Alonso Shows his Pace in Practice

Formula One leader Fernando Alonso showed his Renault's pace on Friday after McLaren set themselves up as early Canadian Grand Prix favourites

The Spaniard was the fastest race driver on an overcast and humid opening day dominated by compatriot Pedro de la Rosa in the third McLaren.

Alonso, who did not set a time in the morning, did 33 laps in the afternoon and was third quickest with a lap 0.714 off de la Rosa's time of 1:14.662.

"It was a satisfactory Friday for us, as we managed to have long runs this afternoon - which helped on this newly asphalted circuit," said Alonso. "We completed the programme we had planned this morning and did not have any mechanical problem throughout the day.

"I was lucky because in the long runs I managed to get clean laps, considering that the circuit is short and that it was quite congested, with third drivers. It was a nearly a perfect Friday."

His teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was not so lucky with traffic but still managed the sixth quickest time.

"I experienced a lot of traffic this afternoon, otherwise I may have been in a higher position," said Fisichella. "The track was slippery which makes it that more difficult to decide on tyre choice for tomorrow.

"The car was improving all of the time and I am quite optimistic."

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