Canadian Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix fastest as the Mercedes Formula 1 team dominated Friday's first running in Montreal

Canadian Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two

Hamilton used medium tyres to set a 1m12.767s, lapping 0.147 seconds faster than team-mate Valtteri Bottas managed on the soft-compound Pirellis.

That left Mercedes almost a second clear of the best Ferrari and Red Bull could manage, as it gave its new-specification engine its debut in practice one.

The majority of the drivers completed their initial runs on medium-compound Pirellis but Mercedes opted to use soft tyres straight away.

That allowed Bottas and Hamilton to engage in a solo battle at the head of the times, lapping faster and faster across multiple flying laps as the track improved.

Bottas blitzed the early benchmark efforts with a 1m14.160s, which he then lowered to a 1m13.495s.

Hamilton set the exact same time shortly afterwards, before Bottas moved clear on a 1m13.229s.

The final flying lap in Hamilton's first run marked the first time he hit the top of the timing screens, moving ahead of Bottas on a 1m13.148s.

Bottas quickly resumed control on a 1m13.001s, marking the end of that salvo between the team-mates as the first half of the session came to a close.

They continued to improve when the second runs began, with Bottas switching to a new set of softs and Hamilton opting for new mediums.

Bottas dipped below 1m13s for the first time on a 1m12.914s, but Hamilton eclipsed that by 0.15s despite harder rubber.

The Finn's session then ended slightly early when his Mercedes started to suffer from low fuel pressure.

Ferrari and Red Bull avoided the softest tyres throughout the session, but would have been dismayed to see the gap to Hamilton on the mediums.

Charles Leclerc rose to third on a 1m13.720s on his second set to head Ferrari's challenge, eclipsing the lead Red Bull of Max Verstappen by 0.035s.

The second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was slightly slower in fifth, not helped by running wide at Turn 1 on one lap and suffering a spin at the hairpin on another.

Vettel's errors were among many on Friday morning as drivers grappled with a dusty, low-grip circuit.

In his first GP practice session for Williams, Nicholas Latifi completed a long run right at the start of the session while the rest of the drivers remained in their garages, and had offs at the Turn 8 chicane and the hairpin.

Romain Grosjean had a spin at Turn 6 and went wide at Turn 8 as well, while Toro Rosso's Alex Albon mirrored Grosjean's Turn 6 moment himself.

Albon's team-mate Daniil Kvyat missed the final chicane while Pierre Gasly locked up and ran wide at the first corner.

The only incident with a major consequence was a spin for Antonio Giovinazzi at the Turn 8 chicane.

The Alfa Romeo driver ran deep, clipped the kerb and lost the rear, striking the wall with the left rear and forcing a virtual safety car.

It continues a difficult start to the season for Giovinazzi, whose team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was one of the stars of first practice as he set the sixth-fastest time.

That meant Alfa headed an eclectic midfield battle, with Carlos Sainz Jr (McLaren), Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), Sergio Perez (Racing Point) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas) completing the top 10.

Practice one times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m12.767s - 31
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m12.914s 0.147s 25
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m13.720s 0.953s 24
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m13.755s 0.988s 26
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m13.905s 1.138s 28
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m13.945s 1.178s 30
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1m13.973s 1.206s 34
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m14.123s 1.356s 31
9 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m14.172s 1.405s 31
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m14.202s 1.435s 32
11 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m14.246s 1.479s 33
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m14.474s 1.707s 30
13 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1m14.570s 1.803s 27
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m14.582s 1.815s 17
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m14.645s 1.878s 31
16 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1m14.703s 1.936s 36
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m14.812s 2.045s 32
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1m15.343s 2.576s 32
19 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1m15.989s 3.222s 29
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1m16.199s 3.432s 33

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Scott Mitchell
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