Lewis Hamilton topped the opening practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, the championship leader setting a best time of 1:12.767, to end the session just 0.147s clear of Mercedes team-mate Bottas.
After a first half hour in which Max Verstappen went quickest on what he branded “an insanely dirty” track, Hamilton and Bottas took to the track and the Finnish driver immediately jumped to the top of the order with a time of 1:14.160. The pair then traded fastest times until Bottas seized control with a lap of 1:13.001, a little over a tenth up on the Briton.
The pair retreated to the pit lane for a brief spell and on the next runs Bottas dipped into the 1m12s bracket on soft compound Pirellis, before Hamilton set the final benchmark of the session with his best lap of 1:12.767. Hamilton’s P1 time was set on the medium compound tyres.
Bottas did not get a chance to respond as he retreated to the garage where Mercedes spent time investigating a fuel pressure problem on his car.
Soon after Hamilton’s best time was set there was a lull when Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi spun at the Turn 8 chicane and clipped the wall. The I
Team-mate, Kimi Räikkönen, had a good session, however, with the Finn taking sixth place in the session with a best time of 1:13.945, 1.1s behind Hamilton.
Ahead of the Alfa driver, Charles Leclerc got closest to the Mercedes drivers with a time of 1:13.720, almost a full second behind Hamilton. He was a separated from Ferrari team-mate by 0.185s and by the Red Bull Racing car of Max Verstappen, who finished fourth, just three hundredths of a second behind Leclerc. Team-mate Pierre Gasly had a less successful session, with the Frenchman 13th behind Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg. Neither Ferrari nor Red Bull ran on soft tyres during the 90-minute session.
With Räikkönen sixth behind Vettel, seventh place on the timesheet went to McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in eighth. Sergio Pérez was ninth for Racing Point, 1.4s off Hamilton’s pace, while team-mate Lance Stroll finished in P17. The top 10 order was rounded out Haas’ Kevin Magnussen who was three hundredths of a second behind Pérez.
FIA Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 31 1:12.767
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 25 1:12.914 0.147
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 24 1:13.720 0.953
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 26 1:13.755 0.988
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 28 1:13.905 1.138
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 30 1:13.945 1.178
7 Carlos Sainz McLaren 34 1:13.973 1.206
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 31 1:14.123 1.356
9 Sergio Perez Racing Point 31 1:14.172 1.405
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas 32 1:14.202 1.435
11 Lando Norris McLaren 33 1:14.246 1.479
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 30 1:14.474 1.707
13 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 27 1:14.570 1.803
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 17 1:14.582 1.815
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 31 1:14.645 1.878
16 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 36 1:14.703 1.936
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point 32 1:14.812 2.045
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 32 1:15.343 2.576
19 George Russell Williams 29 1:15.989 3.222
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 33 1:16.199 3.432