Lewis Hamilton was fastest in first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. The Englishman used the soft tyre to put himself a tenth faster than teammate Valtteri Bottas while Mercedes had a half second gap over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Both Mercedes have moved onto there second power units this weekend it appears early on as if they maintained the advantage, they have had all season over the Ferrari’s. However, it’s expected that Ferrari will have more in FP2 and for the rest of the weekend.
Mercedes have introduced an upgraded “phase two” engine into their factory and customer cars this weekend. That appears to have allowed them to maintain their edge over Ferrari, who were hoping to challenge Mercedes this weekend. All of the top three teams didn’t run the fastest compound of tyre.
Hamilton who is looking for his seventh win this weekend in Montreal. Leclerc appeared to be the closest challenger, the Ferrari driver almost a second off the pace and evenly matched by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Red Bull looking as if they could be fighting Ferrari this weekend.
Sebastian Vettel survived a spin going fifth fastest, the four times champion went wide on a couple of laps, before spinning the car at the hairpin. Like Mercedes, Ferrari has also brought a new MGU-H and turbo for this weekend. They took a new ICE unit in Barcelona.
The session was relatively trouble-free, although it wasn’t without incident the circuit is little used throughout the year forming a public park. Haas driver Romain Grosjean was another to spin, while Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat had off-track moments.
The biggest drama was Antonio Giovinazzi, the Alfa Romeo driver spun the car into the wall at Turn Nine. The Italian went too deep locked up and spun into the wall on exit. It was a strong performance by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who put his car sixth.
Carlos Sainz put his McLaren a tenth ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, as the midfield pack looks tight. Less than half a second was between Ricciardo’s eighth place and Pierre Gasly in thirteenth.
Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top ten, there was two-hundredths of a second between the two drivers.
The local wildlife wasn’t far away, Nicholas Latifi taking avoiding action has a groundhog ran across the track. He was driving in place of Robert Kubica, finishing the session two tenths off the pace of George Russell.