QUICKEST IN MONTREAL: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time during first practice for the 2015 Canadian GP. Image: AP / Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL, Canada - Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton put his Monaco GP disappointment behind him to set the pace during the first practice for the 2015 Canadian GP on Friday (June 5).
Hamilton, his morale undented by the lingering disappointment of losing to team mate Nico Rosberg after a pit-stop blunder at the 2015 Monaco GP, was comfortably fastest at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Hamilton's best lap of 1min16.212 was 0.415sec quicker than Rosberg's fastest effort with Mercedes again dominant at a track whose long straights reward engine performance but put a heavy burden on brakes.
NEAR DISASTER ON TRACK
Hamilton, a three times 2015 Canadian GP winner who leads Rosberg by 10 points after six races, had a late spin at the turn 10 hairpin but without consequence.
Mercedes-engined cars filled the top four slots in the cloudy opening session, after light morning rain, with Romain Grosjean's third-placed Lotus more than one and a half seconds slower than Hamilton.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest, behind Nico Hulkenberg's Force India.
Fernando Alonso, still chasing his first points of the season, was ninth quickest for Honda-powered McLaren while 17-year-old Max Verstappen was 10th for Renault-engined Toro Rosso.
Verstappen's rookie team mate Carlos Sainz had a more troubled session and had to be pushed back to the garage after stopping at the end of the pitslane. He also spun earlier in the morning.
2015 Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
Free practice times
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min16.212
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min16.627
3 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min17.721
4 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min17.871
5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min17.905
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min17.985
7 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 1min18.021
8 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min18.026
9 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min18.128
10 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 1min18.257
11 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min18.325
12 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min18.439
13 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min18.503
14 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min18.775
15 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min18.786
16 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 1min18.948
17 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 1min19.065
18 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 1min19.165
19 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Manor Marussia 1min20.616
20 Will Stevens (Britain) Manor Marussia 1min20.624
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