Canadian GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Hamilton fastest in Montreal

Lewis Hamilton, Canadian GP 2012

Lewis Hamilton, Canadian GP 2012 

 © The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton (1:15.564) set the fastest time in first free practice for Sunday's Canadian GP.

The McLaren ace won his first GP at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007 and has three times taken pole position for the race.

Montreal, with its close proximity walls and low-grip surface, rewards the brave. "Maybe it's my supposedly aggressive driving style that sees me so well-suited here," Hamilton said with a grin on Thursday.

The first session revealed a relatively small difference between times achieved on the supersoft (red stripe) Pirelli tyre and the soft (yellow stripe), although that may have been connected to the relatively cool (23C) track temperature.

Sebastian Vettel (1:15.684) used the supersoft to set second quickest lap, interestingly set late in a multi-lap run on the tyres, while Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:15.782) was third quickest. The Mercedes is expected to be particularly quick in qualifying trim at Montreal, with the double DRS facility for the track's long straights.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (1:15.842) was fourth quickest, five hundredths clear of Mark Webber (1:15.897), who also used the supersoft tyre to record fifth fastest time in the second Red Bull but only went a couple of tenths quicker than he'd been on the prime tyre.

Nico Hulkenberg (1:15.986) put the second of the Force Indias sixth, ahead of the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi (1:16.000) and Sergio Perez (1:16.249).

Michael Schumacher (1:16.624), a winner no fewer than seven times in Montreal, was ninth quickest, with last year's back-to-front winner Jenson Button (1:16.347) suffering a punctuated session as his McLaren spent much of the session in the garage with a gearbox problem.

The session was red-flagged after 50 minutes when Heikki Kovalainen lost his Caterham on the exit of Turn eight, removing the right-side corners, without personal harm.

"The chassis is okay so the guys should have me back out for FP2," the Finn said.


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