After Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen set the early pace of the weekend in FP1 and FP2, Formula 1 returned for final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with drivers using the session to perfect setups before they head into qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel heads up Ferrari 1-2 in Canadian Grand Prix FP3
Unlike first and second practice, third practice was much cleaner than prior sessions, with fewer drivers making mistakes out on track. This was partly because of the higher track temperatures in the morning session and the racing surface becoming more rubbered in. With the session also being just before qualifying, fewer drivers were pushing out on track in the event of them making a mistake which may result in them missing one of the most important sessions of the race weekend due to damage.
In the session, the pace of Ferrari continued after Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap time of the weekend so far, setting a 1:12.572, which was 0.292 seconds faster than his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen. Lewis Hamilton was 0.354 seconds slower than Vettel’s fastest time and was the fastest Mercedes in the session.
After having a difficult day yesterday, Red Bull Racing had a better time in FP3, making up for their limited running in FP1 and FP2 that was caused by reliability problems, with Daniel Ricciardo being forced out of the session with an engine issue and Max Verstappen finding himself breaking down out on track with a gearbox failure. In FP3, Red Bull looked closer to Mercedes and stronger in their position as the third best team on the grid, with Max Verstappen ending the session in fourth place while Ricciardo only managed eighth fastest.
Nico Hulkenberg set an impressive lap for Renault to put himself up into sixth place, 0.921 seconds slower than Vettel but ahead of both Force India drivers, Williams drivers, and Toro Rosso drivers. On the other side of the garage, Jolyon Palmer struggled in comparison to his team mate, and only managed to set the 15th fastest time of the session. This is a key weekend for Palmer with the Brit struggling so far this season which has led to reports that this could be his last race for the Renault outfit, making it a key weekend for the driver’s F1 career.
Going into qualifying, the battle for pole position between Mercedes and Ferrari is once again looking close, with three different drivers being fastest in the three practice sessions so far. In qualifying, it will also be interesting to see if anyone can challenge Red Bull who have been looking vulnerable around the power reliant circuit, and if Nico Hulkenberg’s surprise performance in FP3 continue into qualifying.
Results from Practice 3 of the Canadian Grand Prix:
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:12.572
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:12.862
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:12.926
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:12.965
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:13.210
- Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:13.493
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:13.527
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:13.545
- Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:13.635
- Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:13.667
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:13.788
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:13.885
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:13.956
- Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:13.994
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:14.102
- Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:14.392
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:14.392
- Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:14.409
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:14.883
- Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:14.965