Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile de Notre Dame in Montreal. The Englishman was a tenth faster than World Champion Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull (hole or no hole) and Nico Rosberg was third fastest in the Mercedes. Staying in the frame was Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari, ahead of Mark Webber Red Bull, with Nico Hulkenberg sticking is Force India next in the order, ahead of the twin Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez, Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes, Jenson Button’s McLaren and Paul di Resta.
Felipe Massa was next up ahead of Pastor Maldonado’s Williams; the Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen, the Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, the Caterhams of Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen, the latter causing a red flag in mid-session when he tanked his car into the wall. There was a frisson of excitement at the back too as the HRTs popped ahead of the Marussias, while Bruno Senna was mixed up with them.