F1 Canadian GP 2024 – Free Practice 3: Hamilton dominates as Verstappen hits the wall

Follow all the F1 action on the Total Motorsport live blog as teams and drivers take to Montreal for FP3 at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix, the final session before Qualifying


Good evening and welcome to Total-Motorsport’s coverage of Free Practice 3 at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix as Formula 1 returns to North America. 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.

Both practice sessions were heavily impacted by rain on Friday, leaving puddles of water on the track in FP1, with showers during FP2 which severely limited the running from all teams and drivers during the day. That means this final practice session takes on even more importance as it’s the last before Qualifying starts later today.

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

F1 Canadian GP 2024 FP3 – News and highlights

CHEQUERED FLAG: Lewis Hamilton smashes the challengers in FP3!

Lewis Hamilton, take a bow. His 1:12.549 completely crushes the opposition. George Russell, his Mercedes teammate, can only get within 0.408 as Max Verstappen went second-fastest but were still 0.374 off as the Dutchman hit the wall showing how much he was pushing!

By the way, Hamilton’s lap held up despite the other drivers setting their times later and therefore benefitting from track evolution. Can Mercedes take pole position?

ICYMI: Another look at Alex Albon’s kiss with the wall

FIVE MINUTES TO GO: Hamilton reigns supreme

Lewis Hamilton’s time is very, very, very impressive as nobody can get close to it. Max Verstappen and his Red Bull are a massive 0.6 away! Can the Mercedes win this weekend?

SIX MINUTES TO GO: Problems persist for Max Verstappen

This is another weekend where Max Verstappen isn’t happy with his Red Bull car so does that mean the door is open for another winner this weekend? Is his title fight beginning to melt before our eyes?

“The car is jumping around a lot. Like up and down, especially braking into 1,” Verstappen bemoans over team radio. 

EIGHT MINUTES TO GO: Nobody is getting close to Hamilton…

Does that mean Mercedes are running a higher engine mode? Either way, that was some lap by Lewis Hamilton and some statement. Charles Leclerc, Oscar Piastri, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen all try to beat him and fail…

10 MINUTES TO GO: What a lap Lewis Hamilton!

Max Verstappen matches the pace of the Mercedes cars for just a second until Lewis Hamilton smashes his time with a 1:12.549 to go fastest by 0.725 over his teammate, let alone anyone else!

Can Mercedes keep this vein of form?

12 MINUTES TO GO: Albon kisses the Wall of Champions!

Alex Albon almost becomes the first driver in five years to have his car claimed by the infamous Wall of Champions after getting too ambitious with the margin for error on the exit meaning his rear-right smacked the wall and left him with some minor damage.

16 MINUTES TO GO: Tsunoda slams his RB

Yuki Tsunoda and his RB car have been in good sync throughout the 2024 F1 season so far but the Japanese driver isn’t quite happy with it around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at the moment…

“F**king rear is sliding around man,” complains Tsunoda over the radio.

18 MINUTES TO GO: Nine cars yet to set a soft time

Alonso, Stroll, Verstappen, Magnussen, Ocon, Gasly, Hulkenberg, Perez and Zhou (out of the session) are all yet to set soft tyre laps so their true pace is unknown. Perhaps they’re over-committing on race pace? After all, the points will be paid out on Sunday and not today…

20 MINUTES TO GO: Update on Perez’s times

Sergio Perez is 4.5 seconds off the pace and nowhere near his teammate but that’s not a cause for concern as Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz reports that it’s because he’s focusing on higher fuel runs to gather data for his team.

22 MINUTES TO GO: Lewis Hamilton top of the timing boards

Mercedes are looking solid so far as Lewis Hamilton posts a 1:13.464 on the soft tyre to go fastest overall, ahead of Lando Norris by 11 thousandths of a second. He’s also a tenth ahead of Charles Leclerc with the Williams in fourth and fifth. They’re all on soft tyres.

25 MINUTES TO GO: Bottas noted by Race Control

Valtteri Bottas has been noted by Race Control for driving unnecessarily slowly, although it’s unclear what actually happened and what the consequences of that were.

27 MINUTES TO GO: George Russell goes to the top

Logan Sargeant’s time only lasted for a few moments as George Russell goes to the top of the times for FP3 now. The Mercedes beats the Williams by just 0.076 meaning that’s still a good lap from the young American, who can be pleased with his effort.

30 minutes to go: LOGAN SARGEANT goes fastest!

It’s a wonderful moment for Logan Sargeant halfway through FP3, as the Williams straps on a set of softs and goes fastest overall with a 1:14.355 and beats Carlos Sainz, the closest soft-runner, on pace by 0.159!

