NASCAR

Ferrari's Alonso tops Canadian GP practice

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MONTREAL (AP)

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso had the fastest lap in practice Friday for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Spanish driver, a two-time winner this season, had a lap at 1 minute, 14:818 seconds on a damp day at 2.71-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre-Dame.

''It depends on which moment you do your lap and the conditions on the circuit whether you are quickest or not,'' Alonso said. ''The most important thing was to evaluate some new parts we brought here, and the new tires that Pirelli brought as well. Some of it we managed to do.''

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, a three-time Montreal winner for McLaren, was second at 1:14.831. Lotus' Romain Grosjean was third, followed by Red Bull's Mark Webber and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, coming off a victory two weeks ago in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Times were about 7 seconds faster than in the morning practice, when Force India's Paul Di Resta topped the speed chart at 1:21.020.

The day started on a wet track from overnight rain, but by the afternoon it was dry until a few drops fell with 15 minutes left. The conditions created some slipping and sliding, including a near crash between Webber and Grosjean. Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus also went for a slide.

Teams will have a practice session Saturday morning before qualifying. The race is Sunday.

Alonso won world championships in 2005 and 2006 for Renault, but the 31-year-old was unable to catch Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull as the German won championships the last three years.

Vettel leads the standings - 21 points ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel also has two victories in the first six races, winning in Malaysia and Bahrain. Alonso won in China and Spain.

When asked who he expected to be his chief competition this weekend, Vettel didn't overlook Ferrari.

''On one lap, if you look at the time sheet, the Mercedes again looked very quick,'' Vettel said. ''The Ferrari looked competitive in both long and short runs. So I think those will be the main rivals. But never forget the Lotus. They could be a surprise in the race.''

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