F1: 2011 Canadian Grand Prix practice problems for Hamilton

PUBLISHED: 17:12 10 June 2011 | UPDATED: 09:51 12 June 2011

McLaren engineer Andy Latham and Lewis Hamilton [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]

McLaren engineer Andy Latham and Lewis Hamilton [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]


LEWIS Hamilton was only sixth fastest in first practice for the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix after a problematic opening session for McLaren in Montreal.

The Herts-born Formula 1 racer finished the morning session with a best lap time of 1m 16.842s.

That placed him sixth, directly behind Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team-mate Jenson Button, who clocked a 1m 16.676s.

Hamilton’s progress was hindered by problems with his McLaren MP4-26.

At one point, the 2008 F1 world champion said over the team radio: “I’ve got no dashboard display.”

The pitwall replied: “Understood – box this lap and we’ll change the steering wheel.”

Hamilton later said: “It’s difficult knowing your switch settings without a dash readout...”

The McLaren response was: “Thanks for perservering – we’re getting some good data.”

Meanwhile, Button’s DRS was “dismantled” according to pit-lane reports.

The session was dominated by Ferrari and Mercedes drivers, with the two teams filling the top four spots.

Nico Rosberg went fastest for Mercedes GP with a 1m 15.591s around the walled Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

That edged Ferrari star Fernando Alonso into second place on the P1 timesheets, followed by Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher and then Felipe Massa in the other red car from the Maranello factory.

It wasn’t a particularly good session for Red Bull though.

The opening session in Canada was red-flagged when reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel crashed his Red Bull into the circuit’s infamous Wall of Champions at the chicane.

Vettel was only 16th of the morning’s 24 runners, with Red Bull colleague Mark Webber 12th.

Qualifying takes place in Canada tomorrow (Saturday) from 6pm British Summer Time to 7pm.

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix starts on Sunday at 6pm.

* Video courtesy of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

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