Practice One - Hamilton sets the Montreal benchmark 08 Jun 2012
McLarens Lewis Hamilton staked his claim to become the seventh winner of the season by setting the fastest time in Friday mornings opening practice session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile Notre-Dame.
Hamilton clocked his best time of 1m 15.564s on Pirellis soft tyres with less than 20 minutes to go but pretty much dominated the running throughout. Earlier, the session had to be stopped for 13 minutes, after a heavy shunt for Caterhams Heikki Kovalainen, who hit the wall exiting Turn Nine.
Hamiltons main threat for a long time was Nico Rosberg, who lapped his Mercedes in 1m 15.782s on the super-soft rubber, but right at the end a series of quick laps lifted Sebastian Vettel to second for Red Bull with 1m 15.682s.
Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were also right there, with laps of 1m 15.842s and 1m 15.897s respectively for Ferrari and Red Bull.
A super-soft run put Nico Hulkenberg a surprise sixth for Force India on 1m 15.986s, while Saubers prediction that their C31 would suit the track proved accurate as Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez were next up in 1m 16.000s and 1m 16.249s.
Mercedes Michael Schumacher was ninth on 1m 16.264s on the soft rubber, while Jenson Button completed the top 10 with 1m 16.347s before losing a lot of running time as McLaren had to take the gearbox off his MP4-27 to deal with an oil leak. Paul di Resta was 11th in the second Force India with 1m 16.460s as Ferraris Felipe Massa dropped back after being well up at one stage with his soft-tyred 1m 16.619s.
Pastor Maldonados experimentation with a new DRS system didnt pay off yet, as the Venezuelan was only 13th for Williams on 1m 16.859s, while the Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen didnt really get going after posting laps of 1m 16.890s and 1m 17.014s early on.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo continued their duel at Toro Rosso, the Frenchman lapping in 1m 17.352s to the Australians 1m 17.580s.
Vitaly Petrov showed Caterhams recent improvement with 1m 17.935s, but Kovalainens morning ended with that shunt after hed recorded 1m 18.177s. Right behind him, much to HRTs delight, was Pedro de la Rosa who hauled a revised F112 round in 1m 18.182s.
That left him comfortably ahead of Bruno Senna on 1m 18.762s in the second Williams, team mate Narain Karthikeyan on 1m 19.354s, and the Marussias of Timo Glock and Charles Pic on 1m 20.004s and 1m 20.067s.
Vettel and Senna are under investigation by the Canadian race stewards after the German took a shortcut over the final chicane, whilst passing the Brazilian.
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