ICYMI: New engine for Verstappen

Max Verstappen is on to his second engine of the weekend after his new engine failed in FP2 on Friday with an ERS problem. Helmut Marko is convinced it’s not a serious issue but Red Bull are not gambling on it and have swapped the parts around.

35 MINUTES TO GO: Low grip on the track

Sergio Perez reports low grip to his engineer and that’s very understandable. The track was re-laid this weekend and has suffered torrential rain so new asphalt and no rubber means there won’t be much for the Pirelli tyres to cling onto.

That does, however, make for a very interesting qualifying session with track evolution. Car speed might not be as big of a factor as “right place, right time.”

36 MINUTES TO GO: Sergio Perez fumes at a Haas

The Mexican driver is at Turn 5 and suddenly finds Kevin Magnussen’s Haas hanging around in the middle of the track leaving Sergio Perez very angry as he waves his hand and asks “what the f**k” the Haas was doing…

Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri gets too ambitious in the final corner and has to skip across the escape road much like Max Verstappen at the start of the session.

38 MINUTES TO GO: Alonso smashes his personal best

Fernando Alonso is on a roll and goes half a second faster than his previous best to set a 1:14.4445 on the hard tyres.

40 MINUTES TO GO: Fernando Alonso tops the board

The Aston Martin was on the podium last year in Canada and they’ve had a good start to the weekend so far, which continues on as Fernando Alonso sets a 1:14.870 to go top of the times ahead of Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

42 MINUTES TO GO: McLaren impedes Bottas

As the Sauber of Valtteri Bottas thunders down towards Turn 6, one of the McLarens is dawdling in front of him and causes the Finn to slowly lock-up and go straight on down the escape road.

The McLaren didn’t seem to know where it was and Bottas couldn’t commit to the corner.

44 MINUTES TO GO: Albon has an off

Alex Albon takes a trip across the grass at Turn 8 and 9 before continuing on his merry way. He might get into trouble with the stewards though since he didn’t go around the bollards.

“Are we ok with the brakes,” Albon complains over the radio. “Everything feels off. Something feels terrible.”

45 MINUTES TO GO: Verstappen tops the charts

Max Verstappen posts a 1:15.495 to go faster than Kevin Magnussen by around 0.7 of a second and Pierre Gasly by 0.744. Nobody’s at the limit of the cars yet though as evidenced by the Ferraris and McLarens being slower than the Haas cars.

GREEN FLAG: FP3 resumes

Zhou’s red flag incident has been cleared and the drivers can get back on track with 50 minutes remaining.

What will that mean for Zhou’s future in F1?

Audi are set to take over the Sauber team from 2026 and have already recruited Nico Hulkenberg whilst they’re reportedly very interested in Carlos Sainz too, leaving Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu fighting for their F1 futures.

With two red flags in 24 hours, what will that do to Zhou’s reputation?

“Not ideal for a driver who’s trying to secure seat next year to cause two red flags,” Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok on Zhou Guanyu’s incident. “And crucially to miss out on a session that’s fundamental to get a good result in Qualifying.

“He got on the brakes and there was a slight lock-up. As he went through the apex, the rear came around on him.”

RED FLAG: Zhou hits the wall

Zhou Guanyu hits the wall at the pit-exit and the FIA throw the red flag. Zhou’s now caused two red flags this weekend so it’s not been clean for him, or for Sauber really. It happened when he hit the inside kerb at Turn 1 and spun off into the wall at Turn 2. Zhou says the rears locked up and that the car was behaving “strange”.

57 minutes to go: Verstappen has a scary moment

Max Verstappen goes to turn into the final chicane and his car slides far too much so he has to bail out and cut across the escape road.

Verstappen says over the radio, “I don’t know why but the whole weekend, the steering has been super weird for me.”

GREEN FLAG: FP3 is underway!

After limited Friday running, the cars are quickly out on track as the pit-lane opens and the lights go green meaning FP3 can get started! This will be a critical session for everyone and Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s Red Bulls are the first out there.

If not Ferrari, could it be McLaren?

McLaren believe they’ve eliminated all of the weaknesses from their F1 car and they could have won the Emilia Romagna and Monaco Grand Prix along with the Miami GP, so could they win once again in Canada?

Can Charles Leclerc and Ferrari become 2024’s champions?

Have Red Bull screwed up?

This could be the fourth weekend in a row when they haven’t had the fastest car so have Red Bull’s latest upgrade package failed?

FP3 is a crucial session for Max Verstappen

After the first Free Practice session was effectively rained off and he suffered an ERS failure in FP2, that means this one hour for Max Verstappen will be crucial for him to dial in his eye ahead of qualifying later today.

Can the Dutchman recover the lost time or will he be on the backfoot for the rest of the weekend?

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.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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