Fernando Alonso has beaten both Mercedes drivers in the Canadian Grand Prix’s opening practice session which saw cars struggle enormously to find grip on a very green track.
Alonso was just 0.016s ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who was on track to top the Spaniards time until he lost time by running wide at the hairpin.
The championship leader Nico Rosberg was a tenth of a second behind his team-mate in third while Sebastian Vettel ended up fourth, nine tenths off the pace and ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull.
By topping the session, Alonso has shown encouraging signs for Ferrari as Canada’s long straights penalise teams with a power deficit e.g. teams using Renault and Ferrari engines.
Ferrari also has brought a number of upgrades to Canada, including revised aerodynamic parts, a new floor and increased engine power output.
Alonso’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was further down the order in ninth position, as he tested new parts by running a different configuration.
A number of drivers explored the limits of the track, tempting fate as they all came close with the walls that are in close proximity to the track. Although many drivers were locking up and a few experienced small spins, Jules Bianchi was the only casualty of the session as he experienced slight oversteer exiting Turn 4, damaging the right rear suspension of his Marussia.
Felipe Massa – celebrating his 200th race weekend – had to end his session around 30 minutes early due to a battery problem.
Alexander Rossi made his first appearance as a reserve driver this year for Caterham, taking over Kamui Kobayashi’s seat. He finished slowest, just under four tenths off the other Caterham driven by Marcus Ericsson.
2014 Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:17.238||21|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:17.254||+ 0.016||24|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:17.384||+ 0.146||32|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:18.131||+ 0.893||28|
|5.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:18.361||+ 1.123||20|
|6.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:18.435||+ 1.197||26|
|7.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:18.446||+ 1.208||33|
|8.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:18.514||+ 1.276||31|
|9.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:18.578||+ 1.340||15|
|10.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:18.643||+ 1.405||14|
|11.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:18.733||+ 1.495||30|
|12.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:18.959||+ 1.721||22|
|13.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:19.108||+ 1.870||24|
|14.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:19.142||+ 1.904||32|
|15.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:19.177||+ 1.939||21|
|16.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:19.340||+ 2.102||37|
|17.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:19.575||+ 2.337||7|
|18.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:19.804||+ 2.566||15|
|19.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:20.200||+ 2.962||15|
|20.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:20.844||+ 3.606||26|
|21.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:21.404||+ 4.166||33|
|22.||Alexander Rossi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:21.757||+ 4.519||27|
Images via Sutton Images and XPB Images