from Alpine’s Fernando Alonso who seems to be up for a fight for pole. Also in the hunt are both Mercedes and Carlos Sainz of Ferrari.

Here’s the top five from Q2:

1 Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing) 1:23.746

2 Fernando ALONSO (Alpine) +1.102 3

3 George RUSSELL (Mercedes) +1.204 4

4 Carlos SAINZ (Ferrari) +1.451 3

5 Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes) +1.797

Eliminated in Q2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:55 , Michael Jones

Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Valtteri Bottas are all eliminated in the second qualifying session!

Qualifying 2 chequered flag

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:54 , Michael Jones

A flying lap to the chequered flag from Lewis Hamilton shoots him up the table from 11th to fourth!

Fernando Alonso is first to meet the flag with a rapid 1:24 but Max Verstappen recovers the top of the leaderboard.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:51 , Michael Jones

Two minutes to go and after engine trouble for Lando Norris he’s out on the track and will get a couple of flying laps to get himself out of the elimination zone.

Less than two minutes to go.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:49 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen takes the lead ahead of Carlos Sainz and both Mercedes. With Charles Leclerc at the back of the grid and Sergio Perez out in Q2 this could be a great opportunity for Mercedes to position themselves high up the grid.

Magnussen flying

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:48 , Michael Jones

Kevin Magnussen has flown into the lead with a lap time of 1:30.612.

The Mercedes both respond with Hamilton setting a 1:30.5 before Russell hits 1.29. The times are getting even quicker as the the intermediates take hold.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:46 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton says that a drier line is starting to appear.

He’s told that he’ll have about five timed laps to get into the top 10. He’s currently seventh (+2.150) behind Alonso.

Qualifying 2 Green light! 🟢

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:44 , Michael Jones

Nine minutes of Q2 left to go. Fernando Alonso leads the way ahead of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.

The rain has stopped and the sun is trying to come out. It’s definitely an intermediate track now.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:39 , Michael Jones

The session will resume at 9:43 BST to give the stewards time to repair the barrier.

Sergio Perez is slowly making his way back to the garage as his car is towed off the track.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:38 , Michael Jones

Two crashes in Q2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:35 , Michael Jones

Both Alex Albon and Sergio Perez were on intermediate tyres when they went off the track so it may be smarter to to on the wets.

Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas were both heading down the pit lane when the red flag came in. Both cars have headed back to the garages and will probably swap tyres.

Q2 was stopped with nine minutes to go.

Red flag! 🛑

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:32 , Michael Jones

Perez has caused a red flag and is out of the qualifying session!

There are eight minutes to go.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:31 , Michael Jones

Sergio Perez is into the barriers too! He’s hit the wall in between turns three and four a lot harder than Albon and has to persuade the car back onto the track.

Albon has recovered and has headed to the pits.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:29 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton first wet lap is a decent 1:33.060, but he’s pipped immediately by teammate George Russell.

Alex Albon has crashed at Turn Six. He’s into the barriers and the yellow flag is out!

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:27 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton radios back to the garage to tell them that it’s nearly time to crossover to inters. He’s given instructions to get a lap time in first.

Qualifying 2

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:27 , Michael Jones

A few teams have switched to intermediate tyres as the track has dried out a touch. There’s still a mix of tyres though with some teams choosing to stick to the wets.

The Red Bulls, Ferraris and Mercedes have all stuck to wet tyres. Fernando Alonso is on the intermediates, as is Kevin Magnussen.

Vettel not happy over elimination

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:24 , Michael Jones

Sebastian Vettel is told over the radio that he’s been eliminated and isn’t best pleased.

“How is that possible?” he said over the radio, “It was so different to this morning, there was no grip.”

Q1 top five

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:23 , Michael Jones

It was a decent Q1 for Ferrari but Max Verstappen and Red Bull take the top spot. Fernando Alonso is right on his tail though in the Alpine.

1 Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing) 1:32.219

2 Fernando ALONSO (Alpine) +0.058

3 Carlos SAINZ (Ferrari) +0.562

4 Kevin MAGNUSSEN (Haas F1 Team) +0.738

5 Charles LECLERC (Ferrari) +0.789

Qualifying 1 chequered flag

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:20 , Michael Jones

A huge shock for Aston Martin as both drivers are eliminated! Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel are out along with Yuki Tsunoda, Nicholas Latifi and Pierre Gasly.

