Hamilton sets pace in Canada

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton returned to the scene of his first Formula One victory on Friday and put down an immediate marker with the quickest laps in Canadian Grand Prix practice. 

The 2008 world champion, a winner in Montreal in 2007 and 2010 but strangely without a triumph in this most unpredictable of seasons, was fastest in both sessions at an overcast Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. 

The Briton set a best time of one minute 15.564 seconds in the morning and improved on that slightly with a 1:15.259 in the afternoon session that concluded just before torrential rain and thunder swept across the city. 

The Briton was followed by the two Ferraris in the second session, championship leading Spaniard Fernando Alonso lapping 0.054 off Hamilton's pace and Brazilian Felipe Massa third best and 0.151 slower. 

Red Bull’s double world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was second fastest to Hamilton in the morning was fourth in the afternoon. 

Force India drivers did well in the free practice sessions with Paul di Resta managing the fifth fastest timing and Nico Hulkenberg finishing eighth.

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