Hamilton quickest in P2

Montreal Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton signalled his intentions to take the fight to Ferrari in Montreal this weekend after topping the time sheets in afternoon practice.

The Briton pipped Robert Kubica to the top spot with less than eight minutes of the session to go with a lap of 1m 15.766. Then the McLaren driver went one better with a blistering first and middle sector allied with an aggressive assualt on the final chicane brushing a further hundreth of a second of his P1 time.

Robert Kubica, who had threatened to take the top honours after lapping the temporary street circuit in 1m 16.023, had to settle for second place with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen a further tenth of a second adrift.

Morning pace-setter Felipe Massa meanwhile was forced to bring his Ferrari to a halt on the back straight after losing drive. The Brazilian nontheless managed to find some speed from his F2008 and wound up fifth quickest behind Heikki Kovalainen in the sister McLaren but ahead of Nick Heidfeld.

Unlike the morning warm up when running began in the wet, the track stayed dry throughout the afternoon session with low track and ambient temperatures making an already ‘green’ circuit even trickier for the drivers.

Several drivers struggled with the low grip levels, most notably Fernando Alonso who twice spun at Turn 2, the Spaniard beaching his Renault on the kerbing on his second visit.

Nelson Piquet in the sister Renault had a similarly troublesome day, the Brazilian suffering a brake problem which left him stranded in the pit lane.

Hamilton, Kovalainen and Heidfeld had moments at the hairpin, while Nelson Piquet, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Mark Webber all had spins – Glock clanging the notorious Montreal walls at Turn 4 and dropping out of the fray shortly after.

Mark Webber paced seventh quickest, despite his spin into the gravel, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

Jarno Trulli rounded out the top ten despite struggling with the handling of his Toyota throughout the session, as he had done in the morning warm up.

Pos  Driver        Team                     Time              Laps
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:15.752            42
 2.  Kubica        BMW Sauber          (B)  1:16.023  + 0.271   41
 3.  Raikkonen     Ferrari             (B)  1:16.093  + 0.341   39
 4.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:16.331  + 0.579   36
 5.  Massa         Ferrari             (B)  1:16.413  + 0.661   27
 6.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber          (B)  1:16.589  + 0.837   43
 7.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:16.604  + 0.852   39
 8.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:16.767  + 1.015   37
 9.  Vettel        Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:17.019  + 1.267   43
10.  Trulli        Toyota              (B)  1:17.068  + 1.316   46
11.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:17.242  + 1.490   37
12.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:17.334  + 1.582   31
13.  Barrichello   Honda               (B)  1:17.462  + 1.710   39
14.  Fisichella    Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:17.508  + 1.756   39
15.  Glock         Toyota              (B)  1:17.549  + 1.797   31
16.  Bourdais      Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:17.559  + 1.807   38
17.  Alonso        Renault             (B)  1:17.644  + 1.892   30
18.  Sutil         Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:17.813  + 2.061   37
19.  Button        Honda               (B)  1:17.842  + 2.090   39
20.  Piquet        Renault             (B)  1:18.076  + 2.324   17