Saturday, June 8, 2013

Alonso Has Competitors Seeing Red After Friday Canadian Grand Prix Practice

Photo Credit: Pirelli Photo Service

The first 2013 Formula 1 race taking place in the Americas, 4.361-kilometer Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Montreal's Île Notre-Dame is hosting the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. Sunday's race will be the 50th Canadian Grand Prix held and the 34th visit for Formula 1 to the track named after a famous Canadian driver. Gilles Villeneuve's career was best remembered for his stint on the Ferrari team where he won all six of his grand prix races. The inaugural Canadian Grand Prix held on Île Notre-Dame in 1978 was one of those victories driving a red Ferrari. Nearly 35 years since that feat, practice for the 2013 race has a modern Ferrari organization looking good heading into qualifying and the main event.

In what turned out to be the fastest of the two Friday practices, the afternoon session saw Fernando Alonso post the quickest time on the day. On Pirelli supersoft tires, Alonso piloted his Ferrari F138 around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1 minute, 14.818 seconds. The fastest time for the Spaniard was a mere 12/100ths of a second better than the effort of the Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton. Roughly a quarter of a second off the fastest lap of Hamilton was Romain Grosjean's effort in a Lotus-Renault.

Teams and drivers posted their fastest times in the second practice largely due to morning showers that dampened the Montreal race course. Plagued by a wet track, the first practice took place on intermediate treaded Pirelli tires. Despite posting a rather short 10-lap effort through the Friday morning session, Paul di Resta and the Force India team prevailed as the fastest under wet conditions. The 1 minute, 21.020 second time for di Resta was a far cry from the afternoon times posted later in the day. Alonso was fourth fastest in the wetter morning practice for Ferrari. In the afternoon, Paul di Resta's Force India-Mercedes could only muster a 13th quickest time. 

A surprise in both practice sessions was the lack of performance from the constructors' championship leading Red Bull Racing squad. Red Bull-Renault race cars driven by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber had been trailing in the lower half of the top 10 throughout Friday until Mark Webber posted a 1 minute, 15.212 second lap time in the second practice. Ninth fastest in the morning session and seventh-place on the afternoon time chart, Sebastian Vettel reported the day as "tricky".

With Friday presenting drivers and teams one practice in the wet and on a dry circuit, the mix of weather is expected to influence the remainder of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend. There's a probability for rain during Saturday afternoon's qualifying and the 70-lap race on Sunday.

2013 Formula 1
Canadian Grand Prix
Friday Practice Session #2 

Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari
2 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
6 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari
7 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes-Benz
9 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes-Benz
10 19 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
11 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault
12 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes-Benz
13 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes-Benz
14 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 Renault
15 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Renault
17 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari
18 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari
19 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth
22 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault

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