Montreal Practice 2: Hamilton signals his intent

Lewis Hamilton fastest of all at the end of day one in Canada

Lewis Hamilton fastest of all at the end of day one in Canada

Three wins in six at the Canadian Grand Prix is proof that Lewis Hamilton relishes racing at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He has signaled his intention of making it four from seven, by topping Free Practice 2 and ending the day fastest of all in Montreal.

Hamilton’s best lap of 1:16.118 was good enough for top spot on the timing screens at the end of the 90 minute session. Next up was teammate Nico Rosberg 0.175 of a second adrift suggesting that once again, as it has been for the previous half dozen encounters, that qualifying and the race are going to be intriguing battles between the Silver Arrows pair.

Best of the rest was Red Bull‘s quadruple world champion, and last year’s winner in Canada, Sebastian Vettel albeit nearly half a second slower than Hamilton’s best. Nevertheless this was a good lap time as the RB10 is down on top speed and is somewhat compromised at this particular venue. Daniel Ricciardo in the sister Red Bull was 12th fastest, a second slower than his teammate.

Sebastian Vettel best of the rest

Sebastian Vettel best of the rest

Kimi Raikkonen was fractionally faster than teammate Fernando Alonso, the pair fourth and fifth fastest respectively. First day indications are that the Maranello outfit may have made a substantial leap in the pecking order with their ‘Version-B’ update package on the F14T which included tweaks to brakes, a new floor and more aggressive engine mapping.

Mercedes powered cars, relishing in the point and squirt high-speed nature of the circuit, made up the next four positions,with Williams looking particularly feisty as Felipe Massa ended the session in sixth and Valtteri Bottas seventh, while the McLaren duo of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button were  in eighth and ninth on the timing screens.

There were some scrappy moments during the session with several drivers over-shooting braking points, others bouncing over kerbs and several scrapes with the myriad of walls surrounding the track, which punishes just about any mistake.

Nevertheless, despite some wayward winglets and other parts, there was no serious bent metal on the day apart from Jules Bianchi who clipped the wall in FP1, damaging his Marussia and his FP2 session was curtailed too as a problem with the Ferrari power unit limited his running.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen fourth fastest

Rookies had a torrid afternoon with Daniil Kvyat suffering with an engine problem on the Renault powered Toro Rosso and as a result could only manage nine laps in the afternoon, while Marcus Ericsson parked his Caterham with only 13 laps on his chart.

Up front it is all silver with perhaps some Ferrari red and some Red Bull blue in the mix, so much so that world champion team principal Christian Horner told BBC that the race pace of the Mercedes pair was “a bit depressing, but it’s going to get warmer over the weekend. That’s probably going to have a big influence so this might not be that relevant to Sunday.”

Canadian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 6 June 2014
Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.118 42
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:16.293 0.175 39
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:16.573 0.455 26
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:16.648 0.530 31
5 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:16.701 0.583 27
6 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:16.774 0.656 37
7 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:16.893 0.775 37
8 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.052 0.934 42
9 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.059 0.941 38
10 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:17.180 1.062 40
11 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:17.626 1.508 28
12 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:17.644 1.526 36
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:17.712 1.594 35
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:17.819 1.701 33
15 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:17.868 1.750 27
16 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:17.964 1.846 47
17 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:18.340 2.222 43
18 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:18.693 2.575 34
19 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:18.732 2.614 9
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:20.244 4.126 38
21 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:22.418 6.300 13
22 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:32.127 16.009 3