Verstappen unconcerned about rain after topping both practices

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen driving during the practice session. Montreal, June 2022.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen's car appears through a tree during a practice session. Montreal, June 2022.

Max Verstappen felt unthreatened by the possibility of rain during Saturday’s qualifying after topping both of Friday’s practice sessions at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman topped FP1 for the first time since the opening race in Bahrain before repeating the feat in the second session of the day.

With Charles Leclerc receiving a 10-place grid penalty, and a possibility of more, Verstappen’s early pace is a promising sign for his title credentials.

One issue that could arise is the weather with a deluge of rain hitting the track shortly after the conclusion of FP2, which is expected to continue until qualifying. Verstappen though was unfazed and remarked that the conditions would be the same for everyone.

“It’s the same for everyone so we just deal with it,” he told Sky Sports F1. “It’s good to see that for the Sunday we have a competitive car, whatever happens tomorrow we’ll see.”

Having topped both sessions, Verstappen was pleased with his efforts and described it as a “positive day.”

“I think immediately the car was working quite well, of course there are always things you’re looking at to try and find a bit more of a complete balance but I think overall today for me was was a good start to the weekend.

“The softest compound is always the hardest one to nail so I think definitely there is a bit more time in that but even then, you know we have a competitive car so that’s good.

“[The] long run was good. It’s still hard on tyres around here as well brakes so there’s still a few things to improve but even with the things I want to improve it was still a good day.”

It was not such a good day for his team-mate Sergio Perez who ended FP2 way down in P11. He said the team had an issue with the setup which put him “on the back foot.”

“We had an issue with the setup that luckily we managed to find it out, part of it,” he told Sky Sports F1. “I think in the long run, it was a bit more representative but still we had a bit of an issue there. So hopefully tomorrow we are able to sort it out. Unfortunately, not much we can read into the session today.

“You have to get a good pace and then work through it so I am a bit on the back foot today but hopefully tonight we are able to make the right compromises.”