Lewis Hamilton tops FP1, Fernando Alonso hits early reliability issue on F1 return
Canadian Grand Prix - FP1

Lewis Hamilton tops FP1, Fernando Alonso hits early reliability issue on F1 return

09/06/2017

Lewis Hamilton edged Sebastian Vettel to the quickest time in opening practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, where Fernando Alonso encountered immediate issues on his return to McLaren-Honda.

Having completed just 13 laps on his return to a Formula One cockpit, Alonso's MCL32 suffered a loss of hydraulic pressure, affecting the steering and gearshifts and prompting him to pull up at Turn 10 and throw the headrest from the car. It represented a miserable return to action after missing the Monaco Grand Prix to compete at the Indy 500 last month, a decision motivated by Honda's third successive year failing to provide McLaren with a competitive or reliable power unit.

With Alonso using Thursday's media session in Montreal to set McLaren-Honda the highly unlikely target of winning a race by September if the team wants him to stay for 2018, the early failure demonstrates the enormous scale of the team's current predicament. As he waited for a lift back to the paddock, Alonso smiled and laughed with the marshals around him, but a route back to a winning car appears to look less and less likely by the day.

At the front, Hamilton enjoyed a strong start to a weekend Mercedes hopes will be a fightback from its dismal showing at the Monaco Grand Prix, where neither car finished on the podium. The three-time world champion's benchmark of 1:13.809 was 0.198s ahead of Vettel, though Friday's opening practice session rarely provides a truly accurate forecast for the rest of the weekend. Early spins by Ferrari pair Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen -- who finished 0.4s off the lead -- and a wobbly moment for Hamilton at Turn 1 showed how green the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was at the beginning of the session, with grip and tyre warm-up likely to play a key role in influencing the fight for pole and the win this weekend.

Behind the lead four, Force India registered a strong start to the weekend with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finishing fifth and sixth -- the only cars within one second of Mercedes or Ferrari. Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished either side of eighth-placed Felipe Massa, though it seems unlikely the Milton Keynes team will be that close to the midfield teams later in the weekend.

Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, who completed 29 laps in a McLaren-Honda engine which managed to complete an entire session. Kevin Magnussen ended 12th for Haas ahead of local boy Lance Stroll, preparing for his first Canadian Grand Prix, though the teenager sounded unhappy with his set-up throughout the session.

Romain Grosjean was 14th ahead of Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, who was one of the drivers to spin early in the session at Turn 7. Behind Alonso, Sauber pair Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein finished either side of Renault's Jolyon Palmer in 18th. Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz finished bottom of the order, though he completed just one installation lap early in the session before hitting trouble wuith his Renault engine.

Related news

Daniel Ricciardo quickest again as Red Bull dominates opening Monaco practices

Daniel Ricciardo quickest again as Red Bull dominates opening Monaco practices

Daniel Ricciardo kept himself and Red Bull top of the order by recording the quickest time of second practice, finishing half a second quicker than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in third.

Daniel Ricciardo leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in opening Monaco practice

Daniel Ricciardo leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in opening Monaco practice

Red Bull set the pace during the opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo beating teammate Max Verstappen to the fastest time.

Marc Marquez wins as rivals crash out

Marc Marquez wins as rivals crash out

Marc Marquez extended his MotoGP points lead with victory in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, helped by crashes for Andrea Dovizioso and Johann Zarco.

Thierry Neuville leads championship after win in Portugal

Thierry Neuville leads championship after win in Portugal

Hyundai's Belgian driver Thierry Neuville retook the lead in the World Rallying Championship from France’s Sebastian Ogier on Sunday after winning the Portuguese Rally.

Neuville continues to build Rally Portugal lead

Neuville continues to build Rally Portugal lead

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville extended his overall Rally Portugal lead over M-Sport Ford driver Elfyn Evans across the World Rally Championship's Saturday afternoon stages, ending the day 39.8s clear.

Thierry Neuville adds to lead as Meeke crashes out

Thierry Neuville adds to lead as Meeke crashes out

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville extended his overall Rally Portugal lead on Saturday morning, ending the loop half a minute clear of Elfyn Evans after a storming run on the final stage.

Johann Zarco beats Marc Marquez to grab Le Mans pole

Johann Zarco beats Marc Marquez to grab Le Mans pole

Tech3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco will start his home MotoGP race in France from pole after beating Marc Marquez in a frenetic qualifying session at Le Mans.

Sebastian Ogier crashes out of Rally Portugal

Sebastian Ogier crashes out of Rally Portugal

World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier has crashed out of Rally Portugal on the opening stage of Friday afternoon's loop.

Thierry Neuville extends Portugal lead on Porto stages

Thierry Neuville extends Portugal lead on Porto stages

Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville ended a chaotic first full day of Rally Portugal by extending his overall lead on the two short stages on Porto's streets.

RELATED NEWS

Daniel Ricciardo quickest again as Red Bull dominates opening Monaco practices
Monaco Grand Prix - FP2

Daniel Ricciardo quickest again as Red Bull dominates opening Monaco practices

Daniel Ricciardo kept himself and Red Bull top of the order by recording the quickest time of second practice, finishing half a second quicker than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in third.

Daniel Ricciardo leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in opening Monaco practice
Monaco Grand Prix - FP1

Daniel Ricciardo leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in opening Monaco practice

Red Bull set the pace during the opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo beating teammate Max Verstappen to the fastest time.

Marc Marquez wins as rivals crash out
MOTOGP French Grand Prix

Marc Marquez wins as rivals crash out

Marc Marquez extended his MotoGP points lead with victory in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, helped by crashes for Andrea Dovizioso and Johann Zarco.

Thierry Neuville leads championship after win in Portugal
Rally Portugal

Thierry Neuville leads championship after win in Portugal

Hyundai's Belgian driver Thierry Neuville retook the lead in the World Rallying Championship from France’s Sebastian Ogier on Sunday after winning the Portuguese Rally.

Neuville continues to build Rally Portugal lead
Rally Portugal

Neuville continues to build Rally Portugal lead

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville extended his overall Rally Portugal lead over M-Sport Ford driver Elfyn Evans across the World Rally Championship's Saturday afternoon stages, ending the day 39.8s clear.

Thierry Neuville adds to lead as Meeke crashes out
Rally Portugal

Thierry Neuville adds to lead as Meeke crashes out

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville extended his overall Rally Portugal lead on Saturday morning, ending the loop half a minute clear of Elfyn Evans after a storming run on the final stage.

Johann Zarco beats Marc Marquez to grab Le Mans pole
MOTOGP French Grand Prix

Johann Zarco beats Marc Marquez to grab Le Mans pole

Tech3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco will start his home MotoGP race in France from pole after beating Marc Marquez in a frenetic qualifying session at Le Mans.

Sebastian Ogier crashes out of Rally Portugal
Rally Portugal

Sebastian Ogier crashes out of Rally Portugal

World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier has crashed out of Rally Portugal on the opening stage of Friday afternoon's loop.

Thierry Neuville extends Portugal lead on Porto stages
Rally Portugal

Thierry Neuville extends Portugal lead on Porto stages

Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville ended a chaotic first full day of Rally Portugal by extending his overall lead on the two short stages on Porto's streets.