MONTREAL, Canada, June 8, 2012 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in overcast conditions during the opening free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix here on Friday.
The 27-year-old McLaren driver, who is yet to win a Grand Prix this year, clocked a time of 1min 15.564 seconds towards the end of the session.
Hamilton set the pace from the start until the session was red-flagged after Finn Heikki Kovalainen of Caterham lost control of his car and crashed
into the barrier with forty minutes remaining.
Mercedes driver German Nico Rosberg briefly clocked the fastest time after the track had been cleared before Hamilton went fastest again.
A quick final lap from Red Bull driver German Sebastian Vettel saw him second fastest, just 0.118 seconds off Hamilton's time.
Rosberg was third fastest ahead of championship leader Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Australian Mark Webber was fifth in the second Red Bull followed by German Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Mexican Sergio Perez, who were seventh and eighth respectively.
Veteran German Michael Schumacher was ninth fastest in the second Mercedes ahead of Briton Jenson button, who suffered gearbox problems and only managed 12 laps in his McLaren.