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:16 , Michael Jones

Sebastian Vettel records a 1:35.162 to move up to P15 and drop Sergio Perez back into the elimination zone with less than three minutes to go.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are a few hundreths of a second away from Carlos Sainz who is out in front.

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:13 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso breaks the 1:34 mark and holds the top of the leaderboard for half a second until Carlos Sainz completes a rapid 1:32.781 for Ferrari.

Five minutes to go in Q1 and still lots of fluctuations in times. Sergio Perez is down in the elimination zone.

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:10 , Michael Jones

Russell improves for Mercedes but he’s overtaken on the leaderboard by Haas’ Kevin Magnussen who flies from the back of the pack straight to the front with a time of 1:34.893.

Expect the lap times to steadily improve for now on.

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:09 , Michael Jones

10 minutes to go in Q1 and currently Alex Albon, Lance Stroll, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen and Nicholas Latifi are in danger of dropping out.

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:07 , Michael Jones

Yuki Tsunoda and Charles Leclerc are also out on track with both drivers competing to see who will start Sunday’s Grand Prix at the back of the field.

Both drivers have taken penalties and whoever finishes quickest in qualifying will start ahead of the other one.

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:06 , Michael Jones

The top five times in the early running. Mercedes’ George Russell is leading the way.

1 George RUSSELL 1:36.688

2 Max VERSTAPPEN +0.747

3 Sebastian VETTEL +1.591

4 Esteban OCON +1.620

5 Lance STROLL +1.739

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:03 , Michael Jones

The Mercedes team radios Lewis Hamilton to tell him to get a time on the board early one in case of potential yellow flags.

Qualifying 1

Saturday 18 June 2022 21:01 , Michael Jones

There’s a mix of tyres as the cars head out for the early laps. Alfa Romeo set off first, they’re on the heavy wets. The rain is just about stopping but there are a few puddles on track.

Pretty much every car is running wet tyres.

A nervous wait for Perez

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:57 , Michael Jones

The Red Bull mechanics are still working on Sergio Perez’s car with the driver hovering nearby in conversation with Team Principal Christian Horner.

There’s no word whether this will affect his qualifying but leaving it this late to get the car ready isn’t the best way to ease the nerves.

Full wet tyres the way to go

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:54 , Michael Jones

The teams will all head out on the wet tyres at the start of qualifying and will look to set early lap times in case of yellow or red flags later on.

The conditions make run offs and potential crashes more likely as the track is slippy and the tyres cold. Who will come out flying in around five minutes time?

Alonso, Vettel or Verstappen?

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:49 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel excelled in the final practice session and qualifying looks set to take place in similar conditions. Can the old timers roll back the years and challenge for pole?

In their way is Max Verstappen who is usually more than happy with a little bad weather, despite struggling in FP3. He’s got a fast car and knows that this Grand Prix is a big opportunity to gain points on Charles Leclerc who starts at the back of the grid.

Almost time for qualifying

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:45 , Michael Jones

Wolff on Mercedes’ problems

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:38 , Michael Jones

Toto Wolff spoke to Martin Brundle about Mercedes’ problems this season and says he is pleased that qualifying will be done in wetter conditions.

“Yes, it does!” he told Sky Sports. “We were looking a bit more competitive in this session on the heavy wets, so rather wet than dry.”

Perez vs Verstappen

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:32 , Michael Jones

Sergio Perez is flying for Red Bull right now and has out-qualified team-mate Max Verstappen in back-to-back races - the first time that was happened to Verstappen for years.

In Baku last weekend he beat out the Dutchman with his final lap, by just 0.065secs. Can he make it three from three this evening?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Leclerc feeling positive

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:27 , Michael Jones

Despite consistent problems for Ferrari Charles Leclerc is feeling positive about where the team is at in terms of race speed which is allowing him to challenge for the drivers championship.

“The pace,” said the Monegasque. “The pace in general is the positive.

“It’s hard to take that three races in a row with problems or mistakes but as a team, I think we are working extremely hard and we will try and work to try and get on top of those things as soon as possible.

