June 21st, 2024

Norris posts fastest lap in 1st practice after torrential storm at Canadian GP

By Daniel Rainbird, The Canadian Press on June 7, 2024.

McLaren driver Lando Norris, of United Kingdom, takes a turn at the Senna corner during the first practice session at the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Friday, June 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL – McLaren’s Lando Norris posted the fastest lap in the first practice at the Canadian Grand Prix after a torrential downpour delayed the session.

Norris drove around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in one minute and 24.435 seconds, ahead of Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz (1:24.763) and Charles Leclerc (1:25.306).

Lightning, heavy rain and hail rolled through Montreal a little more than an hour before the 1:30 p.m. ET practice start time. Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas attempted to form a snowball out of the large pieces of hail that filled the paddock.

Event organizers asked spectators to leave the grandstands amid the inclement weather while police shut down the bridges accessing Notre Dame Island.

The storm subsided roughly 15 minutes before the expected start time and the site was reopened to fans.

The drivers didn’t take the wet track until 22 minutes into the session as groundcrews worked to clear the water, but conditions remained less than ideal.

Sauber driver Zhou Guanyu triggered a red flag five minutes later when he aquaplaned and clipped the wall at Turn 5 before grinding to a halt.

Several other drivers, including Bottas and Montreal’s Lance Stroll, slid off course and into the grass during the session.

More rain is expected Friday and through the weekend in Montreal. A second practice was scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, followed by a 12:30 p.m. session Saturday before the 4 p.m. qualifying. Sunday’s race is set for 2 p.m.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2024.

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