MONTREAL - A beaming Lewis Hamilton put his sulky behavior in Monaco firmly behind him on Friday when he topped the times in free practice for Sunday's Canada Grand Prix. Hamilton, who was embroiled in a series of acrimonious incidents in Monte Carlo, topped the times at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a best lap of one minute and 16.118 seconds.
His lap was almost two-tenths of a second faster than that of his team-mate Nico Rosberg, the championship leader, and ensured he had the advantage at the end of a first day dominated by the Mercedes team. "That was a great day," he said. "A great day for me and for the team - and Nico. Now we know what we have to work on with the set up, but I must say what a great job the team have done for this back at the factory. I am quite sure that there is a lot more to come for us both. Nico showed he has a lot of pace here so we are in a good place for Friday even if the car is not exactly perfect, as we would like."
Rosberg was also full of praise for the team and their day's work. "A great day, yes, for all of us," he said. "It was a pleasure to drive the car and now we have to work the right way and make sure we have the right strategy for the tyre-degradation." In an oblique reference to the controversies at Monaco, he added: "Qualifying is going to be crucial again." The 29-year-old Briton, who lost the leadership in the title race at the Monaco Grand Prix where Rosberg ended his run of four straight wins, was in dominant form on a sunny afternoon at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
He clocked a fastest lap in one minute and 16.118 seconds to outpace his rival by nearly two-tenths of a second. Defending four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was third fastest in the leading Red Bull, his revived form pointing to an improvement by his team's engine suppliers Renault as they bid to close the performance gap. Finn Kimi Raikkonen was fourth ahead of his Ferrari team-mate two-time champion Fernando Alonso, who had been the fastest man in the morning's overcast opening free practice session.
Brazilian Felipe Massa was sixth ahead of his Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas and the top ten was completed by the two McLarens of Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen and his team-mate Jenson Button with Jean-Eric Vergne clocking the 10th best time for Toro Rosso.