“We just want to take get back to winning as quickly as possible.”

Weather update

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:21 , Michael Jones

How will Mercedes fare?

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:18 , Michael Jones

Mercedes may have a slight advantage over the other teams in that they never swapped to intermediate tyres during the final practice session and George Russell discovered a bit of pace on the wets.

With the weather hanging around and the rain continuing to pour, the teams have a decision to make over the starting tyre. As it stands the wet ones may be prefereable which could help out the Silver Arrows.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

An interesting qualifying session

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:11 , Michael Jones

Carlos Sainz said it best when describing this weekend: “Qualifying will be wet, the race will be dry. That should be interesting.”

Sainz is the main hope for Ferrari’s chances of winning this weekend after Charles Leclerc faces penalties and will start at the back of the grid. Sainz will be hoping to finish near the top during qualifying and hopefully be able to take on the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez tomorrow.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A rain affected FP3

Saturday 18 June 2022 20:04 , Michael Jones

The weather isn’t going away. The final practice session was a rain-affected affair with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso coming out on top. Will qualifying see another surprising result?

Leclerc to start Canadian Grand Prix from back of grid

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:59 , Michael Jones

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will join AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda at the back of the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix grid after fitting a whole host new power unit elements to his car.

On Friday, Ferrari confirmed Leclerc would take a new control electronics on his F1-75, following his power unit being declared “beyond repair” after he retired from last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix,

That move resulted in a 10-place grid drop for Leclerc.

With that in mind Ferrari also added a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, MGU-K and an additional control electronics without penalty.

As Free Practice 3 got under way earlier it was confirmed that Leclerc had taken on further power unit elements that took him beyond his allocation for the season, namely a fourth internal combustion engine, MGU-H, MGU-K and turbocharger, as well as an additional exhaust that wouldn’t incur a penalty.

As a result, Leclerc will start the Canadian Grand Prix from the back of the grid where he’ll be joined by Tsunoda, who took on his own raft of new power unit elements on Friday.

Fernando Alonso fastest in final practice amid challenging conditions in Canada

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:53 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in a wet third practice session ahead of Canadian Grand Prix qualifying.

The Alpine driver set the pace on the intermediate tyre with changeable conditions around the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, where reigning champion and championship leader Max Verstappen just about kept his car out of the wall following a spin at the end of the hour.

Alonso set a time of one minute 33.836 seconds to top the time sheets ahead of the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.

Fernando Alonso fastest in final practice amid challenging conditions in Canada

FIA vows to ‘reduce or eliminate’ porpoising on the advice of its medical team

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:46 , Michael Jones

Formula One’s regulator has vowed to “reduce or eliminate” porpoising on the advice of its medical team – just days after Lewis Hamilton suffered with severe back pain in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Hamilton, 37, required assistance to get out of his Mercedes after his car bounced up and down at high speed throughout Sunday’s 51-lap race.

Mercedes ran their machines close to the ground in Baku to produce lower downforce.

But the move exaggerated the bouncing, and under the FIA’s new technical directive, Mercedes might be required to raise the ride height of their cars which could further slow them down.

FIA vows to ‘reduce or eliminate’ porpoising on the advice of its medical team

Christian Horner claims F1 title fight will end up in court if FIA doesn’t act on cost cap

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:38 , Michael Jones

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed that up to half of Formula 1 teams will breach the sport’s cost cap if governing body the FIA does not opt to raise it, and warned that the battle for the 2022 championship could end up in court.

All ten F1 teams are limited to an annual budget of $140m to run their 2022 season, comprising costs spent in every area including car parts, staff salaries, and shipping. The cost cap is designed to prevent teams from overspending and causing themselves financial problems, but Horner says the cost-of-living crisis and rises in inflation are an exceptional circumstance which mean the cap should be raised significantly.

“The way you design your car is within your control,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 after practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. “You are in control of your own destiny. We’re not in control of what’s going on in the world right now, with fuel cost rises, inflation going up to 11%. That’s a direct impact on staff, commmodities, supply of parts. I think it’s a case of force majeure. It’s not about income, it’s about this one-off effect of inflation that effects people.”

