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Vettel wrecks in opening practice for Canadian GP

Montreal, Canada (Sports Network) - Defending Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel can now add his name to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's infamous "Wall of Champions."

Fifty-five minutes into Friday's first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel slid off course and made contact with the wall, located in the final chicane. Several F1 champions, including Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve, have previously crashed into that same wall.

Vettel was not injured, but his Red Bull RB7 car sustained slight damage to the front end. The session was briefly halted for track cleanup efforts.

"I lost the rear, but by the time I hit the wall, I had low speed, so the crash was quite mild," Vettel said.

Nico Rosberg from Mercedes was quickest in P1 with a lap of one minute, 15.591 seconds around the tricky 2.709-mile (4.361-kilometer) Montreal circuit. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was second fastest at 1:16.139, while Schumacher posted a lap of 1:16.549 in his Mercedes. Vettel was listed 16th (1:18.852).

Vettel participated in the second practice, held later in the day. He bounced back nicely from his wreck by posting the second quickest lap in P2 (1:15.476). Alonso led the way in the session with a lap of 1:15.107.

Vettel has been superb in his title defense so far this season, winning five of the first six grand prix, including the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago. He has accumulated 143 points, compared to 85 for McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who is the defending winner of the Canadian GP. Vettel's Red Bull Racing teammate, Mark Webber, has earned 79 points, three more than Jenson Button from McLaren.

06/10 17:03:28 ET


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