Canadian GP washout as pouring rain turns pitlane into ‘pool lane’ before first practice

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Friday’s practice sessions at the Canadian Grand Prix are in danger of being washed out after torrential rain fell on the circuit at Montreal. The heavens opened up on Thursday, with the outskirts of the track left plagued by surface water, and there was no let-up in the weather in the early hours of Friday morning either.

The forecast is set to improve on Friday afternoon, but FIA officials will have a job on their hands to sort out matters ahead of first practice. At least the Alpine team have seen the funny side though, posting a video on Twitter to show fans the extent of the chaos.

The clip showed a van aquaplaning down the pit lane, with the caption: “You’ve heard of a carpool lane… how about just a ‘pool lane’?” The Tweet was accompanied by a laughing emoji, and followers also found the scenario amusing.

“The whole pit lane is a ocean at this point,” wrote @isaxleclerc16, while @TyMoIsSecret added: “What is the Pitlane speed limit converted to knots?” However, @vanyac14 expressed fears that fans would endure a weekend similar to what happened in Belgium in 2021.

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Then, after the race was delayed by several hours, supporters were eventually treated to two safety-car led laps, with Max Verstappen declared the ‘winner’ ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. As a result, only half-points were awarded to the top-ten finishers.

However, race officials were then accused of manufacturing the outcome simply so they did not have to issue refunds. What transpired was criticised by the likes of Hamilton and Carlos Sainz, who called for those who turned up to be given their money back anyway.

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F1 has returned to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the first time since 2019, when Hamilton took the chequered flag. The event was cancelled in the two years that followed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Should it go ahead as planned, it won’t be the first time the race will be held in pouring rain. Back in 2011, Jenson Button famously prevailed after the first five laps were dictated by a safety car, with Hamilton and Mark Webber colliding on the first lap of racing.

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