Hamilton fastest in final practice for Canadian Grand Prix

rugby08 June 2024 18:00| © Reuters
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Lewis Hamilton © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton, seven times a winner at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, used that experience to put his Mercedes top of the timing sheets in final practice on Saturday for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who claimed the first of his 103 grands prix wins in Montreal in 2007, clocked a best lap of one minute 12.549 seconds around the island circuit in a frantic final practice after the opening two sessions were disrupted by rain.

Red Bull's Dutch triple world champion Max Verstappen, who put in only four laps during the second session on Friday after smelling smoke in his car, was second best, 0.374 seconds behind the Briton.

Hamilton's teammate George Russell was third quickest in what was a promising final practice for Mercedes ahead of qualifying later on Saturday for Sunday's race.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, who grew up in Montreal and whose father owns the team, gave the crowd something to cheer, going fourth on the timing sheet ahead of Australians McLaren's Oscar Piastri of McLaren and RB's Daniel Ricciardo.

After heavy rain and hail caused havoc on Friday, drivers had dry but overcast conditions for their final practice.

McLaren's Lando Norris, who topped first practice, was seventh on Saturday while Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso, fastest in the second session, was eighth ahead of Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull.

For the second time in three practice runs Zhou Guanyu brought out a red flag when his Sauber locked up and spun into the barrier just five minutes into the session.

Zhou, who is still looking to secure a contract for next season, also went into the wall early in the first session, giving the Chinese driver minimal time to come to grips with the resurfaced layout.