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Alonso’s Ferrari sets fastest lap in damp practice at Canadian Grand Prix

Force India driver Paul di Resta enters the pits during the morning practice session at the Canadian Grand Prix, Friday, June 7, 2013 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Fernando Alonso sped his Ferrari to the quickest lap in practice Friday for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Spanish driver posted a lap of 1:14:818 seconds on a chilly, damp day at the 3,461-kilometre Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Lewis Hamilton was second fastest in his Mercedes at 1:14.831 with Romain Grosjean's Lotus third at 1:15.083 and Mark Webber's red Bull fourth at 1:15.212. Nico Rosberg's Mercedes was fifth at 1:15.249.

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Times were about seven seconds faster in the afternoon practice than in the morning session, when Paul Di Resta of the Force India team led at 1:21.020.

The day started on a wet track from overnight rain, but the afternoon saw the track stay dry until a few spots fell with 15 minutes left on the clock.

That allowed Alonso's time to hold up just when drivers usually post their quickest times.

It led to 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 one-hour practice on Saturday morning before the qualifying session.

The race is on Sunday.

Pastor Maldonado hit a wall with Williams late in the morning session and damaged his front wing, while Jules Bianchi's Marussia stopped on a slip road after 41 minutes, ending his session. Several others, including Button and Hamilton, had minor slides but kept going.

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