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Canadian GP: Hamilton tops FP1 from Bottas

Canadian GP: Hamilton tops FP1 from Bottas
Jun 7, 2019, 3:34 PM

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix fastest as the Mercedes Formula 1 team dominated Friday's first running in Montreal.

Hamilton used medium tyres to set a 1m12.767s, lapping 0.147s faster than teammate Valtteri Bottas managed on the soft-compound Pirellis. That left Mercedes almost a second clear of the best Ferrari and Red Bull could manage, as it gave its new-specification engine its debut in FP1.

The majority of the drivers completed their initial runs on medium-compound Pirellis but Mercedes opted to use soft tyres straight away.

That allowed Bottas and Hamilton to engage in a solo battle at the head of the times, lapping faster and faster across multiple flying laps as the track improved. Bottas blitzed the early benchmark efforts with a 1m14.160s, which he then lowered to a 1m13.495s.

Hamilton set the exact same time shortly afterwards, before Bottas moved clear on a 1m13.229s.

The final flying lap in Hamilton's first run marked the first time he hit the top of the timing screens, moving ahead of Bottas on a 1m13.148s. However, Bottas quickly resumed control on a 1m13.001s, marking the end of that salvo between the teammates as the first half of the session came to a close.

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They continued to improve as the second runs began, with Bottas switching to a new set of softs and Hamilton opting for new mediums. Bottas dipped below 1m13s for the first time on a 1m12.914s, but Hamilton eclipsed that by 0.15s despite harder rubber.

The Finn's session ended early after his Mercedes started to suffer from low fuel pressure.

Ferrari and Red Bull avoided the softest tyres throughout the session, but would have been dismayed to see the gap to Hamilton on the same compound.

Charles Leclerc rose to third on a 1m13.720s on his second set to head Ferrari's challenge, eclipsing the lead Red Bull of Max Verstappen by 0.035s.

The second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was slightly slower in fifth, not helped by running wide at Turn 1 on one lap and suffering a spin at the hairpin on another.

Vettel's errors were among many during FP1 as drivers grappled with a dusty, low-grip circuit.

Williams FP1 debutant Nicholas Latifi completed a long run right at the start of the session while the rest of the drivers remained in their garages, and had offs at the Turn 8 chicane and the hairpin.

Romain Grosjean had a spin at Turn 6 and went wide at Turn 8 as well, while Toro Rosso's Alex Albon mirrored Grosjean's Turn 6 moment himself.

Albon's teammate Daniil Kvyat missed the final chicane while Pierre Gasly locked up and ran wide at the first corner. However, the only incident with a major consequence was a spin for Antonio Giovinazzi at the Turn 8 chicane.

The Alfa Romeo driver ran deep, clipped the kerb and lost the rear, striking the wall with the left rear and forcing a virtual safety car.

It continues a difficult start to the season for Giovinazzi, whose teammate Kimi Raikkonen was one of the stars of FP1 by setting the sixth-fastest time.

That meant Alfa headed an eclectic midfield battle, with Carlos Sainz (McLaren), Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), Sergio Perez (Racing Point) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas) completing the top 10.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 31 1'12.767  
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 25 1'12.914 0.147
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 24 1'13.720 0.953
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 26 1'13.755 0.988
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 28 1'13.905 1.138
6 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 30 1'13.945 1.178
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 34 1'13.973 1.206
8 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 31 1'14.123 1.356
9 Mexico Sergio Perez Racing Point 31 1'14.172 1.405
10 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 32 1'14.202 1.435
11 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 33 1'14.246 1.479
12 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Renault 30 1'14.474 1.707
13 France Pierre Gasly Red Bull 27 1'14.570 1.803
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 17 1'14.582 1.815
15 France Romain Grosjean Haas 31 1'14.645 1.878
16 Thailand Alex Albon Toro Rosso 36 1'14.703 1.936
17 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point 32 1'14.812 2.045
18 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 32 1'15.343 2.576
19 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 29 1'15.989 3.222
20 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 33 1'16.199 3.432
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Canadian GP
Author Scott Mitchell