Hamilton tops first practice after Kovalainen crash

2012 Canadian Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton led the way in the first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver set a fastest time of 1’15.564 on the soft tyres, just over a tenth of a second fastest than Sebastian Vettel.

With occasional drops of rain falling at the track, and heavier rain expected during the second practice session, the teams wasted no times in getting the day’s running started.

Several teams had aerodynamic testing to do. Ferrari as usual had liberal amounts of flow-vis applied to their rear wings.

Red Bull had substantial flow measurement arrays fitted to both cars, as well as special cameras directed at different points of their cars.

Hamilton was immediately on the pace after taking to the track, reeling off a quick sequence of laps to lead the times.

Early in the second half of the session Heikki Kovalainen lost the back end of his car coming out of turn nine. As he tried to straighten up his Caterham the car snapped right and hit the wall heavily on the right, taking two wheels off it.

The session was stopped for around 15 minutes while the Caterham was recovered, restarting with around half an hour to go.

After the session resumed Nico Rosberg briefly took over at the top of the times before Hamilton produced another improvement to beat it again.

Both Red Bull drivers improved their times in the final minutes of the session on super-soft tyres. Vettel’s last effort produced a 1’15.682, good enough for second.

However the stewards are investigating an incident between him and Williams driver Bruno Senna at the chicane at the end of the lap during the session, when Vettel overtook Senna and the pair made contact.

Fernando Alonso was fourth-quickest for Ferrari who tested a new configuration of exhaust exit on their F2012.

Mark Webber was sixth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and the Saubers of Kamui Kobayshi and Sergio Perez.

Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button completed the top ten, the latter slowed by a slipping clutch during the first session.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
14Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’15.56430
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’15.6820.11829
38Nico RosbergMercedes1’15.7820.21830
45Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’15.8420.27834
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’15.8970.33328
612Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’15.9860.42229
714Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’16.0000.43631
815Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’16.2490.68532
97Michael SchumacherMercedes1’16.2640.70028
103Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’16.3470.78312
1111Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’16.4600.89632
126Felipe MassaFerrari1’16.6191.05517
1318Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’16.8591.29526
1410Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’16.8901.32636
159Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’17.0141.45042
1617Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’17.3521.78828
1716Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’17.5802.01631
1821Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’17.9352.37123
1920Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’18.1772.61316
2022Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’18.1822.61826
2119Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’18.7623.19836
2223Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’19.3543.79023
2324Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’20.0044.44021
2425Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’20.0874.52323

2012 Canadian Grand Prix

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    Image © Caterham/LAT

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    34 comments on “Hamilton tops first practice after Kovalainen crash”

    1. I have a feeling that the cars that are 4th, 5th, 6th 7th and 8th in the championship are going to be stronger in Montreal than those that are 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If this is reflected in the result than it could even the championship even more.

    2. Lotus is not so impressive. Possibly due to colder temperature? but Mercedes that is good at lower temperature is not looking good as well. Hamilton is still favorite for the pole, Ferrari is remained to be seen. It would be interesting quali and race.

      1. Lotus doing race prep on Super Softs, I think Kimi did ~23 laps on one set of tyres,

    3. Ham,Ros,Alo set fastest times on Soft tires & Vet and Web on Super-soft?

      1. I think I saw Rosberg with the red stripes.

        1. @paul-a He used a set of SSs but he set the fastest on S.

          1. Thanks – Autosport is now reporting “But the Mercedes did not go any quicker than it had on softs …” These tyres again — oh well.

      2. @prdsh High fuel run? They’ll have to start the race on the super-soft so it makes sense to gauge them with high fuel if they’re expecting interruption from the rain. That or they’re just slow around here, wouldn’t surprise me.

    4. Hamilton looking solid. Vettel must get a penalty?!

      1. Im not sure about the penatly, the rules say:

        Drivers may no longer leave the track without a justifiable reason, i.e. cutting a chicane on reconnaissance laps or in-laps to save time and fuel…

        You could argue what a justifiable reason is.

        1. I’m sure Vettel also clipped Senna before cutting the chicane, or am I mistaken?

        2. Didn’t he cut it to get past a back-marker so he could get a better run to begin his next flying lap? Don’t think that’s justifiable.

          1. Either way, I’m sure Vettel will get away with. That guy should buy lottery tickets every fortnight!

          2. Karl Fuss (@)
            8th June 2012, 17:29

            I was only able to follow the bbc live text as i’m working, but it sounded like he cut the chicane solely to get ahead of a slower car. To me that is not justifiable. But we’ll see what happens after the stewards talk to him… probably nothing happens to him.

        3. @bag0 certainly being held up isn’t a justificable reason. Specially during a practise session.

          I bet they are going to penalize him…

    5. What an impressive opening stint from Hamilton. He’ll definitely be the man to beat this weekend… completely dialed in right from the jump.

      1. Yeah, makes you wonder what could possibly go wrong at McLaren this time and spoil his race.

        1. There will be something, no doubt. Beginning to wish I could change my display name…

          1. If I were you I would not change it, Mclaren is,it seems to me the most relaxed team,hence; there tend to be a few more mistakes during the race weekends.

        2. Don’t worry @klaas, they will find something to surprise us again!

    6. Missed the Vettel-Senna contact. Can anyone give me an idea of how it happened? And how serious/who is at fault please. Cheers

      1. I only saw that Vettel cut the last chicane on purpose, overtaking Senna.

    7. Vettel must get a penalty for cutting the last chicane to overtake someone, i didn’t see the crash with Senna. But he should get a penalty for unnecessary corner cutting.

    8. Anyone know why Massa only did half the laps Alonso did? I get the impression that both drivers were testing some new aero but only Alonso testing the new exhaust? If so, it looks to be working!

      1. @andrewtanner Massa tried the new exhaust, and Alonso worked on setup with the old version of the car, at least that’s what Ted said during practice.

        1. @fer-no65 Hmm but that contradicts with what the article says …

          Fernando Alonso was fourth-quickest for Ferrari who tested a new configuration of exhaust exit on their F2012.

          I read that as Alonso being the one who was testing…who knows!!

          1. @andrewtanner well, I saw Massa’s car with the new exhaust. So did Ted.

            I guess Keith wanted to say that it was Ferrari who tested a new configuration of the exhaust on the F2012, not Alonso himself.

            1. @fer-no65 Ah well, I can’t argue that :D Thanks for clearing it up.

            2. @andrewtanner you can argue :P not sure you should, but you defo can :P hehe!

    9. As far as I know, the investigation wasn’t for the overtaking through the chicane, but for moving back over on Senna in the braking zone, similar to what Schumacher did to Massa in 2010.

    10. Vettel might get a penalty? I should put him on pole then ;)

    11. Wow, the first time I`ve missed a broadcast F1 session in many years, I suppose the `Not on terrestial channels` syndome is kicking in.

    12. Go get em L.H.

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