Rain and Canada just can’t keep out of drama, and today’s qualifying session in North America was baffling to watch. Bumps, slips and slippery high kerbs are just a couple of obstacles to get by at the Canadian circuit on a just regular day, let alone a soaking wet day. Standing water is what threatens drivers the most, the type of weather that controls the car on its own and can plunge you into a wall as you become a passenger in your own car. When the session first started the wet weather tries were the way to go as the rain was just stopping to pour, but the bumpy track was still dripping wet. The Alpines, Aston Martins, and Ferraris were doing a fantastic job managing the tire temperatures in the high risk cold temperatures and conditions. It was treacherous as drivers were splashed with spray and trying to tread carefully through the wetness. Yet, it was only a few drivers who were able to take the conditions into their advantage.
It was a day meant for the experienced runners, drivers like Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo would battle with the water and tread their mid-field runners through the horrid unseeable circumstance they were stuck in. Sadly, no matter how hard Aston Martin worked and no matter the places they achieved in practice, both of the British cars got out of Q1. Vettel is a track specialist here and a certified rain specialist, but in big disappointment the 4-time World Champion just couldn’t push his Aston like he did in the practice sessions. There was a mega difference between the morning from the afternoon with Vettel, from grip to no grip it ruined his qualifying position leaving him in P17.
When a dull matte line was slowly being placed and grooved into the circuit the times became more crucial and tighter. This led to a certain 2-time World Champion Spaniard to demonstrate why he is meant to be on this grid as he put his Alpine in the top places in every session. Fernando Alonso, could not be stopped. Finishing on the front row in almost all the sessions, beating on his Alpine all throughout practice and qualifying payed off rightly for the 2005 and 2006 Champion. Fernando Alonso dominated the entire session from start to finish, he dominated the weekend lining up in second place after a super lap. A well deserved front-row finish for the 40-year-old who over preformed his average Alpine.
Daniel Ricciardo was soaring through the water in his MCL35M taking P9. Sometimes Q2 becomes even more difficult than the first quarter, because it’s when drivers have to ease their cars to get used to the wet with the intermediate tires. Alex Albon got into the second session and once it started he saw himself crashing lightly in the wall at turn 6, Albon locked his front tires but was thankfully able to pull himself out with little damage. Yet, some others weren’t as lucky. Sergio Perez locked his tries and crashed into the tech pro barriers, he wasn’t able to go into reverse gear and ease his clutch, it was locked in place. That meant the Mexicans day was over and ended with a red flag.
When the session was restarted everything started opening up, the standing water was no longer threatening, the times were going into the 1:20s, and drivers were able to get more comfortable in their cars. Lando started Q2 off on the wrong foot, coming out with only 3 minutes left, but shortly after went back into the pits with a power unit issue. Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, two HAAS’ entered surprisingly into Q3, as Bottas got knocked down into 11th as his teammate Zhou got into Q3 for the first time in his career. Not only did the HAAS team enter into the third session but they walked away with Magnussen in 5th and Schumacher in 6th.
This was Carlos’ chance, the free opportunity, his time to run a risk in the rain and gain a position at the front of the field. As his teammate Charles Leclerc is forced to start at the back because of a power unit 10-place grid penalty, the Ferrari driver was left all alone to make a decision for himself. A decision to prove what he is made of, to prove himself right, he was on the verge of pole but lost it in the third sector finishing in a great third place.
Canada has given us a mixed matched grid that will play a massive role in tomorrow’s Grand PrixPublished in