Alonso slides atop the charts in a very wet Canadian FP2

Fernando Alonso topped a rain-interrupted second practice session at the Canadian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen retired early with a power unit issue.

Pit lane opened as scheduled for the second hour of practice, but dark clouds hung heavy over the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as a gaggle driver headed onto the track on slicks to make up for lost time in FP1.

Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly were quick to set lap times, but others were reticent in the slippery, drizzly conditions. It took another 15 minutes for drivers to attempt to attack the circuit with any meaningful anger.

Gasly briefly took top spot from Hamilton before Alonso relieved him of position as conditions gradually began to improve.


Home favorite Lance Stroll briefly usurped his teammate, and Charles Leclerc then momentarily took the fastest time, but Alonso slammed on three purple laps when the track was at its driest to set the pace at 1m 15.810s.

The rain came down shortly after, halting running, and though drivers re-emerged in the final 15 minutes, the track was never dry enough again for the Spaniard’s time to come under threat, with all drivers stuck on intermediate tires to the finish.

George Russell emerged as Alonso’s closest challenge, his Mercedes 0.463s off the pace, with Stroll holding onto third and 0.654s adrift of his teammate.

Monaco Grand Prix winner Charles Leclerc was fourth, but his best lap, 0.746s off the pace, was set on the medium tire rather than softs.

Leclerc ended the session under investigation for improper tire usage, with Ferrari appearing to have sent him onto the track with intermediate tires minutes before the circuit was declared wet by race control at the beginning of the hour.

Daniel Ricciardo completed the top five for RB ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon and Sergio Perez down in 10th.

Esteban Ocon was 11th ahead of Logan Sargeant, Carlos Sainz, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Oscar Piastri and Zhou Guanyu, whose car had been repaired following his FP1 crash.

The limited representative running was good news for title leader Verstappen, who lasted only 25 minutes in the session before smoke began billowing from the back of his car. The team suspected an energy recovery issue and ordered him back to his garage, where the Dutchman had to leap from the car as a safety precaution to guard against potential electrocution in the case of a battery problem.

Red Bull Racing had furnished him with a brand-new power unit at the beginning of the day.

The problem left him anchored 18th in the order with only four unrepresentative laps.

Pierre Gasly ended the hour 19th ahead of Lando Norris in 20th, who will be investigated by the stewards for failing to use the escape road after running wide at the final chicane.

Story originally appeared on Racer