MERCEDES enjoyed a dominant start to the Canadian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton led Nico Rosberg at the head of the field following first practice.
Reigning champion Hamilton had the advantage over his team-mate as he looked to move on from the pit-stop debacle that cost him victory in Monaco last time out.
The Briton insisted on Thursday that he had no lingering feelings about the incident two weeks ago that handed victory to Rosberg, who heads into Sunday’s race ten points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ championship.
He showed his mind is firmly in the present as he was on the pace from the start of practice, storming to the top of the time sheet and eventually setting the fastest time of one minute 16.212 seconds – with a little spin at turn ten doing nothing to stop him dominating the session.
That time was too quick for Rosberg, who was 0.415 seconds adrift, with a sizeable gap back to the Lotus of Romain Grosjean in third.
The Frenchman was the best of the rest but could not get to within a second and a half of Hamilton’s quickest time.
Nico Hulkenberg took fourth for Force India and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in fifth – with the sister car of Kimi Raikkonen back in 12th.
Williams endured a tough time in Monaco but Felipe Massa managed to end the session in sixth, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado.
Jenson Button scored McLaren’s first points of the season in Monte Carlo but struggled in the early going here thanks to a gearbox issue.
A lack of track-time saw the 2009 world champion finish down in 15th, with team-mate Fernando Alonso able to take ninth as the team look to progress following development to the Honda engine.
Max Verstappen, who will take a five-place grid penalty after crashing into Grosjean in Monaco, rounded out the top ten, with Valtteri Bottas 11th for Williams.
Sergio Perez was some way down on Force India team-mate Hulkenberg as he could only manage 13th, with last year’s winner Daniel Ricciardo down in 14th for Red Bull.
The Sauber duo of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson were 16th and 18th, respectively, with Carlos Sainz – who had a spin and also required rescuing from the end of the pit-lane later in the session, sandwiched between them.
Manor brought up the field with Roberto Mehri able to get the better of Will Stevens, who was 20th and last, 4.412 seconds slower than compatriot Hamilton.