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Vettel blames Hamilton errors for holding him up

2017-06-10 15:14

Image: AFP

Montreal - World championship leader Sebastian Vettel blamed 'mistakes' by Lewis Hamilton for hampering his progress as his Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen topped the times in Friday's second practice for the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion German said he did not blame the Mercedes driver, but said it was "annoying" that his rhythm was broken as the pair prepared for their seventh contest in an increasingly-competitive season.

'Tricky session'

"I think towards the end I understood what we need, what the car needs, what we're planning to do, so it should be a better day tomorrow," he told reporters after the session.

"All in all it's been a tricky session, quite slippery on the track.

"And it was a bit annoying. I was stuck behind him. I wanted to get a good feel to the car so I'd leave a gap.

"Then he would do a mistake, so it's unfortunate, but it was mistakes. It was breaking a bit the rhythm, but we understood."

"The problem was when you try to do consecutive laps, with traffic, it's not ideal. I'm pretty sure he didn't do them on purpose - he was trying to do the same and get a feeling for the car.

"But it was slippery today and easy to do mistakes. I think I spun twice, but I think it will get better during the weekend. The circuit usually improves a lot here."

Vettel wound up third fastest behind Raikkonen and Hamilton as Ferrari and Mercedes traded fastest laps in a closely-fought day's action at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The Finn, who finished a disappointed and controversial second in Ferrari's one-two triumph at last month's Monaco Grand Prix, clocked a best lap in 1min12.935 seconds to outpace the Briton, who was fastest in the morning's opening session, by 0.215 seconds.

Hamilton, who trails Vettel by 25 points in the drivers championship after a disappointing Monaco Grand Prix where Ferrari scored a resounding one-two triumph, was encouraged by Mercedes' form.

"It's been a pretty good first day for the team," he said. "The Ferraris are looking fast here and, as the times show, it's super close at the top right now.

"I feel like we are still just a little bit behind the red cars at this early stage of the weekend, but we'll be pushing as hard as we can to close the gap ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

"After a tough weekend in Monaco, the main thing is that our car is already feeling a lot better around Montreal. It should be game on for the rest of the weekend."

Four-time champion German Vettel was third fastest in the second Ferrari ahead of Finn Valtteri Bottas, who was fourth in the second Mercedes.

The top four were separated by only 0.375 seconds at the end of a closely-contested session.

Dutchman Max Verstappen was fifth for Red Bull, before he pulled up in the closing stages with gearbox problems, ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa of Williams and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who posted an excellent late lap for McLaren Honda to go seventh.

Verstappen said he remained optimistic despite his problems.

"I don't know what it was exactly," he said. "We need to investigate, but before that it was quite a positive session - I thought we were quite close in the top four on this track,which is normally not my favourite.

"We can be quite pleased with that. We are racing for fifth, but it has been like this all season so it doesn't really change.

"We are not fighting for victories, but fifth is like a victory for us I guess so you just try to make the best of it."

Frenchman Esteban Ocon and his Force India team mate Mexican Sergio Perez were eighth and 10 th either side of Russian Daniil Kvyat in his Toro Rosso.

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