Montreal Practice 3: Hamilton retains upper hand

Lewis Hamilton tops in FP3
Lewis Hamilton tops in FP3

Ahead of qualifying Lewis Hamilton retained the upper hand in the final free practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, scorching around the Ile Notre dame track half a second faster than anyone else as Mercedes continued to set the pace as they look to make history on Sunday.

Ironically Hamilton set his best lap time of 1:15.610 on the soft Pirelli (yellow band) tyres, not the super-soft options from which most teams managed to extract a further half second or so – but neither Mercedes could match that difference with the red band Pirellis.

Nico Rosberg was third fastest, but on both the super-softs and softs he was about half a second down on his teammate – the difference between the two at the venue is that Hamilton has three grand prix wins at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, while Rosberg has never finished better than fourth at the venue…

Felipe Massa second fastest
Felipe Massa second fastest

The fact that neither Hamilton or Rosberg improved their times with the supposedly faster tyre option suggests one of two things: the W05 cannot maximise the super-softs or, more likely, the pair have more than they are showing in their armoury and are keeping the powder dry for when fireworks are required – starting with qualifying.

Splitting the Silver Arrows at the top of the timing screens was Felipe Massa in the ice white Williams, who were enjoying good form on a track that clearly suits their car. Valterri Bottas was seventh fastest, about a second down on his Brazilian teammate.

Fernando Alonso was best of the Ferrari pair with the fourth fastest time, with Kimi Raikkonen sixth fastest. The Maranello chaps split by Daniel Ricciardo who set the fifth best time in the Red Bull, while teammate Sebastian Vettel was hampered what appeared to be a brake issue which curtailed his running in the one hour session.

Fernando Alonso fourth fastest
Fernando Alonso fourth fastest

Impressing in his first grand prix weekend in Canada was Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat who ended eighth fastest, fractionally faster than teammate Jean Eric Vergne who was ninth.

The session was marred when Esteban Gutierrez spun out in Turn 3 and slammed into the wall at the exit of Turn 4 causing substantial damage to his Sauber.

FP3 was typical of sessions at the venue with small mistakes punished with big moments, several drivers spun or over shot various braking points which could well carry over into qualifying in the afternoon, and the race itself. (GP247)

Canadian Grand Prix, Free Practice 3 – Saturday, 6 July 2014
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:15.61018
219Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:16.0860.47616
36Nico RosbergMercedes1:16.1200.51020
414Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:16.4880.87815
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:16.5040.89415
67Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:16.5280.91822
777Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:16.6841.07420
826Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:16.8201.21021
925Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:16.8241.21419
101Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:16.8841.27415
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:16.9441.33417
1220Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:16.9931.38319
138Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:17.1211.51121
1411Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:17.1881.57819
1513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:17.2241.614
1622Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:17.3601.750
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:17.9002.290
1817Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:18.5182.908
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:18.5252.915
209Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:19.8654.255
2110Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:20.2274.617
2221Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:22.3886.778
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