2011 Canadian Grand Prix (Rd 7, Free Practice 1, June 10th)

© Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

As the Formula 1 circus makes for a short stint to North America, it was Mercedes that made the first step up.

With engine power at a premium, Nico Rosberg took the top spot in first practice. Indeed, it was a busy session for the marque team, with Rosberg and teammate Michael Schumacher completing 62 laps between them.

Rosberg notched a best lap of 1:15.591 late in the session, giving the Mercedes man a half-second advantage over Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Schumacher finished the session 3rd on the timesheets, albeit 0.958 of-a-second shy of the fastest pace.

Felipe Massa made it two Ferrari’s in the top four, with the McLaren Mercedes pairing of Jenson Button (5th) and Lewis Hamilton (6th) just shy of the Brazilian. Hamilton had a stuttered session thanks to a data transfer problem in his MP4-26.
Both Ferrari and McLaren brought minor upgrades to Montreal, mainly floor and diffuser tweaks; however whether it brings them closer to the Red Bull’s on “regular” circuits remains to be seen.

Williams arrived in Canada with a new floor – it helped Rubens Barrichello to 7th in the session, although Pastor Maldonado could not capitalise in a similar fashion, he ended the morning in 17th.
Nick Heidfeld recorded the 9th best time by the chequered flag. The Renault veteran found himself sandwiched by a pair of Force India’s, led by Scotland’s Paul di Resta. Sitting in for Adrian Sutil was Nico Hulkenberg – the German took 10th, some 1.958 seconds down on Rosberg.

Daniel Ricciardo was the busiest man on circuit, completing 35 laps in his Toro Rosso, whereas in his sister Red Bull team Sebastian Vettel turned the fewest laps in RB7.
The reigning champion was to be running minor diffuser updates today; however brake issues kept Vettel in the garage until the midway point. Unfortunately, a crash for the German ended his practice after only eight laps, with Vettel becoming a new addition to the “Wall of Champions.”

Sergio Perez returned to his Sauber seat after missing the Monaco Grand Prix. The Mexican recorded 27 laps in his Ferrari-powered C30, taking 11th some two seconds off the pace. Hispania arrived in Montreal with a new blown exhaust, giving the upgrade appeared to give the Hispania some small improvement at the rear of the pack.
Pirelli supplied an set extra of medium compound tyres in the session, as the Italian company prepare for the European Grand Prix in Valencia in two weeks.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1m15.591s            32
 2.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1m16.139s  + 0.548   27
 3.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1m16.549s  + 0.958   30
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1m16.658s  + 1.067   26
 5.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1m16.676s  + 1.085   20
 6.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1m16.842s  + 1.251   19
 7.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth       1m16.990s  + 1.399   28
 8.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1m17.294s  + 1.703   26
 9.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                 1m17.445s  + 1.854   28
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1m17.549s  + 1.958   20
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1m17.662s  + 2.071   27
12.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1m17.820s  + 2.229   30
13.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m18.458s  + 2.867   31
14.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                 1m18.506s  + 2.915   15
15.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m18.648s  + 3.057   35
16.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1m18.852s  + 3.261    8
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth       1m18.932s  + 3.341   20
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault           1m19.274s  + 3.683   29
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault           1m19.422s  + 3.831   30
20.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1m19.577s  + 3.986   26
21.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth         1m19.838s  + 4.247   31
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth            1m19.960s  + 4.369   23
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth         1m20.520s  + 4.929   21
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1m20.839s  + 5.248   27

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