Lewis Hamilton continued his form from Monaco and headed Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, as the two Silver Arrows were almost a whole second clear of the rest of the field, whilst Alfa Romeo’s Giovinazzi was the first man to come into contact with the close proximity Montreal walls.
Hamilton’s fastest lap during the opening session was a 1.12.767, which set the Briton 0.147s clear of team-mate Valtteri Bottas – who led the early stages of the session – with the rest of the field lacking massively to the two Mercedes.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc may have been third fastest in the Ferrari, but the Monegasque was 0.953s adrift of Hamilton’s fastest time, with Vettel, who spun on one of his qualifying-simulation laps, only fifth fastest.
Story of the session
During the early phases of the session, there was little running on a very dusty and hot circuit at Montreal. However, home test driver Nicholas Latifi soon had the circuit to himself, however most of his outing was spent sliding around in an unbalanced Williams paired with the dust strewn around the track.
After almost 30 minutes into the session, the front-runners started taking to circuit, with Verstappen first the big guns to set a timed lap. Upon his second attempt, the Dutchman flew to the top of the order with a 1.15.026.
As the Mercedes and Ferrari’s took the track, and the rubber continued to build, Bottas went to the top of the time-sheets with Verstappen second and Hamilton third. The Ferrari struggled out of the box with Vettel’s first lap, who could only go eight fastest on his first flying lap, but improved to fourth on his next lap – but was still over a second off the pace.
As the dust started to clear and the gremlin was laid down, Mercedes unsurprisingly claimed the early advantage, with Bottas once again heading Hamilton, comfortably having a tenth or so in hand over his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with Max Verstappen well clear of the struggling Ferrari’s during the early stages.
As the drivers took the track on the softs, Bottas improved his advantage, setting a 1.12.914s, but Hamilton soon went fastest with a 1.12.767, edging his Finnish team-mate by 0.147s.
As the track was hotting up, Giovinazzi went into the barrier at turn 9 and incurred a puncture. However, due to the nature of the impact he soon stopped on track, triggering the virtual safety car.
As Ferrari pushed for improvements after the clean-up cleared, Charles Leclerc jumped up to third fastest behind the two Mercedes cars, however still almost a second adrift.