Lewis Hamilton has set the early pace in Friday’s first practice session for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix, edging out the Ferrari of championship leader Sebastian Vettel by less than two-tenths of a second.

With the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve blanketed by cloud, all three of Pirelli’s tyre compound allocations – the Soft, Super Soft and Ultra Soft – were in use over the course of the 90-minute session.

Ferrari hit the track running on the Ultra Soft tyres and predictably set the early pace in the session, although Vettel would blot his very tidy driving this season with a spin at Turn 1.

The spins appeared to be contagious in the Ferrari garage, with teammate Kimi Räikkönen suffering his own spin at the Turn 6/7 chicane.

Mercedes subsequently moved onto the purple-marked tyres and moved of Ferrari and claim the top spot on the timesheets.

Hamilton, a five-time winner of this event, steadily lowered his benchmark times and ended the session as the only driver under the 1m14s barrier.

Vettel was a fraction under 0.2 seconds down to finish the session second-fastest, barely four-hundredths of a second clear of Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas. The Finn had a heavy lock-up on his final run, triggering a flat-spot and a slightly early end to his session.

Räikkönen finished fourth-fastest ahead of the Force India pairing of Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon, with the team looking to return to challenging for points’ finishes after a difficult Grand Prix in Monaco a fortnight ago. Ocon also had a spin at the Turn 6/7 chicane but continued with nothing more than damage to his pride.

The VJM10’s early pace temporarily displaced Red Bull Racing from its customary ‘best of the rest’ slot, although to be fair neither Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen – who were seventh- and ninth-fastest, separated by Williams’ Felipe Massa – ran the Ultra Soft tyres in the session.

Rounding out the top-ten and also on Super Soft tyres was Daniil Kvyat in the sole Toro Rosso; the Russian carried the program for the Italian outfit after teammate Carlos Sainz Jr suffered a suspected engine failure on his out lap.

Aided by Ultra Soft tyres, Stoffel Vandoorne flattered his McLaren Honda with eleventh on the timesheets, but it was yet again a frustrating session for teammate Fernando Alonso.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda MCL32 - 2017 Canadian Grand Prix

Alonso’s return to Formula 1 was disheartening, with the Spaniard’s car grinding to a halt in FP1.

The Spaniard, who threatened to quit the team unless Honda could dramatically turn its fortunes around, spent the early part of the session in the garage. He later went on track in his MCL32, which ground to a halt after just thirteen laps with a suspected loss of hydraulic pressure.

The two Haas Ferraris of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were twelfth and fourteenth-fastest, split by the second Williams of local driver Lance Stroll. The Canadian rookie complained of balance issues in his first on-track outing at the circuit.

With Alonso’s session cut short, the slowest five runners to post a time included the two Renaults and Saubers. Nico Hülkenberg led that charge in fifteenth place, half a second clear of Renault teammate Jolyon Palmer, who was split by the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Like Räikkönen and Ocon, both Hülkenberg and Ericsson also found themselves pointing the wrong way at the slippery Turn 6/7 sequence.

Friday’s second practice session in Montréal will begin at 14:00 local time (GMT-4).

Driver Team / Entry Time Tyre Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:13.809 Pirelli Ultra Soft 36
2. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:14.007 Pirelli Ultra Soft 28
3. Valtteri Bottas fi Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:14.046 Pirelli Ultra Soft 21
4. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:14.230 Pirelli Ultra Soft 28
5. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:14.578 Pirelli Ultra Soft 34
6. Esteban Ocon fr Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:14.785 Pirelli Ultra Soft 35
7. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:14.861 Pirelli Super Soft 19
8. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:15.106 Pirelli Super Soft 31
9. Daniel Ricciardo au Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:15.441 Pirelli Super Soft 23
10. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 1:15.658 Pirelli Super Soft 26
11. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:15.943 Pirelli Ultra Soft 29
12. Kevin Magnussen dk Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:16.233 Pirelli Super Soft 25
13. Lance Stroll ca Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:16.313 Pirelli Super Soft 36
14. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:16.345 Pirelli Super Soft 18
15. Nico Hulkenberg de Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:16.473 Pirelli Super Soft 27
16. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:16.521 Pirelli Ultra Soft 13
17. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:16.805 Pirelli Super Soft 24
18. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:17.004 Pirelli Super Soft 26
19. Pascal Wehrlein de Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:17.606 Pirelli Soft 28
20. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 no time 1

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team and Motorsport.com

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.