Fernando Alonso, Ferrari

Canadian GP – Fernando and Felipe in Friday’s top three
Montreal, 8 June – Lewis Hamilton again topped the timesheets at the end of the second session of free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, the seventh round of the Formula 1 World Championship which got under way today at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The Englishman’s McLaren repeated his first place from the morning session with a lap of 1.15.259 while the F2012s of Fernando Alonso (1.15.313) and Felipe Massa (1.15.410) were second and third.

Overall it was looking good for the team at the end of a session that went uninterrupted by the forecast rain: both Ferrari drivers tested different levels of downforce and compared the Soft and Super Soft tyres on offer from Pirelli for the Canadian track.

The third and final session of free practice takes place tomorrow at 10am local time.

Canadian GP – New parts on track in Montreal
Montreal, 8 June – The first practice session took place this morning for the 44th Canadian Grand Prix, the seventh round of the Formula 1 World Championship, with the race taking place this Sunday at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit. Quickest at the end of the session was Lewis Hamilton (1.15.564) in the McLaren, followed by Sebastian Vettel (1.15.682) in the Red Bull and Nico Rosberg (1.15.782) in the Mercedes. Fernando Alonso was fourth for Ferrari in a time of 1.15.842, while in the other F2012, Felipe Massa posted the twelfth fastest time in 1.16.619. The session was stopped for around fifteen minutes when Heikki Kovalainen crashed the Caterham in a session that also featured several appearances by famous Canadian fauna. Scuderia Ferrari had a busy programme, testing updates brought here for the Canadian event: Alonso and Massa ran two different exhaust configurations and used one set of Soft tyres each. In the second half, Felipe worked solely on aero measurements, while both men did some practice starts prior to the end of the session.

Canadian GP – Montreal gets off on the right foot
A very busy Friday for Scuderia Ferrari, making the most of every single one of the 180 minutes, available over the two free practice sessions to complete the work programme defined prior to the race weekend. Among the main items on the Maranello squad’s technical menu, an evaluation of two different types of exhaust, a comparison between different aerodynamic downforce levels and of course, checking the behaviour of the two compounds brought here by Pirelli, the Soft and the Supersoft. Between them, the two Ferrari men completed 126 laps; 70 with Alonso and 56 with Massa.

Fernando Alonso: “I am rather pleased with the way things went this Montreal Friday. This morning, we concentrated mainly on evaluating some new updates, while in the afternoon, we worked principally on a comparison of the two types of tyre, looking for performance over a single lap and also to check the behaviour of the car with a lot of fuel on board. The first indications seem to be positive, but it is much too soon to draw any conclusions as Friday times should never be taken at face value. Now we must concentrate on analysing the data and prepare as well as possible for the rest of the weekend. The circuit named after Gilles Villeneuve is very similar to a street circuit, with the walls very close to what are normal roads. It therefore becomes very important to find the right reference points, especially in terms of braking points and how far one is from the walls, in order to put together both a quick lap and to drive smoothly over a long distance.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a very positive Friday for us. We managed to do a lot of laps and, above all, test everything we had on our programme. Fortunately, the rain, and boy did it rain, arrived just after the second session had ended, so we managed to do everything properly. I think we can be happy with the fact that the updates we have brought here worked, even if it’s hard to give an instant assessment of how much of an improvement they have produced. In any case, the intention is to keep the car in this new configuration. The car seems to be well balanced and it seemed to me to be pretty consistent in terms of performance, even if, obviously, the track is not yet providing much grip, this being the first day of the race weekend. To sum up, this has been the best Friday of 2012: let’s hope that can continue through Saturday and Sunday as well!”

Pat Fry: “We had a lot of work to get through today and we were worried the rain might come, which could certainly have made life complicated. Fortunately, the expected storm hit immediately after the end of the second practice session, so that we were able to get through everything we had set ourselves to do. We brought two different exhaust configurations here: one was the one used in the last two races, the other represents our latest interpretation of the concept that was part of the car when it made its debut in Jerez. From what we could see today, the latter configuration seems to be positive in terms of performance even if, obviously, we need to analyse the data very carefully to make the right choices for the race. This track requires a rather different downforce level to those we have visited so far, so we also worked a lot on this front and, in this case also, we need to study the data we have acquired before making a judgement one way or the other. Finally, we had to check the behaviour of the tyres, especially the Supersoft, over a long run: we did not manage to do that many laps and, also linked to this aspect is the unknown factor relating to temperature. In fact, the weather forecast for Sunday suggests an increase in track temperature of around ten degrees, which could completely change the situation compared to what we have seen today. Therefore there is a lot of work to do over the rest of the weekend, but at least we have got off on the right foot.”

First session Second session
Driver Pos. Time Laps Pos. Time Laps Chassis
F. Alonso 4th 1.15.842 34 2nd 1.15.313 36 295
F. Massa 12th 1.16.619 17 3rd 1.15.410 39 294

First session: air 19/22 °C, track 21/23 °C. Covered skies, some drops of rain.
Second session: air 22/21 °C, track 26/24 °C. Covered skies.