Charles Leclerc beat Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel to the top of the timesheet in the second free practice session for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, as reigning FIA F1 Champion crashed out.
Hamilton who had shown good pace in the morning session to edge team-mate Valtteri Bottas by a tenth of a second and to gap his Ferrari rivals by almost a second, was also quickest also quickest in the opening exchanges of FP2.
A little under half an hour into the session the Briton swapped medium tyres for the softs as he prepared for his performance run, but he lost the rear of his car in the Turn 8 chicane and swiped the wall hard with his rear right wheel, sustaining a puncture.
The championship leader managed to limp back to the pits, but clearly more damage had been to his car than just the puncture and he was forced to pull out of the session.
That left the way clear for Bottas, who had spent all day trading times with his team-mate to claim top spot. The Finn put in a good lap of 1:12.311 on his soft-tyre run, but that was swiftly eclipsed by Vettel, with a lap of 1:12.251 and then Leclerc who squeezed past with a lap seven hundredths of a second quicker than that of his team-mate.
It might have been expected that Red Bull would also be in the mix at the top of the timesheet, but neither Max Verstappen nor Pierre Gasly enjoyed good performance runs.
On his qualifying sim Verstappen came across Gasly in the final chicane and focusing on his slow moving team-mate he understeered and smacked the Wall of Champions with his front right wheel. It seemed as if he had not sustained serious damage as he drove back to the pits, but he spent a long period in the garage and only rejoined the action late in the session.
Verstappen ended the session 13thplace, four hundredths of a second behind Gasly who appeared to struggle for balance in his RB15 throughout.
The absence of the Red Bulls at the top of the order and Hamilton’s crash meant that fourth place in the session went to McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, while Haas’ Kevin Magnussen finished fifth ahead of Hamilton.
Seventh place was taken by Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez, who finished 5h with a best time of 1:13.003, a creditable 0.826s off Leclerc’s pace.
The Mexican was separated from 10thplace team,-mate Lance Stroll by 0.168 and by the Renault pairing of eigth-placed Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg.
Stroll, though, is to be investigated by race officials for an incident late in the session in which he banged wheels with Haas’ Romain Grosjean. The Frenchman was forced to back out of the final chicane as the pair jocked for position.
2019 FIA Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 39 1:12.177
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 38 1:12.251 0.074
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 46 1:12.311 0.134
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 45 1:12.553 0.376
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas 41 1:12.935 0.758
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 8 1:12.938 0.761
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point 39 1:13.003 0.826
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 40 1:13.016 0.839
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 42 1:13.168 0.991
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point 37 1:13.171 0.994
11 Lando Norris McLaren 38 1:13.249 1.072
12 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 38 1:13.345 1.168
13 Max Verstappen Red Bull 22 1:13.388 1.211
14 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 45 1:13.436 1.259
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 40 1:13.521 1.344
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 41 1:13.542 1.365
17 Romain Grosjean Haas 39 1:13.598 1.421
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 16 1:14.870 2.693
19 George Russell Williams 36 1:15.036 2.859
20 Robert Kubica Williams 44 1:15.287 3.110