Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015

Hamilton leads the way despite spin

2015 Canadian Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015Lewis Hamilton was quickest in the first practice session as Mercedes set a fierce pace at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

By the end of the first 90 minutes of running Hamilton’s best effort was over a second quicker than the best time seen in last year’s first practice session.

It wasn’t an entirely trouble-free session for the championship leader, however. He spoiled one lap with a spin, and said on the radio afterwards he’d been caught out by his car locking up.

Nico Rosberg ended the session four-tenths of a second slower than his team mate.

Mercedes-powered cars filled the top four places, with Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg putting Lotus and Force India well up.

Sebastian Vettel was almost 1.7 seconds off Hamilton’s pace in the Ferrari, while Daniil Kvyat was the highest-placed Renault powered driver in seventh.

Fernando Alonso took ninth for McLaren, but the team had problems with their other car. Jenson Button’s session was disrupted by a gearbox problem which left him stuck in second gear. He lost around half an hour while the fault was fixed.

A late improvement by Max Verstappen put the Toro Rosso driver in tenth place. But at the end of the session Carlos Sainz Jnr had to abort a run when his car stopped at the pit lane exit with an apparent engine problem.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.21234
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’16.6270.41538
38Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’17.7211.50935
427Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’17.8711.65934
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’17.9051.69325
619Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’17.9851.77328
726Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’18.0211.80930
813Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’18.0261.81441
914Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’18.1281.91634
1033Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’18.2572.04524
1177Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’18.3252.11340
127Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’18.4392.22726
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’18.5032.29128
143Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’18.7752.56324
1522Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’18.7862.57425
1612Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’18.9482.73630
1755Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’19.0652.85323
189Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’19.1652.95332
1998Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’20.6164.40433
2028Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’20.6244.41227

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’16.212

+0.415 Nico Rosberg – 1’16.627

+1.509 Romain Grosjean – 1’17.721

+1.659 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’17.871

+1.693 Sebastian Vettel – 1’17.905

+1.773 Felipe Massa – 1’17.985

+1.809 Daniil Kvyat – 1’18.021

+1.814 Pastor Maldonado – 1’18.026

+1.916 Fernando Alonso – 1’18.128

+2.045 Max Verstappen – 1’18.257

+2.113 Valtteri Bottas – 1’18.325

+2.227 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’18.439

+2.291 Sergio Perez – 1’18.503

+2.563 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’18.775

+2.574 Jenson Button – 1’18.786

+2.736 Felipe Nasr – 1’18.948

+2.853 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’19.065

+2.953 Marcus Ericsson – 1’19.165

+4.404 Roberto Merhi – 1’20.616

+4.412 Will Stevens – 1’20.624

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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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46 comments on “Hamilton leads the way despite spin”

  1. I like the graph at the bottom. Is that a new feature? Really tells the story as to how far ahead the Mercs are.

    1. From Lewis to Vettel is a bigger gap than from Ericsson to the Manor cars.

      1. @xtwl That just shows how bad last year’s Ferrari engine was, heh.

      1. Another great addition, thanks!

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th June 2015, 18:24

        good graph.

      3. Very informative. You can grasp relative performance in a single glance.

      4. Beautiful graph there, @keithcollantine. I would just suggest that, after the best time, a time interval would be more suitable, due to the graphic’s nature. I think it would be even more representative of the gap between drivers, as it would give a better perception of the dimension of the gaps between drivers.

    2. the idea of a visual gap is a brilliant concept! kudos to whoever thought of that!!!
      is a model for this graphic available anywhere, @keithcollantine?

    3. Yep, great visualisation @keithcollantine; the grey lines are a bit thin, so there probably is room for even more improvement, but the gaps and spread in the field are really clear to see this way, and the simple effectiveness of looking up the individual times in the graph does really shine.

    4. It’s perfect, thanks Keith

  2. With all the respect for the people at Manor, but seriously what are they doing in F1…

    Really wondering whether Williams can go on a run again and finish 5/6th in the following three races to score some points, they are already on 1/3th of Mercedes.

    Ferrari seems to have a monopoly on third though. Vettel surely have another lonely race to the podium spot.

    1. I’d expect Williams and perhaps even Lotus to give Ferrari a run for their money come Sunday. It ain’t coincidence that eight of the top ten are Mercedes powered.

      1. @tdog Although you are completely right about the Mercedes cars being in the top 10 that is a bit of a wrong image as there really is only one proper Ferrari team. I think they’ll have plenty of margin over the Mercedes teams come Sunday.

      2. Oops six out of ten. Still, it should be a real battle for the final podium spot.

      3. @tdog, I would not be reading too much into free practice, it really doesn’t mean a whole lot come Sunday, Yes maybe for Mercedes keeping their advantage, I do agree there, but for the other teams like lotus and FI shining now over Ferrari? I would NOT take that seriously. Too many factors involved with free practice.

        If you recall lasts years Ferrari mentality was to raise false hopes to make the taffosi all excited and run on fumes in practice to be the fastest of them all. Then we all knew what happened come Saturday.

        Ferrari is not doing that this year any more.

    2. We may ask the same of all the other teams, if we compare them to Mercedes…

    3. Do Manor still have last years engine?

      1. Yes, they’re still using the 2014 power unit. The 2015 power unit wouldn’t fit into their car.

      2. yes they won’t let Manor have the 2015 power unit until they get money from 2014

    4. Manor were 4 sec slower than the Mercs, with a one-year-old power unit and a basically one-year-old chassis. What do you expect? It’s the maximum they can achieve at the moment.

    5. @xtwl Interesting to note that the worst time is still within the 107%: 105,79%.

