Durning wet qualifying at the 2022 Canadian GP, Lewis Hamilton came out ahead of his team mate George Russell. While Lewis has out qualified George 4 times he has finished behind his team mate in all the races bar the season opener in Bahrain. Russell has finished each of the 8 races so far in the top 5 but Russell appears to be prepared to risk more than Hamilton.
As qualifying started, the rain was pouring down and both Hamilton and Russell opted for the full wet tyre in Q1 and Q2. Russell posted quicker times in each of those sessions but when Q3 arrived there was a drying line beginning to appear on the track.
All the remaining 10 cars ran the intermediate tyres during the session but with minutes to go George Russell exchanged the following messages with his engineer
|Musconi||So strat one, over the line. Box, box, box. Hard in-lap.|
|Musconi||Okay. George, let us know if you want new inters or if you want to try the dries. Currently P5.|
|Musconi||So Verstappen has gone to new inters. Lewis new inters. Verstappen is just changing his mind to slicks.|
|Musconi||Copy that, slicks. So Verstappen has gone to inters. Verstappen new inters.|
|Russell||What So position are we? currently you’re still P5.|
|Musconi||Everyone has gone for new inters, everyone has gone for new inters.|
|Musconi||Box, box, box.|
|Russell||How many laps are we going to get?|
|Musconi||going to get two You’re laps. Going to get two laps.|
|Russell||Go for it, give us a soft.|
|Musconi||So please confirm tyres.|
|Russell||Get the slicks on.|
|Musconi||Slicks, okay slicks.|
|Musconi||So we have time. And straight out. Blue 14 position one. So all clear ahead and you’re going to get two laps. So sector one is the worst.|
|Musconi||Blue 14 position one.|
|Musconi||So still a very wet apex of turn one on the kerb. So you’ve got Magnussen on a lap at six seconds, he is pushing.|
(Transcript courtesy of racefans.net)
By way of contrast Lewis flirted with the idea of slicks twice before settling on a final run on new intermediates.
|Bonnington||Okay so, box, box, box, box. So we’ll go for new inter. We’ll go for another inter. Let us know if you need a flap adust.|
|Bonnington||So let us know on flap.|
|Hamilton||I just don’t know whether it’s going to be, it’s going to be quicker or not.|
|Hamilton||Am I coming inside or?|
|Bonnington||Nope. We’re going to be live pit stop. We’re going to go for new inter.|
|Hamilton||We should go for slicks, no?|
|Bonnington||So your all clear exit.|
|Bonnington||We do have slicks available. We do have slicks available.|
|Bonnington||So Verstappen leaving the pit lane now on inter, interfor Verstappen. We’re in strat mode 16 at the moment.|
|Hamilton||Yeah it’s not slicks yet.|
|Bonnington||Okay copy. Go strat mode four.|
|Hamilton||How’s my pace?|
|Bonnington||So we’re currently P6 [unclear] to Verstappen. All cars currently on inter tyres.|
Of course Lewis finished the session improving to P4 while Russell failed to improve his time set earlier in the session on intermediates.
Russell clearly was willing to risk all for a pole position but tried too hard on his first flying lap and went off the circuit. Had the British driver used that lap to warm the tyres further and try for just one flying lap – who knows where he would have finished.
It will be fascinating to see how Hamilton fairs in the race this afternoon. His dry weather setup was woeful and Lewis described the car as “the worst car I’ve ever driven”.
In the final dry practice session Hamilton was about half a second a lap slower than Russell, so if the long pace form remains the same it won’t be long before we see an on track battle between the two Mercedes team mates.
Fernando Alonso had been risking all most of qualifying and was rewarded with a P2 starting position alongside pole sitter Max Verstappen.