MONTREAL, Canada, June 8, 2012 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton set the pace for McLaren on Friday after clocking the fastest time of the day during an overcast second free practice session for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
Rain threatened throughout the session and a track temperature of just 24 degrees meant drivers struggled to get sufficient grip into their tyres.
German Timo Glock of Virgin, Briton Paul Di Resta of Force India and Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari all spun early on before Williams driver Brazilian Bruno Senna crashed into the wall of champions just before the hour mark and the session was red-flagged.
In spite of this, 2008 drivers' champion Hamilton set the pace from the start and clocked a fastest time of one minute 15.257 seconds midway through the session, 0.054 seconds faster than second-fastest Alonso, third-fastest Brazilian Felipe Massa was a further tenth of a second behind.
Defending drivers' champion German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was fourth quickest ahead of Di Resta of Force India and Japanese Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber.
Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher was seventh fastest ahead of German compatriot Nico Hulkenberg of Williams.
Struggling Jenson Button suffered further though in the second McLaren and a gearbox issue picked up in the morning session hampered his progress further in the afternoon. Despite the best efforts from his team, the 2009 champion was only able to take part in the final 20 minutes of the session.
That meant he was only able to complete 24 laps throughout the day compared with his team-mate Hamilton who completed 43 in the afternoon.
German Nico Rosberg completed the top ten in the second Mercedes.