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Lewis Hamilton quickest in opening practice for the Canadian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLarenLewis Hamilton was fastest for McLaren in the opening free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

A two-time winner in Montreal, the Briton edged out Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull by just over a tenth of a second, with Nico Rosberg's Mercedes third.

Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean exchanged the top spot initially, before Rosberg and Hamilton made it their own private battle for the rest of the session. First Rosberg put in a 1m16.837s 20 minutes in to depose Raikkonen, then Hamilton replied with a 1m16.080s seven minutes later.

The McLaren would stay in front for almost the rest of the session - deposed only for mere moments with 20 minutes to go when Rosberg did a 1m15.782s that Hamilton instantly answered with a 1m15.564s.

Rosberg was among several drivers who then tried super soft tyres in the closing stages, as with rain forecast for the afternoon, Mercedes, Red Bull, Lotus, Nico Hulkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo and the HRTs all chose to try the softer rubber earlier than usual. But the Mercedes did not go any quicker than it had on softs, so Hamilton retained first position, and Rosberg found himself pushed down to third right at the end when Vettel squeezed into second place on super softs.

Vettel may have to take a trip to the stewards' office between sessions, as he is under investigation for an incident where he took a shortcut over the final chicane to pass Bruno Senna's Williams and ensure clear track for the start of a flying lap.

Fernando Alonso was the quickest Ferrari driver in fourth, with team-mate Felipe Massa 12th as the pair evaluated different exhaust layouts.

Mark Webber completed the top five in the second Red Bull, following by Hulkenberg's Force India, the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez, and Michael Schumacher's Mercedes.

Jenson Button was 10th despite his McLaren only managing 12 laps before it was sidelined in the garage with an oil leak.

Thirteen minutes of running were lost just after the mid-way point when Heikki Kovalainen put his Caterham into the wall on the exit of the Turn 8/9 chicane, doing substantial damage to the car's right-hand side. Kovalainen emerged unscathed. The rest of the field confined themselves to minor trips over the grass and asphalt run-offs.

Pos  Driver                Team                    Time              Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1m15.564            30
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1m15.682s  + 0.118  29
 3.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1m15.782s  + 0.218  30
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1m15.842s  + 0.278  34
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1m15.897s  + 0.333  28
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1m15.986s  + 0.422  29
 7.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1m16.000s  + 0.436  31
 8.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1m16.249s  + 0.685  32
 9.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1m16.264s  + 0.700  28
10.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1m16.347s  + 0.783  12
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1m16.460s  + 0.896  32
12.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1m16.619s  + 1.055  17
13.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault        1m16.859s  + 1.295  25
14.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           1m16.890s  + 1.326  36
15.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault           1m17.014s  + 1.450  41
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m17.352s  + 1.788  28
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m17.580s  + 2.016  31
18.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault        1m17.935s  + 2.371  23
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault        1m18.177s  + 2.613  16
20.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth            1m18.182s  + 2.618  26
21.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault        1m18.762s  + 3.198  36
22.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1m19.354s  + 3.790  23
23.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth       1m20.004s  + 4.440  21
24.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth       1m20.067s  + 4.503  23


All Timing Unofficial
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