Lewis Hamilton coming back in top in opening practice time-sheet for the Canadian GP, made fastest lap-time ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, while Fernando Alonso encountered prompt issues on his return to McLaren-Honda.
Many drivers struggled with low-grip condition amid dirty and dusty conditions in Montréal, with Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson all spinning at the Turn 6/7. Sebastian Vettel and a slide for Lewis Hamilton proved that even the best were struggling.
Hamilton was about two-tenths of a second faster than Sebastien Vettel’s Ferrari. Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was third fastest, just 0.04 seconds behind Vettel.
Valtteri Bottas finished third and Kimi Raikkonen fourth. The top four separated by 0.421. Sergio Perez was fifth ahead of Esteban Ocon and Max Verstappen. The latter ran only the super-soft tyres as too did Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat.
The opening session was a disappointment for Honda’s Fernando Alonso. He stopped on the track with 15 minutes left, reporting a loss of hydraulic pressure, pressuring him to pull up at Turn 10 and throw the headrest from the car.
He asked McLaren: “Are you sure it’s better to stop here – it’s easier to come back to the pits?” The reply was to “stop on track.” He was not happy and threw his headrest out of the car.
Local hero Lance Stroll was 13th best.