F1 Canadian GP 2024 – Free Practice 1: Lando Norris quickest as rain causes havoc

Follow all the F1 action on the Total Motorsport live blog as teams and drivers take to Montreal for FP1 at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix

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Good morning and welcome to Total-Motorsport’s live coverage of Free Practice 1 at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix as Formula 1 returns to North America as the 2024 Canadian GP kicks off the ninth round of the season, following recent European races in Imola and Monaco.

The 4.361-kilometre circuit, named in honour of Canadian F1 legend Gilles Villeneuve, features a mix of six left-hand and eight right-hand corners, creating one of the lowest average speed tracks of the season. Success at this venue hinges on stability under braking and effective traction out of the numerous chicanes and slow corners, including the notorious hairpin leading onto the long back straight. 

Unlike Monaco, the Canadian GP offers ample opportunities for overtaking, particularly at the end of the straight leading to the final chicane, which is guarded by the infamous “Wall of Champions.” Recent renovations have seen the entire track resurfaced and the kerbs replaced, maintaining its characteristically low abrasiveness but introducing unknowns that will be evaluated by Pirelli’s engineers during initial tests.

So stay tuned to Total-Motorsport.com for all the live action from the 2024 Canadian GP with this crucial practice session at the historic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

LIVE Canadian GP 2024 FP1: News and Updates


REPORT: Norris fastest as rain falls in Montreal

McLaren driver Lando Norris was quickest in a rain-hit first free practice session at the Formula 1 2024 Canadian Grand Prix on Friday.

With a hailstorm leaving a huge amount of standing water on the track, Race Control started the 60-minute countdown but delayed opening the pit lane. It would take 25 minutes before the FIA agreed conditions were safe enough for F1 cars to venture out on track, with swathes of spray resulting in very low visibility for the drivers.

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were among the drivers brave enough to test out the wet-weather tyres. But after only 11 minutes of action, the session was red-flagged when Zhou Guanyu clipped the wall at Turn 5 and stopped on the side of the track.

The damage was cleared quickly enough for the cars to get back out of the garage and the track began to dry at a rapid rate, with the sun beaming down. That allowed the Ferraris to demonstrate their pace, with Sainz going ahead of his team-mate Leclerc with a 1:27.485 on the intermediate tyre. But with conditions suitable for dry tyres, Norris went even faster with a 1:24.435 to pip Sainz to the fastest time.

CHECKERED FLAG! Norris goes quickest

The drivers are now racing with slick tyres, despite there still being huge puddles off the racing line, and Daniel Ricciardo drives into a pool of water after going onto the grass.

And right at the death, it’s Norris who pumps in the fastest time of the session, a 1:24.9, to top the timing sheet ahead of Carlos Sainz.

10 MINS TO GO

Every single driver is currently in the pits, which isn’t fun for the fans. But we’re expecting some more running before the checkered flag, so let’s stay patient.

Remarkably, only 11 drivers have set a time – and Verstappen is the slowest of them, with the Red Bull star some 14 seconds off the pace. What’s going on?

Track drying rapidly

The track is drying very quickly out there – so much so that a dry line has emerged down the Casino Straight – and that will see the lap times tumble towards the end of the session.

The quickest time so far is a 1:27.485 by Sainz, with Leclerc less than a tenth behind him. Tasty!

GREEN FLAG! 20 MINS TO GO

The cars are back out on track and unsurprisingly, there’s an eagerness for them to get out of the garage as fast as they can.

Vwrstappen, Hamilton, Sainz and Gasly are all out there on the intermediate tyres.

RED FLAG! Zhou hits the wall!

The wet conditions have claimed its first victim and it’s Zhou Guanyu who has stopped on the side of the track at Turn 5.

His car just seemed to lose grip when putting the throttle down and he’s scraped along the barrier, causing some damage to his front suspension. Fortunately, the Sauber driver says “I’m OK”.

With only 25 minutes left, there might not be much time for the cars to get back out and set some lap times.

Bottas fastest of first runners

This isn’t something we’re used to seeing: Bottas is currently P1.

Both McLarens put on the full wets when heading out for their first laps and looked a great deal happier than Hamilton on the green-striped intermediate tyre.

GREEN LIGHT! FP1 IS GO!

