- The FIA-appointed stewards held a hearing for Ferrari’s request to review the penalty given to Sebastian Vettel at the Canadian Grand Prix that cost him the race win. The team was represented at the hearing by sporting director Laurent Mekies, who said there was “overwhelming” new evidence proving Vettel had not breached the regulations.

- However, the case was quickly thrown out by the stewards in less than two hours. The new evidence presented by Ferrari was Vettel’s face camera released by FOM after the race, and Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok’s analysis on TV after the race. As a result, the penalty and the result in Canada stand.

- Vettel was disappointed with the ruling, saying he hoped F1 “just burn the papers” of the rulebook to cut down on over-regulation. Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto said: “We are disappointed certainly for Ferrari, but we are also disappointed for our fans and for our sport.” The team offered no further comment.

- On-track, Mercedes romped clear in both FP1 and FP2 as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas took turns to lead the standings through practice. Over both one-lap pace and the long runs, Mercedes appeared to have an edge over its rival, with Red Bull lagging further behind as the third-fastest team.

- In fact, Red Bull couldn’t technically claim to even be that come the end of FP2 as Lando Norris finished an impressive P5 for McLaren, trailing only the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers. Norris said he was “surprised” by the team’s pace which put it head and shoulders clear of the rest of the midfield on Friday.

- Hamilton was investigated by the stewards for – ironically – returning to the track in an unsafe manner after spinning in FP2, forcing Max Verstappen to take evasive action. No sanction was handed down though.

- On a related matter, race director Michael Masi confirmed ahead of FP1 on Friday that new rules were in place at Turns 1-2 and the Turns 3-5 complex, similar to that used in Canada whereby drivers have to take a set escape route to avoid gaining an advantage. This will be enforced only in the race, though.

- Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean had wildly different days at Paul Ricard, with Grosjean taking the brunt of the team’s issues. A water leak limited him to just nine laps in FP1 before tyre and balance issues marred his FP2 running, prompting Grosjean to call it his worst Friday of the year so far. Magnussen was happier with his running after ending up P10 in FP2.

- Parts of the circuit at Paul Ricard have been resurfaced ahead of this year’s race, with Grosjean lamenting the unpredictable nature of the track that came as a result. Magnussen said it simply made it more challenging and more fun.

- Lando Norris, Alexander Albon and Kevin Magnussen have all taken fresh gearboxes ahead of this weekend’s race. All do so within the regulations, so no penalties will be awarded.

- After taking Honda’s Spec 3 engine for this weekend, Daniil Kvyat has received a penalty dropping him to the back of the grid. Toro Rosso has also broken the seal on another turbocharger and MGU-H, which while incurring a further (empty) penalty will mean future sanctions are five-place drops instead of 10 for those parts.

- Following today’s drivers’ briefing, all stayed on for a GPDA meeting led by Alexander Wurz following their representation at the FIA meeting regarding plans for 2021 last week.

- Grandstands around Paul Ricard were noticeably sparse on Friday, with the effect of last year’s difficulties getting onto the track having a knock-on effect on ticket sales.

- McLaren youngster Sergio Sette Camara took pole in Formula 2 qualifying on Friday, while HWA Racelab’s Jake Hughes produced a stellar final lap to top Formula 3 qualifying. Both will hold their opening races of the weekend on Saturday.

- The first F1 on-track action tomorrow is at 12pm.



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