Lewis Hamilton was in a positive mood after dominating the opening day of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix but wary of Ferrari’s progress.

The defending champion was fastest in each of the two practice sessions on Friday, with his advantage of over 0.3s in FP1 being cut to a quarter of a second by Sebastian Vettel in FP2. While happy with his own performance, Hamilton believes Ferrari could emerge as his main rival on Saturday after team-mate Nico Rosberg was half a second adrift.

“I don’t know what Nico’s problems are, he struggled a little bit more today,” Hamilton said. “But the Ferraris look very quick. I think they’ve got a new turbo so I think they’ve picked up their pace in a straight line. Whether or not they’ve turned their engine up to test that, I assume they probably have. But we will see tomorrow I guess.

“Hopefully we’re going to have a bit of a race here. These tyres, the supersoft wears out a little bit more than the rest but the tyres aren’t particularly that soft so I don’t think it’s going to be a particularly challenging race if it stays dry in terms of looking after the tyres.

“It looks like [the main threat is] going to be the Ferraris … I don’t know. It looks like today [Rosberg] didn’t have the pace but I think on the long run he looked like he was OK. But I think the Ferraris look like they might have picked something up in the new turbo.”

Having already won on four occasions in Montreal, Hamilton believes it’s a circuit which suits his driving style.

“I was thinking about it in the car today and I think it’s just because it’s a bit like a go-kart track really. It’s all about late braking, setting the car up towards the end of the braking to be able to pitch the car right to be able hit the apex of the first and bounce off the second. And having that confidence that the car’s going to land where you want it to land and not be in the wall. All those kinds of things.

“So it’s incredibly challenging in that respect, super-fast and there’s opportunities to overtake so it’s got a great combination of everything. Plus usually the good weather and we’ve got amazing fans that turn up here even on a Thursday.”

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