Hamilton sets pace, then hits tire wall in practice at Canadian Grand Prix

MONTREAL — Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap, but then hit a tire wall while driving in the rain during the second practice session Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix.

It was an eventful outing for the British Mercedes AMG driver as he nearly crashed early in the 90 minute practice when going hard over the curb at the final chicane on the 4.361 kilometre Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.  

Then he set the quickest lap of the day at one minutes 15.988 seconds.

All cars returned to their garages when heavy rain after 34 minutes, but Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg went back out in the wet weather on intermediate tires. Hamilton didn’t make the hairpin turn at the end of a long straight and coasted into a tire barrier.

The red flag came out to halt the session and Hamilton’s Mercedes was lifted off the track.

“Aquaplaned,” Hamilton told his crew over the radio. Neither he nor his car appeared to suffer damage.

While the Mercedes duo dominated the morning session, Ferrari charged back in the afternoon with Sebastian Vettel second quickest at 1:16.304 and teammate Kimi Raikkonen third at 1:16.310.

Ferrari made improvements to their cars going into the canadian GP and hope to challenge Mercedes AMG, which won five of the first six races this season.

Rosberg had a 1:16.440 lap while Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus was fifth at 1:16.600 and Valtteri Bottas’ Williams at 1:16.849.

Romain Grosjean’s Lotus was the only other car under 1:17 at 1:16.864.

In the morning, Rosberg was fined 1,000 Euros (Cdn $1,386) for speeding in pit lane. He went 91.8 km/hr while the speed limit is 50.

There is a third practice Saturday morning, just ahead of qualifying. The race is on Sunday.

 

The Canadian Press