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F1 Canadian GP: Norris leads wet-to-dry opening practice

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The first bout of on-track action for the Montreal event was disrupted by a hailstorm hitting the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve an hour before FP1.

The rain abated before the start of the session at 13:30 local time, but the pitlane remained closed while track workers attempted to clear off standing water, preventing any running in the early stages.

With 39 minutes left on the clock, the pitlane finally opened, avoiding a repeat of the 2023 scenario where fans witnessed just five minutes of FP1 action due to CCTV issues.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was first out on intermediates for a few sighter laps while Sauber's Valtteri Bottas had the less popular full wets bolted on, but he soon followed Hamilton's lead as it became clear the track was ready for the green-sidewalled inters.

As more drivers ventured out on the slowly drying circuit, Bottas' team-mate Zhou Guanyu caused a brief red flag by losing control over his Sauber and clattering the outside Turn 5 wall with his rear-left corner.

The constantly improving conditions meant lap times steadily came down too, with Yuki Tsunoda, Carlos Sainz, Hamilton, and Charles Leclerc all trading turns at the top of the leaderboard.

Following a quiet spell, there was a late flurry of activity in the final six minutes when a clear dry racing line encouraged most drivers to go out on soft slicks.

After slipping off the track in Turn 2, Leclerc briefly took over the lead from team-mate Sainz, before McLaren man Norris went top with a 1m24.435s.

Sainz reclaimed second from Leclerc, with Hamilton taking fourth ahead of world champion Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

Oscar Piastri was sixth in the second McLaren, followed by Alpine's Pierre Gasly and Bottas, who suffered a late spin.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez and the second Mercedes of George Russell rounded out the top ten.

Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan got little enjoyment out of taking over Esteban Ocon's car for FP1, with the Australian restricted to three laps without setting a time.

Zhou and Williams' Alex Albon also finished the session without a lap time on the board.

More rain is expected for Friday afternoon's second practice session which follows at 5pm local time.

   
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Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 8

1'24.435

  185.937
2 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 11

+0.328

1'24.763

0.328 185.217
3 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 11

+0.871

1'25.306

0.543 184.038
4 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 11

+1.535

1'25.970

0.664 182.617
5 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 10

+2.067

1'26.502

0.532 181.494
6 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 7

+2.319

1'26.754

0.252 180.966
7 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 8

+3.149

1'27.584

0.830 179.251
8 Finland V. Bottas Sauber 77 Sauber Ferrari 11

+3.235

1'27.670

0.086 179.076
9 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 10

+3.623

1'28.058

0.388 178.287
10 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 9

+4.106

1'28.541

0.483 177.314
11 Australia D. Ricciardo RB 3 RB Red Bull 9

+4.147

1'28.582

0.041 177.232
12 Japan Y. Tsunoda RB 22 RB Red Bull 9

+4.288

1'28.723

0.141 176.950
13 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 8

+4.617

1'29.052

0.329 176.296
14 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 5

+8.391

1'32.826

3.774 169.129
15 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 4

+8.976

1'33.411

0.585 168.070
16 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 5

+12.151

1'36.586

3.175 162.545
17 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 4

+16.095

1'40.530

3.944 156.168
18 China Z. Guanyu Sauber 24 Sauber Ferrari 4

 

   
19 Australia J. Doohan Alpine 61 Alpine Renault 3

 

   
20 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 4

 

   

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