Horner claims F1 title fight will end up in court if FIA doesn’t act on cost cap

George Russell says Mercedes ‘have a lot of work to do’ to avoid painful Canadian Grand Prix

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:30 , Michael Jones

George Russell says Mercedes still “have a lot of work to do” to catch up to the frontrunning teams in Formula 1 after struggling in the opening practice sessions for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows have been the fastest team in Formula 1 every season since 2014, but are off the pace of frontrunners Ferrari and Red Bull this season, and Russell ended up only seventh fastest at the end of the second round of practice running in Montreal on Friday evening.

Mercedes have been struggling after transitioning to F1’s new set of technical regulations, which have undergone their biggest revision in a generation. A return to ground effect aerodynamics for the first time since the 1980s has brought with it the unexpected aerodynamic quirk known as porpoising, which is the name given to the phenomenon whereby cars bounce up and down violently at high speeds on long straights.

Toto Wolff’s team have struggled with the problem more than any other, and despite governing body the FIA issuing a newtechnical directive ahead of the race in Canada designed to curb it, the problem is persisting.

Russell says Mercedes ‘have a lot of work to do’ to avoid painful Canadian GP

Lewis Hamilton slams ‘undriveable’ Mercedes car which is ‘worst’ in his F1 career

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:22 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton has lambasted Mercedes’ 2022 Formula 1 car after once again suffering from intense bouncing and poor performance in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion experimented with a new floor and different setups on his car in Friday night’s running in Montreal, but only ended up 13th fastest at the end of the second free practice session, telling his team over the radio: “This car is now undriveable.”

Mercedes have been struggling after transitioning to F1’s new set of technical regulations, which have undergone their biggest revision in a generation. A return to ground effect aerodynamics for the first time since the 1980s has brought with it the unexpected aerodynamic quirk known as porpoising, which is the name given to the phenomenon whereby cars bounce up and down violently at high speeds on long straights.

Toto Wolff’s team have struggled with the problem more than any other, and despite governing body the FIA issuing a newtechnical directive ahead of the race in Canada designed to curb it, the problem is persisting.

Lewis Hamilton slams ‘undriveable’ Mercedes car which is ‘worst’ in his F1 career

The top three

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:15 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel finish in the top three in final practice. Will we see a shock in qualifying or will Red Bull and Ferrari bounce back strong?

Charles Leclerc already knows he’s going to be starting from the back so Ferrari’s hopes rest with Carlos Sainz.

Alonso rolling back the years

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:11 , Michael Jones

An almost perfect session for Fernando Alonso who got to grip with the conditions quicker than anyone else and knew when to switch to the intermediate tyres to get the best performance out of his Alpine.

Conditions look set to be similar for qualifying in a couple of hours time. Will Alonso end up on pole?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Free Practice 3 times

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:08 , Michael Jones

A great practice session for Alpine who take two of the top four spots. It’s Fernando Alonso leading the way in the wet though. Here’s how the final practice ended:

1 Fernando Alonso (Alpine) 1:33.836

2 Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +0.053

3 Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +0.055

4 Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +0.167

5 Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +0.274

6 Lando Norris (McLaren) +0.412

7 George Russell (Mercedes) +0.423

8 Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing) +0.662

9 Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) +0.780

10 Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.942

11 Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +1.180

12 Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) +1.377

13 Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +1.695

14 Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1 Team) +1.807

15 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.856

16 Alexander Albon (Williams) +1.925

17 Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) +2.425

18 Mick Schumacher (Haas F1 Team) +3.552

19 Nicholas Latifi (Williams) +4.558

20 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) - No time

McLaren finish well

Saturday 18 June 2022 19:02 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo sweeps up the leaderboard with a final lap (+0.274 ) behind Fernando Alonso and moves up to fourth with his teammate Lando Norris closely following him (+0.412).

That’s a decent finish to practice for McLaren.

K-Mag in trouble

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:58 , Michael Jones

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen is off at Turn Two but manages to slowly get his car off the wet grass and back onto the track in reverse.

Rapid Russell

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:56 , Michael Jones

With most of the teams electing to head out on intermediate tyres Mercedes’ George Russell (+0.640) is just six tenths of a second behind the leader, Fernando Alonso (1:33.836), on the wets.

