When you feel like you’ve seen it all in Formula 1, you are treated to a day like today! It's been a bizarre and disrupted start to the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
Practice 1 saw us complete just three laps, one being an install lap for Alex Albon as we checked everything was working on his upgraded FW45.
The other two were from Logan Sargeant, and out lap before a push that was aborted owing to red flags for Pierre Gasly’s stranded Alpine.
However, FP1 would stay under the red flag until the end of the session as the CCTV used by race control was not synced correctly, meaning it was unsafe to proceed.
To compromise for the lost running, Practice 2 was extended by 30 minutes and we got straight to work with some soft tyre running.
Alex was getting to grips with a modified FW45 whilst Logan was familiarising himself with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during his maiden visit to Canada.
The extended session was halted not just once but twice as a result of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon both pulling to the side of the track.
Following the second red flag period, we bolted on some medium tyres for long-run simulations before the wet weather, which had threatened all day, finally arrived at the Ile Notre-Dame.
As the gusts ramped up to 40km/h, we were happy with the data gathered and pulled our duo into the garage and began the process of pouring through the numbers.
Alex ended the session in P17 (1:15.003) whilst Logan was in P19 (1:15.426).
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“The disrupted day hasn’t hurt us too much,” Alex shared as the heavens opened in the paddock.
“We did a lot of simulator practice and it’s kind of what I expected so there haven’t been any nasty surprises with the car, which is a good thing.
“We didn’t really complete a proper FP2, so we didn’t put on a proper set of tyres, but otherwise we’re not in a bad place.”
Logan continued our reaction by adding: “It was an interrupted first day in Montreal, but we made the most of it in FP2 and got a lot of laps in.
“The car felt pretty good for the most part. There’s more to come from my side taking a bit of margin in my first session.
“We’re in a good place heading into tomorrow however it should be pretty wet so we’re going to have to wait and see what the conditions are actually like.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, was understandably keeping a keen eye on Alex’s updated FW45 throughout the interrupted running.
“It was a slightly odd day with FP1 effectively cancelled and FP2 affected by rain,” he commented.
“We got most of the work done as we had intended, but stopped the low fuel running early in FP2 to concentrate on the high fuel work.
“The upgrades ran well on Alex’s car and will remain fitted for the rest of the weekend. We’ll go through the data tonight and confirm that the performance is matching the wind tunnel data and we will look to refine the setup to maximise the overall pace.
“The weather looks mixed for the rest of the weekend with more heavy rain expected tonight and into tomorrow morning.
“There could be further heavy showers during qualifying, which will keep things interesting.”
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