Canadian Grand Prix first practice lasts just 10 minutes because of technical issue

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 16: The car of Pierre Gasly of France and Alpine F1 is recovered to the garage after stopping on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 16, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Friday’s Formula 1 FP1 was stopped for Pierre Gasly’s mechanical problem and never resumed because of issues with the CCTV at the track. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

The first practice session for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix lasted less than 10 minutes.

Just 12 drivers were able to take to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal before an early red flag was displayed for a transmission issue on Pierre Gasly’s Alpine. Gasly’s car was stuck in neutral and stopped on the track.

The session was unable to be resumed because of an issue with the closed circuit television feed that teams and race officials have access to around the track. The issues with the feed lasted more than a few minutes and it soon became apparent that F1 was going to be unable to resume the session until the unspecified CCTV problems were resolved.

With F1 rules mandating that there must be at least 150 minutes between practice sessions, indefinitely suspending the first practice until the issues were fixed wasn’t an option. So F1 announced shortly before the scheduled completion of the one-hour first practice that the second practice would start a half hour earlier at 4:30 p.m. ET and run for 90 minutes instead of 60.

Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix (2 p.m. ET, ABC) is the second of five races in North America in 2023. Aston Martin is scheduled to debut significant upgrades to its car for the race weekend after falling behind Mercedes and into third in the constructor’s standings after the Spanish Grand Prix. Mercedes implemented car updates at Monaco in May after it was unhappy with the direction of its car platform.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is the heavy favorite for Sunday’s race after winning five of the first seven races of the season. The other two victories have gone to his teammate Sergio Perez.