It’s an interesting tactic from Mercedes who continue on the wet tyres.

Aston Martin on pole?

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:53 , Michael Jones

Sebastian Vettel pips Alonso with a lap time of 1:33.891 with Lance Stroll not far behind (+1.695). Are the Aston Martins an outside bet for pole position later on due to the conditions?

Stroll did his lap on wet tyres.

10 minutes to go

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:50 , Michael Jones

Into the last 10 minutes of practice now and there’s a few questions being raised by Fernando Alonso. His is the quickest car due to the switch to the intermediate tyres and the teams will be assession whether conditions are set to get worse ahead of qualifying later on.

Max Verstappen is back on track but he left the garage on the wets.

Alonso quickest on inters

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:48 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso has switched onto the intermediate tyres and is flying through all three sectors. After a couple of laps to warm upt the tyres Alonso hits the top of the leaderboard then beats his own time with a 1:34.229.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is also running on inters but he doesn’t look as comfortable as the Alpine.

Vettel and Hamilton picking it up

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:42 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton is starting to find a bit more pace with a lap time of 1:36.917 but his old rival Sebastian Vettel is showing everyone else how to do it. His aggressive style across the curbs allows him to set a new fast lap at 1:35.821.

George Russell (+0.567) moves up to fifth ahead of Hamilton and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.

Contrasting fortunes for Alpine

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:39 , Michael Jones

Esteban Ocon locks up in the Alpine and has to go around the yellow bollard to a safe part of the track between turns 8 and 9.

His teammate Fernando Alonso is finding his groove in the wet though. The two-time world champion slips into second on the time sheets with a 1:36.07 trailing only Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:37 , Michael Jones

George Russell’s first timed lap comes in at 1:39 which is three seconds more than Carlos Sainz’s fastest effort. It’s still very slippery out and the Red Bull’s are taking it easy.

Hamilton joins Russell in with a lap time of 1:39.704. Can the Mercedes improve towards the end of the session?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

30 minutes to go

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:29 , Michael Jones

Halfway through the final practice session and it doesn’t look likely that the track will dry out for qualifying later tonight. That could prove beneficial to some of the midtable teams whose cars and drivers work well in the wet conditions.

Max Verstappen is stepping into his car for Red Bull. How will he fare out there?

Ferrari up with the pace

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:27 , Michael Jones

Carlos Sainz shows that the Ferrari can travel in the wet conditions and flies to the top of the leaderboard with two quick laps. The fastest of which is 1:35.858.

Valtteri Bottas (+2.051) and Lance Stroll (+2.285) are the nearest competitors.

Tricky conditions

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:23 , Michael Jones

Tsunoda goes top

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:20 , Michael Jones

Yuki Tsunoda has the new fastest lap at 1:38.262 for AlphaTauri. Sebastian Vettel continues to look good and Kevin Magnussen is up there as well.

There’s been no signs of Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez who look pretty relaxed in the paddock.

Ferrari take the hit with Leclerc

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:19 , Michael Jones

Ferrari have given Charles Leclerc a whole brand new power-unit at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - a new internal combustion engine, turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K.

Drivers are allowed to use only three of each of these elements this season, and the new parts take him to four already.

This is to add to the new electronics control unit that had already given him a 10-place grid penalty on Friday. That was his third - when only two are allowed.

As a result he’ll start Sunday’s race at the back of the field and will have to make his way through the grid to claim some points.

Leclerc to start from back of grid

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:15 , Michael Jones

Ferrari have confirmed that Charles Leclerc will start Sunday’s Grand Prix at the back of the grid after a penalty for excessive engine usage.

Huge news in relation to the drivers’ championship.

Current times

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:13 , Michael Jones

Only a handful of drivers have managed to set a lap time in these conditions but none are particularly quick compared to practice yesterday. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen continues to lead the way:

Kevin Magnussen 1:39.148

Sebastian Vettel (+2.384)

Yuki Tsunoda (+2.882)

Mick Schumacher (+4.078)

Lance Stroll (+62.606)

Magnussen leads the way

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:07 , Michael Jones

Kevin Magnussen is the early leader with a very watchful lap time of 1:43.014.

