F1 Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads practice as Mercedes dominates

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the opening practice session for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix

F1 Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads practice as Mercedes dominates

Mercedes duo Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominated the opening period, finishing well ahead of the chasing pack.

Hamilton was 0.415 seconds faster than Rosberg, who was over a second ahead of the Lotus of Romain Grosjean in third.

Mercedes-powered cars dominated practice at Montreal's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, which is characterised by three long straights. Four of the top five fastest cars in the session were powered by the Mercedes powerplant.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was fourth fastest, followed by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Williams of Felipe Massa.

Daniil Kvyat was next up in his Toro Rosso, finishing the session in seventh place ahead of the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado and McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton set the early pace on the soft tyre and remained at the top of the timing sheets for the next 90 minutes.

When pushing harder with half an hour to go he spun at the Turn 10 hairpin but was able to continue unharmed.

Shortly afterwards he mentioned on his team radio that he was losing time with his upshifts.

Carlos Sainz Jr had an eventful session. First he locked-up and spun his Toro Rosso into Turn 1 before continuing, but with 10 minutes to go he stopped at the bottom of the pitlane and was pushed back to his garage by his mechanics.

Half a dozen cars outbraked themselves into the final chicane and had to familiarise their way around a new bollard and lane to return to the track.

Jenson Button suffered problems early on when he radioed back to his garage unable to shift out of second gear.

After a slow installation lap he returned to his McLaren pit and he sat the first half of the session with a gearbox issue.

In the end he was able to complete 25 laps and set the 15th fastest time.

Practice started in overcast conditions, but quickly brightened up. During the session there was a bizarre sight as marshals were removing small metal staples from an area of pitlane where a carpet had been laid during a previous event at the venue.

The second 90-minute session commences at 2pm local time with some forecasts still predicting rain.

PRACTICE RESULTS:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.212s - 34
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m16.627s 0.415s 38
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m17.721s 1.509s 35
4 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m17.871s 1.659s 34
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m17.905s 1.693s 25
6 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m17.985s 1.773s 28
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m18.021s 1.809s 30
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m18.026s 1.814s 41
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m18.128s 1.916s 34
10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m18.257s 2.045s 24
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m18.325s 2.113s 40
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.439s 2.227s 26
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m18.503s 2.291s 28
14 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m18.775s 2.563s 24
15 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m18.786s 2.574s 25
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m18.948s 2.736s 30
17 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m19.065s 2.853s 23
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m19.165s 2.953s 32
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m20.616s 4.404s 33
20 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m20.624s 4.412s 27

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