Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Montreal, 2012

Hamilton tops first practice after Kovalainen crash

2012 Canadian Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Montreal, 2012Lewis Hamilton led the way in the first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver set a fastest time of 1’15.564 on the soft tyres, just over a tenth of a second fastest than Sebastian Vettel.

With occasional drops of rain falling at the track, and heavier rain expected during the second practice session, the teams wasted no times in getting the day’s running started.

Several teams had aerodynamic testing to do. Ferrari as usual had liberal amounts of flow-vis applied to their rear wings.

Red Bull had substantial flow measurement arrays fitted to both cars, as well as special cameras directed at different points of their cars.

Hamilton was immediately on the pace after taking to the track, reeling off a quick sequence of laps to lead the times.

Early in the second half of the session Heikki Kovalainen lost the back end of his car coming out of turn nine. As he tried to straighten up his Caterham the car snapped right and hit the wall heavily on the right, taking two wheels off it.

The session was stopped for around 15 minutes while the Caterham was recovered, restarting with around half an hour to go.

After the session resumed Nico Rosberg briefly took over at the top of the times before Hamilton produced another improvement to beat it again.

Both Red Bull drivers improved their times in the final minutes of the session on super-soft tyres. Vettel’s last effort produced a 1’15.682, good enough for second.

However the stewards are investigating an incident between him and Williams driver Bruno Senna at the chicane at the end of the lap during the session, when Vettel overtook Senna and the pair made contact.

Fernando Alonso was fourth-quickest for Ferrari who tested a new configuration of exhaust exit on their F2012.

Mark Webber was sixth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and the Saubers of Kamui Kobayshi and Sergio Perez.

Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button completed the top ten, the latter slowed by a slipping clutch during the first session.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.564 30
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’15.682 0.118 29
3 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’15.782 0.218 30
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’15.842 0.278 34
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’15.897 0.333 28
6 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’15.986 0.422 29
7 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.000 0.436 31
8 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.249 0.685 32
9 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.264 0.700 28
10 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.347 0.783 12
11 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’16.460 0.896 32
12 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.619 1.055 17
13 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’16.859 1.295 26
14 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’16.890 1.326 36
15 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’17.014 1.450 42
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.352 1.788 28
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.580 2.016 31
18 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’17.935 2.371 23
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’18.177 2.613 16
20 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’18.182 2.618 26
21 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’18.762 3.198 36
22 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’19.354 3.790 23
23 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.004 4.440 21
24 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.087 4.523 23

2012 Canadian Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Canadian Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Caterham/LAT

34 comments on “Hamilton tops first practice after Kovalainen crash”

  1. I have a feeling that the cars that are 4th, 5th, 6th 7th and 8th in the championship are going to be stronger in Montreal than those that are 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If this is reflected in the result than it could even the championship even more.

  2. Lotus is not so impressive. Possibly due to colder temperature? but Mercedes that is good at lower temperature is not looking good as well. Hamilton is still favorite for the pole, Ferrari is remained to be seen. It would be interesting quali and race.

    1. Lotus doing race prep on Super Softs, I think Kimi did ~23 laps on one set of tyres,

  3. Ham,Ros,Alo set fastest times on Soft tires & Vet and Web on Super-soft?

    1. I think I saw Rosberg with the red stripes.

      1. @paul-a He used a set of SSs but he set the fastest on S.

        1. Thanks – Autosport is now reporting “But the Mercedes did not go any quicker than it had on softs …” These tyres again — oh well.

    2. @prdsh High fuel run? They’ll have to start the race on the super-soft so it makes sense to gauge them with high fuel if they’re expecting interruption from the rain. That or they’re just slow around here, wouldn’t surprise me.

  4. Hamilton looking solid. Vettel must get a penalty?!

    1. Im not sure about the penatly, the rules say:

      Drivers may no longer leave the track without a justifiable reason, i.e. cutting a chicane on reconnaissance laps or in-laps to save time and fuel…

      You could argue what a justifiable reason is.

      1. I’m sure Vettel also clipped Senna before cutting the chicane, or am I mistaken?

      2. Didn’t he cut it to get past a back-marker so he could get a better run to begin his next flying lap? Don’t think that’s justifiable.

        1. Either way, I’m sure Vettel will get away with. That guy should buy lottery tickets every fortnight!

        2. I was only able to follow the bbc live text as i’m working, but it sounded like he cut the chicane solely to get ahead of a slower car. To me that is not justifiable. But we’ll see what happens after the stewards talk to him… probably nothing happens to him.

      3. @bag0 certainly being held up isn’t a justificable reason. Specially during a practise session.

        I bet they are going to penalize him…

  5. What an impressive opening stint from Hamilton. He’ll definitely be the man to beat this weekend… completely dialed in right from the jump.

    1. Yeah, makes you wonder what could possibly go wrong at McLaren this time and spoil his race.

      1. There will be something, no doubt. Beginning to wish I could change my display name…

        1. If I were you I would not change it, Mclaren is,it seems to me the most relaxed team,hence; there tend to be a few more mistakes during the race weekends.

      2. Don’t worry @klaas, they will find something to surprise us again!

  6. Missed the Vettel-Senna contact. Can anyone give me an idea of how it happened? And how serious/who is at fault please. Cheers

    1. I only saw that Vettel cut the last chicane on purpose, overtaking Senna.

  7. Vettel must get a penalty for cutting the last chicane to overtake someone, i didn’t see the crash with Senna. But he should get a penalty for unnecessary corner cutting.

  8. Anyone know why Massa only did half the laps Alonso did? I get the impression that both drivers were testing some new aero but only Alonso testing the new exhaust? If so, it looks to be working!

    1. @andrewtanner Massa tried the new exhaust, and Alonso worked on setup with the old version of the car, at least that’s what Ted said during practice.

      1. @fer-no65 Hmm but that contradicts with what the article says …

        Fernando Alonso was fourth-quickest for Ferrari who tested a new configuration of exhaust exit on their F2012.

        I read that as Alonso being the one who was testing…who knows!!

        1. @andrewtanner well, I saw Massa’s car with the new exhaust. So did Ted.

          I guess Keith wanted to say that it was Ferrari who tested a new configuration of the exhaust on the F2012, not Alonso himself.

          1. @fer-no65 Ah well, I can’t argue that :D Thanks for clearing it up.

          2. @andrewtanner you can argue :P not sure you should, but you defo can :P hehe!

  9. As far as I know, the investigation wasn’t for the overtaking through the chicane, but for moving back over on Senna in the braking zone, similar to what Schumacher did to Massa in 2010.

  10. Vettel might get a penalty? I should put him on pole then ;)

  11. Wow, the first time I`ve missed a broadcast F1 session in many years, I suppose the `Not on terrestial channels` syndome is kicking in.

  12. Go get em L.H.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.