Mercedes on brink of history

Mercedes stand on the brink of making Formula One history on Sunday after again leaving their rivals in the shade in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton is eyeing a fourth victory in Canada (AP)
Lewis Hamilton is eyeing a fourth victory in Canada (AP)

For the 11th time in 20 practice sessions this season, Lewis Hamilton finished top of the timesheet, spearheading a one-two with team-mate Nico Rosberg who had to settle for second best at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

If there is a repeat of that order in the race, or even a reversal should Rosberg get the better of Hamilton for the second successive event, Mercedes will earn a place in the sport's history books.

No team in F1's 64-year existence has scored six successive one-twos, with Mercedes currently equal with Ferrari on five who have twice managed the feat, in 1952 and again in 2002.

Despite Rosberg's contentious win in Monaco a fortnight ago which led to a fall-out between the German and Hamilton, the latter is red-hot favourite to strike back quickly.

Hamilton has triumphed on three previous occasions in Montreal, and has also scored a trio of poles in his seven events at the circuit.

For once, come the conclusion to the two 90-minute practice outings, there was a reasonable gap between the duo.

Hamilton clocked a time on the fastest of Pirelli's tyre rubber, the supersoft compound, of one minute 16.118secs, with Rosberg 0.175secs adrift.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was quickest in FP1, had to settle for fifth overall at the end of the day, with the Spaniard 0.583secs off the pace.

Reigning four-times champion Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari were ahead of the Spaniard, both around half-a-second behind.

The Williams' pairing of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas thrust themselves into top-10 contention, similarly the McLarens of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button.

Just seven thousandths of a second separated the latter duo, who were the last of the drivers to come within a second of Hamilton's pace.

Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne repeated his feat in FP1 of finishing 10th in the second session, but a full second adrift.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, third in the last two races, was down in a surprising 12th, not just 1.5secs behind Hamilton, but a second off of team-mate Vettel.

Max Chilton performed strongly to claim 18th in his Marussia, with the Briton 2.5secs adrift.

However, two of the drivers behind him in Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat and Jules Bianchi in his Marussia encountered issues that curtailed their running