Hamilton trumps Ferrari duo
EAGER FOR A WIN: McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton sets the pace for the second time ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
MONTREAL, Canada - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton returned to the scene of his first Formula 1 victory and set the quickest laps in both Canadian Grand Prix practice sessions.
The 2008 world champion, a winner in Montreal in 2007 and 2010 but strangely without a triumph in this most unpredictable of seasons, was fastest in both sessions at an overcast Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Hamilton set a best time of one minute 15.564 seconds in the morning and improved on that slightly with a 1min15.259s in the second session that concluded just before torrential rain and thunder swept across the city.
Hamilton is a strong favourite to become the seventh different winner in seven races on June 10 and also has his eyes on McLaren's 150th pole.
He said he could have gone faster: "I was out there pushing for quite some time on the option tyre, it was very difficult to put all sectors together. Sometimes I went a little bit quicker in one sector and then lost it in the second.
"I think qualifying looks like it could be very close...you've got the Ferraris who are very quick as well and their tyre degradation seems to be better. So I'm keeping an eye out for them," he said.
Hamilton was followed by the two Ferraris in the second session, Fernando Alonso lapping 0.054 off Hamilton's pace and team mate Felipe Massa third best and 0.151 slower.
Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was second fastest to Hamilton in the morning was fourth in the afternoon.
Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber, winner in Monaco for Red Bull, lapped fifth fastest in the morning but was well back in 12th in the second.
McLaren's Jenson Button, the 2011 winner after coming from the back of the field at the restart to pass Vettel on the final lap, completed only 12 laps due to an oil leak and was 10th on the timesheets.
He was able to improve on that effort later in the day with the ninth best time.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Jenson can drive brilliantly here as we saw last year and we've just got to give him a decent chance to do that."
Both sessions were delayed by crashes.
William’s Bruno Senna brought out the red flag in the afternoon session when he lost control of his car and slammed heavily into the 'Wall of Champions,' a notorious part of the circuit coming out a chicane entering the home straight that has claimed some of F1’s best drivers.
Senna said: "I just pushed a bit too hard in the chicane. This is the Wall of Champions for a good reason, everybody seems to have an
issue with that wall.
"There's a lot of damage to the car but these guys (the mechanics) are going to get it sorted out and we are going to be back on track tomorrow," he said.
Williams have brought a revised rear wing to Canada and Senna calmed fears that he might have to use an old type by saying he would have a spare one of the new specification.
The morning session was red-flagged for 13 minutes when Heikki Kovalainen hit the wall and wrecked his Caterham, spreading debris across the track.
Kovalainen said: "I was carrying a bit too much speed into that corner. I thought I'd got away with it but the rear end snapped away and that was it."
Results from the second practice session at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min15.259
2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min15.313
3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min15.410
4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min15.531
5. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min15.544
6. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min15.651
7. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min15.697
8. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min15.799
9. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min15.812
10. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min15.878
11. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1min15.898
12. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min15.907
13. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min15.987
14. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min16.360
15. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min16.562
16. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min16.981
17. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 1min17.022
18. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 1min17.075
19. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min17.124
20. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min17.716
21. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1min18.908
22. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1min19.084
23. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min19.378
24. Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1min19.902
First free practice session results at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min15.564
2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min15.682
3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min15.782
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min15.842
5. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min15.897
6. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min15.986
7. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min16.000
8. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1min16.249
9. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min16.264
10. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min16.347
11. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min16.460
12. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min16.619
13. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min16.859
14. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min16.890
15. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min17.014
16. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min17.352
17. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min17.580
18. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 1min17.935
19. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min18.177
20. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1min18.182
21. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 1min18.762
22. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min19.354
23. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1min20.004
24. Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1min20.067
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