Hamilton Edges Vettel in First Practice Session for Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of opening practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, beating Formula One Drivers’ Championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari by two tenths of a second.

Hamilton set a best time of 1:13.809s in the second half of the session after switching to Pirelli’s ultra-soft tyres. The Mercedes driver’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third quickest, just four hundredths of a second behind Vettel. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in the second Ferrari and the top five order was rounded out by Force India’s Sergio Perez.

The session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneueve got underway under grey and overcast skies and there was early drama when Carlos Sainz pulled over at the side of the track with smoke curling from the back of his Toro Rosso.

On the dusty temporary circuit grip was at a premium in the early stages and there were spins for both Ferrari’s as Raikkonen and Vettel began to explore the limits. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg also had a spin after Turn 6.

Mercedes set the pace in the opening exchanges, on supersoft tyres, before switching to the ultrasofts and establishing a narrow gap at the top. Bottas initially held sway before Hamilton put in his session-best time.

Perez’s fifth place in the session hinted at a good weekend ahead for Force India and the Mercedes-powered team’s credentials were enhanced by the Mexican’s team-mate team-mate Esteban Ocon claiming sixth spot on the timesheet.

On a circuit that accents power, there was a low-key start for the Renault-powered teams. Max Verstappen was best place, with the Red Bull Racing driver taking seventh place with a time of 1:14.861, a second off Hamilton’s pace. The Dutchman was separated from team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by almost six tenths of a second and by the Williams of eighth-placed Felipe Massa.

The final top 10 place went Daniil Kvyat in the second Toro Rosso. Local hero Lance Stroll, taking part in his first Canadian Grand Prix weekend, finished in 13th place, 1.2 seconds behind team-mate Massa.

2017 Canadian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.809s – 36
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:14.007s 0.198s 28
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:14.046s 0.237s 21
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:14.230s 0.421s 28
5 Sergio Perez Force India 1:14.578s 0.769s 34
6 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:14.785s 0.976s 35
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:14.861s 1.052s 19
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:15.106s 1.297s 31
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:15.441s 1.632s 23
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:15.658s 1.849s 26
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:15.943s 2.134s 29
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:16.233s 2.424s 25
13 Lance Stroll Williams 1:16.313s 2.504s 36
14 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:16.345s 2.536s 18
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:16.473s 2.664s 27
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:16.521s 2.712s 13
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:16.805s 2.996s 24
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:17.004s 3.195s 26
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:17.606s 3.797s 28
20 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso – – 1


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