• Sebastian Vettel recovers from crash to be second fastest
• Difficult day for Lewis Hamilton and McLaren after puncture
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso topped the second practice session at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Friday. And if this was a trailer for the real thing on Sunday the Canadian Grand Prix will be a cracker – or should that be crasher?
There were a number of incidents, to add to Sebastian Vettel’s prang in the morning session. But Red Bull rivals who thought Vettel might have damaged his prospects for Saturday’s’s qualifying session were disappointed.
The world champion missed a large part of the morning run-out but returned and was second to Alonso in the afternoon – in 2008 Vettel also crashed here in practice and was unable to take part in qualifying.
In the second run Felipe Massa was third, ahead of the McLaren pair of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. It was another frustrating day for Hamilton, who had a puncture in addition to his earlier problems with his steering wheel data.
The third Briton, Paul di Resta, was sixth on his first time on the track, one place ahead of Mark Webber. But the afternoon session was more memorable for its crashes than its fast times.
This is an unforgiving circuit and with 30 minutes to go Kamui Kobayashi hit the wall at the first chicane and his Sauber was in pieces.
When the session restarted it was not for long. After a few more minutesVirgin’s Jérôme d’Ambrosio came unstuck at the same part of the track and another heavy contact was followed by another red flag.
Adrian Sutil also had problems with his Force India car. He hit a wall coming out of Turn 7. And there were a number of other small incidents.
The morning practice was dominated by Mercedes, who were well off the pace later on. Nico Rosberg was fastest and his team-mate Michael Schumacher was third; Alonso was the filling in the German sandwich with Button and Hamilton fifth and sixth respectively. But it was the second session that had most of the thrills and spills.