MONTREAL (REUTERS) - Fernando Alonso, desperate to get his Formula One championship bid back on track, signalled his intentions for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix by topping the timesheets in Friday's practice sessions.
The Spaniard set the fastest overall time of the day when he lapped the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in one minute 14.818 seconds during Friday's second practice session.
Briton Lewis Hamilton, a three-time winner at the Montreal street circuit, was second fastest overall in his Mercedes, just 0.012 behind Alonso's Ferrari.
Frenchman Romain Grosjean was third quickest for Lotus with Australia's Mark Webber fourth for Red Bull. Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, could only manage seventh best.
Britain's Paul Di Resta was the surprise leader for Force India after the morning session, which began in light rain with puddles of water still on the track.
But he tumbled down the timesheets to 13th place in the afternoon session, when all the cars went much quicker after the track had dried and they switched their wet-weather tyres for softer compounds.
Despite two wins and a second-place finish from the previous six races this season, Alonso has slipped back to third place in the standings, 29 points behind Vettel after finishing seventh at the most recent race in Monaco.
The Spaniard has made no secret of the fact he believes he needs to finish in front of Germany's Vettel this weekend to start eating into his lead.
There were no major incidents in either session although Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado hit a wall in the morning, breaking the front wing of his Williams.
The drivers will have a third practice session on Saturday morning before official qualifying gets underway later that day.