Lewis Hamilton drew first blood during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, beating Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to top the opening practice session at Montreal.
On a set of supersoft tyres, Hamilton lapped the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1:14.755, with Rosberg three tenths behind in second place.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished an encouraging third in the timesheets, half a second slower than Hamilton, with Max Verstappen the leading Red Bull driver in fourth place.
Behind, early-pace setter Kimi Raikkonen ended fifth, a second off the pace off the front runners, with Valtteri Bottas finishing sixth for Williams
Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were classified in seventh and ninth places respectively, with Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso sandwiched between the two.
Fernando Alonso completed the top 10 on a track where McLaren is expected to struggle, despite engine suppliers Honda bringing an updated turbo that should lead to an increase in energy deployment.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo was only 11th in the session, while Jenson Button could finish no higher than 12th after being detained in garage for much of the session due to an oil leak.
Practice was red-flagged for a prolonged period of time when Felipe Massa lost the rear of its car while braking into turn 1, spinning and dumping his Williams into the barriers. Early analysis by the Grove-based team suggests that the incident was caused by a problem with the DRS system.
As expected, several drivers were forced to take avoiding action at the final chicane, including world champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
by Rachit Thukral