Encouraging results on Canadian Friday for McLaren

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Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in Friday's Free Practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Lewis drove 42 laps in the second session and posted a best time of 1m15.752. His team-mate Heikki Kovalainen completed 36 laps and was fourth fastest with a 1m16.331.

On a drying track in the morning, Lewis and Heikki went out only 20 minutes before the end of the session; Heikki ended up third with a 1m18.133 (10 laps) and Lewis was sixth with a 1m18.303 (8 laps).

Lewis Hamilton: "It’s great to be back in Montreal, the scene of my first grand prix victory one year ago. We chose not to use our allocation of wet tyres for the majority of the opening session but managed a run on dry tyres towards the end of the morning. In the afternoon, we were able to improve the car on every run - I felt very comfortable with the set-up and balance, particularly when we switched to the option tyre, which allowed me to lean on the car as the track conditions improved. We’ve still got some work to do ahead of qualifying and the race, but we’ve already got some positive running under our belts."

Heikki Kovalainen: "Today was a pretty useful day, although I don’t really feel as though I’ve yet found a truly perfect balance. We chose not to carry out too much running this morning, but we were able to start developing the car in the afternoon. We worked hard on set-up, focusing particularly on calming the rear-end, but I have yet to really start attacking the track. However, by the end of the session, I felt we’d come a long way towards resolving our main issues. After we’ve had a good look at the tyres and made some changes ahead of tomorrow morning’s practice session, I think we’ll be in much better shape."

Ron Dennis: "We often experience mixed weather conditions at the Canadian Grand Prix, and today was no exception. We chose to conserve our supply of wet tyres throughout this morning’s damp session, but we were pleased with the developments we made to the cars this afternoon. We feel confident that the improvements will allow us to be competitive. Nonetheless, we’re fully aware that this race is often unpredictable, so we’re taking absolutely nothing for granted. It’s still too early to judge where we are compared with our competitors, but we’re heading in the right direction."

Norbert Haug: "As usual on Fridays, we focused on preparing for both qualifying and the race. As a result, we completed a number of stints, evaluating different set-ups and tyres. The results look pretty encouraging."