Hamilton on top before Crashing in Montreal Friday Free Practice
A largely harmless visit to the tyre barrier and the irritation of ongoing questioning over his final Monaco pit visit two weeks ago were just ab...
A largely harmless visit to the tyre barrier and the irritation of ongoing questioning over his final Monaco pit visit two weeks ago were just about the only problems for Lewis Hamilton on a rain interrupted first day of running at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Keen to "move on" from the Monaco strategy gaffe, the world champion topped both Friday practice sessions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as the typically changeable Montreal weather brought an early conclusion to the on-track action in the afternoon.
Having endured a spin on his way to lap four tenths of a second ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the morning, Hamilton took a little time to piece together his fastest lap in the second session before finally topping the time sheets, three tenths of a second ahead of the Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
When the anticipated rainstorm arrived 35 minutes into the session, most teams repaired to their garages for some relaxed fettling as drivers disappeared into the paddock.
In contrast, the Mercedes team delighted the remaining fans in the grandstands by sending Hamilton and Rosberg out to conduct practice starts as part of clutch calibration work. Surprisingly, given the sodden nature of the track surface, both drivers were on intermediate tyres rather than full wets.
The folly of that decision was soon apparent as Hamilton skated straight through the extensive run off at the hairpin, his locked-up front wheels clearly separated from the asphalt by a thin film of water. The impact with the tyres was relatively benign but the front wing was wedged beneath the tyres and Hamilton was forced to jump out and make his way back to pit lane by other means.
"I acquaplaned," he explained succinctly on the radio shortly afterwards.
Behind Hamilton on the time sheets, the Ferrari pairing of Vettel and Raikkonen looked to be in good form with Raikkonen fastest through the speed traps and strongest of all on long run pace and ahead of Rosberg's fourth placed Mercedes.
Behind the lead quartet, Pastor Maldonado continued Lotus's excellent Friday form with fifth fastest time, backing up Romain Grosjean's morning run to third in FP1. The Frenchman was seventh in FP2, the Lotus drivers sandwiching Valtteri Bottas's Williams.
Felipe Massa was eighth in the second Williams, ahead of Daniil Kvyat's lead Red Bull. The 21-year-old Russian was already out of the cockpit before the deluge, a right rear brake issue confining him to pit lane but he at least had the pleasure of ending the day one place in front of his team-mate and last year's race winner in Canada, Daniel Ricciardo.
Nico Hulkenberg was 11th, his best time coming on soft tyres after he picked up a left rear puncture on his super softs which Pirelli ascribed to a "rim issue". The German ended the day three places ahead of team mate Sergio Perez.
Marcus Ericsson headed Carlos Sainz Junior in his 12th placed Sauber with Sainz the quicker of the two Toro Rossos after a difficult, spin-blighted morning. Not surprisingly, the two Toro Rosso rookies turned the most laps though their pace was no threat to Red Bull on day one, at least.
Fernando Alonso was lead McLaren in 15th place, three places in front of Jenson Button, the Honda-engined squad looking forward to increasing the available power later in the weekend.
It was a good day for Roberto Merhi who edged Manor team-mate Will Stevens in both sessions, his afternoon time two tenths of a second better than the Englishman who was a scant hundredth of a second behind in morning practice.
Canadian Grand Prix Free Practice Two
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:15.988 – 22
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:16.304 0.316 19
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:16.310 0.322 20
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:16.440 0.452 22
5 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:16.600 0.612 15
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:16.849 0.861 18
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:16.864 0.876 15
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:17.041 1.053 19
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 1:17.092 1.104 10
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:17.111 1.123 16
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:17.120 1.132 15
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:17.261 1.273 17
13 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:17.318 1.330 23
14 Sergio Perez Force India 1:17.367 1.379 20
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:17.627 1.639 21
16 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:17.657 1.669 23
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:17.751 1.763 21
18 Jenson Button McLaren 1:18.135 2.147 20
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia 1:19.531 3.543 15
20 Will Stevens Marussia 1:19.734 3.746 13
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