Lewis Hamilton is currently on an out lap for Mercedes. He needs to find something special with the car ahead of qualifying but the conditions are far from ideal.

Schumacher not happy with the conditions

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:05 , Michael Jones

“The conditions are pretty **** out here to be honest.” says Haas’ Mick Schumacher as he completes his first lap of the track.

Ferrari have sent out Charles Leclerc and both Aston Martin’s have left the pit lane.

Free Practice 3

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:02 , Michael Jones

Here we go then. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen is the first driver out onto the track and he’s driving with the wet tyres as I think most of the cars will be sporting.

Alfa Romeo’s Valterri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu are both out there now as well. Zhou is battling the conditions, the Alfas have the wet tyres on too but it’s quite slippy early on.

Rain incoming

Saturday 18 June 2022 18:00 , Michael Jones

The risk of rain for the final practice session is at 100%. The prediction at the moment is that the rain will start falling heavily around quarter-past six BST.

That means we may see a few drivers out early to get some quick times in.

Soft compound tyres again

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:58 , Michael Jones

Pirelli have nominated their softest tyre compounds for a third race weekend in a row. The C3 (white, hard), C4 (yellow, medium) and C5 (red, soft).

Hamilton explains W13 struggles

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:56 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton stuggled during Friday’s practice session and isn’t happy with Mercedes’ W13 car.

“One touch of the kerb and the thing goes flying,” he said. “It’s so stiff and here you need to be able to use the kerbs. It’s very, very tricky.

“It’s not the Montreal that I know, that I’m used to and that I have experienced in my career. It’s the worst that I’ve felt any car here. I’m hoping overnight we can make some changes but fundamentally, it’s just the fundamentals… it is what it is. It’s going to be a struggle.

“It’s just a monumental fight the whole time to keep it out the wall. When it bounces – when the car leaves the ground – and then when it lands, it grips up and goes in lots of different directions, so you’re trying to catch a car that jumps, hops, grips, hops, grips – it’s tough.”

Verstappen fastest in FP2

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:53 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen’s lap of 1:14.127 was the quickest lap of the second practice session yesterday with the two Ferrari’s just off his pace and teammate Sergio Perez over a second slower.

Today’s conditions are totally different though. It’s colder and the track is wet which should provide some exciting opportunities for the chasing teams.

Will Verstappen come out on top once again?

Wet conditions for practice

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:50 , Michael Jones

It’s raining in Montreal and the third and final practice session is almost upon us. How will the conditions on track affect the last practice ahead of qualifying later tonight?

Russell warned over Hamilton’s potential at Mercedes

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:44 , Michael Jones

George Russell has been warned that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t lost a step despite a poor start to the 2022 season.

The seven-time world champion has finished behind teammate Russell at every round since the first race and trails him by 37 points in the standings. But Daniel Ricciardo believes Hamilton is still more than capable of challenging at the very front end of the grid.

“I definitely think Lewis is as capable as ever,” the McLaren driver said. “We all knew George was quick, and it was just how quick is he? How good is he? And he is proving he is very good.”

George Russell warned over Lewis Hamilton’s potential at Mercedes

Verstappen refuses to rule Ferrari out of title race

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:38 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen is refusing to rule Ferrari out of challenging for both world championships in 2022 despite their recent reliability issues.

The Italian squad has endured three terrible races recently. culminating in a double retirement at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which was their first in the 21st century.

Ferrari and driver Charles Leclerc stormed to early leads in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships, but their lack of reliability in the past month or so has significantly compromised their chances. Verstappen, though, is taking nothing for granted.

“If you look back a few races it was the other way around, they looked solid and we had [reliability issues],” he told Sky Sports F1. “Things can change very quickly in the season.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Aston Martin could convince Vettel to stay with improvements, says Brundle

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:32 , Michael Jones

Aston Martin haven;t often challenged inside the top ten so far this season, but enjoyed a strong weekend in Azerbaijan last time out and have begun the Canadaian Grand Prix with an impressive first practice session.

Lead driver Sebastian Vettel is out of contract at the end of the season and is weighing up whether to continue in the sport or step away, and Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle beleieves the German’s decision could be made easier if the Silverstone-based team are able to continue to improve.