      1. @tdog and @srga91 – and where will they be next year? They have since 2010 not only never really mad eprogress worth mentioning they are only going backwards both financially and on pace.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          5th June 2015, 18:38

          @xtwl, I don’t think you’re fair on Manor this session.
          They are <1.5sec behind Ericsson, which is actually better than all other teams versus Hamilton!!
          I don't hear you say that all others don't belong in F1 ;)
          (@spoutnik, @tdog, @srga91)

          1. @coldfly Not really talking specifically about this session alone.

            Every single team could score points on Sunday. Only Mclaren would need some extra luck. Manor is just limping at the back waiting to get lapped for the second time every race again with not a single sign of progress. I don’t want them gone but I don’t want to be the man who has to make Manor sound like a good investment because you might as well make a campfire with your money.

    6. Yesterday I read that Roberto was speaking of his weight handicap! I know that their chassis is 2014 but the FIA added minimum weight for 2015 and still Manor has weight issues. It’s true that Roberto is 10kg heavier and has an higher centre of gravity than Stevens but nonetheless he won’t get more than .4 per lap, which makes them both still very far away from anybody, even on the option tyre. Good news for Manor is that besides the signing of failed engineers the team has now a new sponsor apart the italian clothing company.

      1. I think the 2014 Ferrari engine is heavier because of their cooling and turbo design. It’s no coincidence that Sauber struggled with their weight last year but are significantly better this year without really changing their car at all.

  3. Was watching the session on mute. What the hell were the marshals trying to clean on the ground in the pits???

    1. According to Autosport, they were removing staples which had been used to affix some carpet for a previous event.

      1. Thanks for the info. Looked quite frenetic, which amused me more than anything else so far.

  4. The new graph is awesome. And shocking. It makes me feel sad. Unbelievable.

  5. I spy Alonso’s 6 tenths ;)

    1. Yeah, Mclaren look not too shabby so far for a circuit which is supposed to hurt them

  6. You may want to change this line, as I’m sure Grosjean still drives for Lotus.

    Mercedes-powered cars filled the top four places, with Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg putting Williams and Force India well up.

  7. Don’t think Ferrari have shown their hands yet but some very consistent times from Kimi and Seb on whatever fuel they had in the car after the first half hour.

    1. @evered7

      I’d agree. Looks like they did only one timed lap in the first 30 minutes, and Vet was just a sec off Rosberg. I’m thinking they were testing their new engine and didn’t turn it up in the last hour. The first part of FP2 should be interesting with rain in the forecast. Maybe a lot of early running on the super softs.

      1. @uan Yes, they didn’t improve their times even though the track had evolved as the session progressed.

        FP2 should reveal more.

        @clustr1 Mercs pace is no surprise now :) The only surprise these days is the gap between them and the rest which I am hoping Ferrari would cut down in this race.

        1. @evered7

          high hopes for the race – I imagine brake cooling will be an issue for the Mercs (Ham was needing to manage breaks in Monaco). It was interesting to see Redbull go back to a standard hub and not their normal blown hub – Sky thought it was to manage break temps.

          The one problem Merc has, even going back to 2013, is that the engine/aero package can go faster than the tiny bits can take them (brakes, or tires in 2013).

          1. @uan Slept over FP2 :( But looking at the long runs, it seems Ferrari will have a say in the final results on Sunday. I think after Malaysia/Bahrain, this is the first time I see Ferrari being comfortably quicker than the Mercs.

            Got one prediction right about Hamilton crashing. Fingers crossed for the other one about Vettel winning.

          2. @uan I thought the blown hub would be better to manage brake temps i.e. cool it. Maybe I wrong.

            Ferrari have had their share of issues with tires during the end of Michael’s years. 2005 they were plagued by sub-standard tires while having a brilliant car.

            Mercedes were lucky enough to get a separate test with Pirelli to fix their over heating issues. Them heating the tires that quick is probably one reason they are up to pace faster and getting it right in every qualifying.

            Have to make sure I don’t lose any more sessions in the weekend :)

          3. @evered7

            if you slept over FP2 you missed Hamilton aquaplaning off at the hairpin lol. There’s an irony to that, after the blunder in Monaco, the team only waits 1 and half sessions before getting another call wrong!

            (I think they have issues with dynamically changing conditions, in Monaco it was the shrinking time gap, here it was reading the radar and increasing rain.)

            You may be right about the blown hub, that was the speculation Sky had. I thought the blown hub was more for aero efficiencies. I recall Red Bull being on the edge with their breaking some previous races (was it Malaysia they were burning through their brakes? I know they’ve changed it, but they like to run right to the limit on everything).

            I agree with you about the tires. They had the fastest car in 2013 over one lap (at least until the tires were changed), but would overheat the tires in the race. It’s why they were caught out in Malaysia.

            Re FP2, race pace was very strong, but who knows what fuel loads they were running. Lewis was on a fast lap that may have taken him into the .6-.7 second range ahead of Vettel, but he overshot the turn at the end of the straight.

            We’ll see how FP3 goes, but I’m thinking Ham for pole, and Vet P2 with Kimi having an outside shot at P3 over Rosberg. If I recall correctly, Vettel jumped Hamilton last year at the start, I see something like that happening again.

    2. With the threat of rain for P2, I think this may have been the case. However, the Mercs pace is certainly ominous.

    3. From Ferrari’s report:

      Set-up work and long runs were on the day’s menu for the two Ferrari men, who did three runs using two sets of the Soft tyres

      .
      And just another little inside

  8. Nice addition with the graph at the bottom Keith, even if it’s a little depressing to look at with Manor so far back and Merc so far ahead!

  9. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    5th June 2015, 18:19

    So Ferrari tokens have backfired in some way?

  10. Love the visual at the bottom.

Comments are closed.