At last! We have F1 cars on the track and it’s Lewis Hamilton who bravely takes his W15 out for a ride with about 36 minutes left.

Valtteri Bottas in the Sauber has also opted to test out the conditions and there’s spray churning through his intermediate tyres.

Hamilton gets on the radio to give some feedback: “Grip is very low.”

Doohan replaces Ocon for FP1

Alpine have opted to hand their reserve driver Jack Doohan a chance to impress in FP1, with the Australian standing in for Esteban Ocon.

Ocon is leaving the Enstone team at the end of the season and, with a three-place grid penalty to serve after his collision with Pierre Gasly in Monaco, it’s the ideal time for Doohan to get some laps in.

Some reports suggest the 21-year-old could even replace Ocon in 2025, and he might be treating this as an audition rather than just the mandated Young Driver Test.

Jack Doohan, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon ahead of 2024 F1 season | Alpine F1 Team
Jack Doohan, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon ahead of 2024 F1 season | Alpine F1 Team

Pit exit still closed

Are the the race stewards being a tad cautious? This isn’t anywhere near as bad as Spa 2021 or Japan 2022.

We’re already 20 minutes into the session and still haven’t had any cars on track. It’s not raining hard, and there are vehicles on the track… just not F1 cars.

Race Control say the “estimated time of the pit exit opening is 13:55 local time”, so 18:55 BST. Fingers crossed, we’ll see some on-track action very shortly.

Tyre allocations explained

Each driver has just five sets of intermediates and two sets of full wets to use for the entire race weekend.

Wet weather is also forecast for Saturday and Sunday, so the teams will likely want to save their tyres in case it rains for qualifying or the race to get maximum grip if it does pour down.

However, FP1 has been declared a wet session, which means a set of intermediates must be returned after FP3. This will encourage teams to use a set of inters, given that they have to give a set back.

Pirelli’s intermediate and wet-weather tyres | Total Motorsport

Race Control delay opening pit lane

Hold your horses, everyone. We do not have a green light… yet.

Here’s a message from FIA Race Control: “Session will start on time – pit exit will remain closed”

That means the clock will start counting down from 60 minutes, but there won’t be any cars on track immediately.

McLaren chief Brown shows off new tattoo

Zak Brown is a man of his word, especially when it comes to body art.

The McLaren CEO famously got inked for the first time when Daniel Ricciardo won the 2021 Italian GP. And now, he’s got another tattoo to celebrate Lando Norris’ emphatic win in Miami.

Here comes the sun

Some good news! The sun is out and the rain has stopped. Just in time as well, with FP1 due to start in 10 minutes.

Less good news: the track temperature is only 26C at present and it’s going to be a real challenge for the drivers to get those tyres warmed up.

Hamilton with hilarious message to Vesti

Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed the rain throughout his career, with some iconic drives in the rain – the 2020 Turkey GP springs to mind.

But, according to our paddock sources, Hamilton joked that their reserve driver Frederic Vesti “can go out in FP1 instead” and fully embrace the Montreal hailstorm.

Few could blame Vesti if he hoped the 39-year-old was being serious.

The rain is here…

And it’s here to stay. The official weather forecast suggests we’re going to have rain throughout the entire weekend.

Hopefully, we’ll get some running in FP1. That’s what the full wets are for, right?

Good evening!

Hello and welcome to Total Motorsport’s LIVE coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix.

We’re set to get underway for FP1 in about 30 minutes, although the weather may have something to say about that.

Stay tuned for more updates from Montreal.

Canadian GP 2024 Pirelli Tyre Info

The Canadian Grand Prix marks the third consecutive race to feature Pirelli’s softest tyre compounds: C3 as Hard, C4 as Medium, and C5 as Soft. The 4.361-kilometre Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, known for its low average speed and technical demands, including braking stability and traction out of chicanes, remains one of the least abrasive tracks, although recent resurfacing might alter grip levels. 

Canadian GP 2024 Pirelli Tyre Info

Where to Watch the F1 2024 Canadian GP

Sky Sports F1 remains the home for live Formula 1 racing in the UK. The channel will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2024 Canadian GP, including practice, qualifying, and the race itself. Meanwhile, F1 fans in the USA can catch all the action from Montreal across ESPN with the race on ABC.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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