“At Azerbaijan they moved from ninth fastest car to fifth fastest,” Brundle said They have a bit more of a margin now, it’s not quite so knife-edgy as it was before. He might call it a day, but if they’re showing improvement they don’t need to change him.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Brundle praises ‘aggressive’ Alonso

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:26 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso’s performance in FP1 drew plenty of praise, and commentator Martin Brundle says the Spaniard’s “aggressive” driving style makes him a unique proposition on the F1 grid.

The 40-year-old finished third in FP1 on the medium tyres and seems capable of challenging high up the order in qualifying this weekend.

“The Alpine seems to suit certain circuits and goes well,” Brundle told Sky Sports F1. “They ebb and flow a little bit, and Fernando knows this place like the back of his hand. Fernando was somewhat better than the midfield in that session. The aggressive nature [of his driving] and his feistiness in the car means you know it’s him coming.”

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Toto Wolff says Mercedes are working ‘flat out to close gap’ to F1 rivals Red Bull and Ferrari

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:20 , Michael Jones

Toto Wolff has said Mercedes are working ‘flat out to close the gap’ to Formula 1 rivals Red Bull and Ferrari ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes have managed four third-placed finishes this season – one for Lewis Hamilton and three for George Russell – while their rivals have won every race between them.

Ferrari have earned two victories through Charles Leclerc, while defending champion Max Verstappen has claimed five wins for Red Bull and his teammate Sergio Perez has won once.

All three teams have had their share of issues with their cars, but Mercedes have been battling the greatest problems, particularly ‘porpoising’ – when a vehicle bounces up and down.

Toto Wolff sends warning to Mercedes rivals Red Bull and Ferrari

Mercedes can’t keep relying on others’ misfortune says Russell

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:14 , Michael Jones

George Russell has warned Mercedes that they cannot keep relying on other teams’ misfortune to challenge for Formula 1 podiums as the team attempts to find more performance from the W13.

Russell has finished inside the top five at every single race this season and finished third in Azerbaijan last weekend following a double DNF for Ferrari that eliminated both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

The result means that Russell sits just 17 points behind title contender Leclerc in the championship,

“This is a championship where you’ve got the chance to score every single race, and it doesn’t matter how fast your car is, if you’re not scoring those points, then your tally is not going to increase,” Russell said after the race.

“So, great work from everybody back at the factories to deliver a reliable car, but we can’t keep on relying on others’ misfortune, and we need to find more performance.

“That’s what everyone’s trying their hardest to achieve.”

Russell said the W13 had “been feeling OK to drive” in Azerbaijan and it felt well-balanced, but the porpoising remained a limiting factor.

“The challenge is just the bottoming, to be honest,” Russell said. “I think it doesn’t matter what boat you’re in, either you’ve got the porpoising and you’re hitting the ground, and if you don’t have porpoising, you’re running the car millimetres to the ground, and you’re bottoming out.

“[I’m] feeling it on the back at the moment. But nevertheless, we’ve got to keep on working hard to find more performance and understand what we need to do to unlock that.

“I don’t think we’ll have any major updates or anything to try in Canada, but maybe for Silverstone, we’ll have a better idea.”

Christian Horner claims F1 title fight will end up in court if FIA doesn’t act on cost cap

Saturday 18 June 2022 17:08 , Michael Jones

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed that up to half of Formula 1 teams will breach the sport’s cost cap if governing body the FIA does not opt to raise it, and warned that the battle for the 2022 championship could end up in court.

All ten F1 teams are limited to an annual budget of $140m to run their 2022 season, comprising costs spent in every area including car parts, staff salaries, and shipping. The cost cap is designed to prevent teams from overspending and causing themselves financial problems, but Horner says the cost-of-living crisis and rises in inflation are an exceptional circumstance which mean the cap should be raised significantly.

“The way you design your car is within your control,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 after practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. “You are in control of your own destiny. We’re not in control of what’s going on in the world right now, with fuel cost rises, inflation going up to 11%. That’s a direct impact on staff, commmodities, supply of parts. I think it’s a case of force majeure. It’s not about income, it’s about this one-off effect of inflation that effects people.”

Horner claims F1 title fight will end up in court if FIA doesn’t act on cost cap

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