Max Verstappen started the one-hour session at the Canadian Grand Prix by leading the pack out of the pits. He set an early benchmark time of 1m20.154s in his RB19, which was fitted with an aerodynamic load-measuring device. However, as the other drivers started posting their opening times, Verstappen was quickly shuffled back in the standings. Valtteri Bottas emerged as the fastest with a time of 1m18.728s.
Unfortunately, the session was soon halted after Pierre Gasly of Alpine came to a stop on the track between turns 7 and 8 due to a driveshaft issue. Once Gasly‘s car was pushed behind the barriers, the session did not resume as anticipated. Mercedes, in an attempt to be prepared for the restart, sent Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to the end of the pit lane. However, they were held there for several minutes, forcing the Black Arrows mechanics to rush down and wheel the cars back to their garages.
Mercedes issued a statement explaining the situation: “Both cars headed to the end of the pit lane, but then a problem in race control meant the circuit was not reopened while it is resolved.” The team brought the cars back to the garage to prevent any loss of valuable tire temperature.
Approximately 20 minutes into FP1, the FIA officially stated that the session could not restart due to issues with the local CCTV infrastructure around the circuit. The pitlane remained closed, and the session could not resume for safety reasons. The FIA‘s statement acknowledged that the local organizers were working to resolve the problem.
As the FP1 clock continued to count down, the FIA provided another statement, explaining that the delay would be longer because the CCTV system was not synced correctly. Until this issue was resolved, the cars could not run on the track. The FIA assured that they were actively working on resolving the problem and looking at options to extend FP2 since there must be a 2.5-hour gap between FP1 and FP2.
With only 10 minutes left in FP1, it was announced that the session would not be resumed. Additionally, the event stewards announced that FP2 would start 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled and last 30 minutes longer.
The unusual end to FP1 was preceded by problems with the event’s electricity supply, which impacted the team’s preparations for the session. When the teams attempted to heat their tires for FP1, the strain on the electricity supply caused a power outage. Teams had to resort to using generators to heat their tires. Although the power supply issue and the CCTV problem were theoretically unrelated, they both added to the complications of the session.
In terms of the standings, behind Bottas came Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin, followed by Sergio Perez and Verstappen. McLaren‘s Oscar Piastri, Haas‘ Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, Alfa Romeo‘s Zhou Guanyu, and Ferrari‘s Carlos Sainz completed the top 10.
Charles Leclerc and Nyck De Vries were the only other drivers to set a lap time, with Yuki Tsunoda, Lando Norris, Logan Sargeant, and Alex Albon encountering difficulties due to the Gasly red flag. Esteban Ocon was not in his car when FP1 was initially stopped because his team was investigating a problem. Furthermore, the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Russell never made it out on track during the session.