F1: Hamilton positive after 2011 Canadian Grand Prix practice

PUBLISHED: 22:33 10 June 2011 | UPDATED: 22:35 10 June 2011

Lewis Hamilton on track in Montreal for the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

Lewis Hamilton on track in Montreal for the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

HOCH ZWEI

FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest in the second practice session for the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix as Ferrari set the pace in a sunny Montreal today (Friday).

The 26-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star from Herts was fourth on the timesheets this afternoon (Friday), an improvement on this morning’s sixth spot in P1.

Ferrari were once again strong, with Fernando Alonso topping the timesheets with a lap of 1m 15.107s and team-mate Felipe Massa third.

Despite crashing into the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s Wall of Champions in the opening practice session, Red Bull’s reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel split the two Ferrari drivers in P2.

Hamilton was fourth fastest with a lap time of 1m 15.977s, despite suffering a puncture during the session on track debris.

“It was a very good session and a positive day for me,” said Lewis.

“In P2, I think some debris from one of the incidents must have caused my puncture because I’d only just left the pits when I suddenly felt the rear sliding about.

“Nevertheless, we got through a lot of test components. I’m still trying to find the exact balance I need, and I’m not quite sure which direction I want to follow with my car, so I’ll sit down with my engineers to analyse the data this evening.”

Earlier in the day, the Herts-born F1 driver had an issue with his steering in P1, losing the digital readout on the dashboard. However, this was fixed for the afternoon session.

McLaren team-mate Jenson Button was fifth in 1m 15.989s ahead of Paul di Resta, who is managed by Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony, from Tewin.

The second practice session in Canada was twice red-flagged to clear debris off the track after Kamui Kobayashi and Jerome D’Ambrosio both put their cars into the wall.

Adrian Sutil also grazed the wall and damaged his front suspension.

Hamilton said: “It’s surprising to see so many incidents here, but it’s such a demanding and slippery circuit that I guess some people just got caught out today [Friday].

Recent Canadian Grand Prix winners

2004 - Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)

2005 - Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)

2006 - Fernando Alonso (Renault)

2007 - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)

2008 - Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber)

2009 - No race

2010 - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)

“We’re all testing the limits of our cars and you can’t blame people for trying.

“There’s no room for mistakes around a place like this and, unfortunately, some people paid the price today – but they’ll bounce back tomorrow.”

For this weekend’s race, there will be two DRS zones, with one detection point – before the hairpin – and two deployment zones: down the back straight and along the pit straight.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “Today’s sessions showed how unforgiving this circuit can be: you only need to get the car slightly off-line, or hit a kerb at the wrong angle, and you can end up in the wall.

“Happily, all the drivers emerged unscathed, and the marshals did a fantastically efficient job of clearing the track and sweeping away all the debris.”

Qualifying for the 2011 Canadian GP takes place from 6pm to 7pm BST on Saturday.

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