Sebastian Vettel crashes in Canada practice

Sebastian Vettel added his name to the renowned 'Wall of Champions' today at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

In first practice ahead of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, reigning world champion Vettel crashed heavily on a part of the track that has claimed many of the sport's greats.

After Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher all put their cars into the same wall, the legend and nickname were born.

Subsequently, a number of other drivers have crashed into the wall coming out of the chicane at turns 13 and 14 that once bore the slogan 'Bienvenue au Quebec' (Welcome to Quebec), including Jenson Button in 2005.

On this occasion Vettel was hopelessly out of shape heading into the right-handed turn 13, locking his front-right brake.

In attempting to correct himself to immediately take the left-handed turn 14, Vettel straightened up his Red Bull, but only succeeded in arrowing his car into the wall.

The shunt shattered the front wing and front-right wheel, leaving his mechanics with a busy lunchtime in order to get the car ready for the second practice session later today.

It is Vettel's second smash this year after his accident in first practice in Turkey, the damage on that occasion forced him to miss all of the afternoon session.

It failed to deter the 23-year-old German, however, as he went on to dominate the weekend, winning the race from pole.

Come the end of the 90-minute session there was the unusual sight this season of a strong showing from Mercedes with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher first and third.

With two DRS (drag reduction system) zones in place at a track for the first time this year, Mercedes' system is renowned as one that can offer greater straight-line speed than their rivals.

It showed on this occasion as Rosberg led the way by 0.548secs from Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari, with Schumacher just under a second down on his fellow German who posted a lap time of one minute 15.591 seconds.

Felipe Massa and Jenson Button finished 0.018secs apart in fourth and fifth for Ferrari and McLaren respectively, the duo a fraction over a second off of Rosberg's early pace.

Lewis Hamilton managed to recover from steering column issues to post the sixth quickest lap of 1:16.842 in his McLaren, followed by the Williams of Rubens Barrichello.

For his first outing on the circuit, Scotland's Paul di Resta was sitting in an excellent eighth position in his Force India, 1.7secs adrift.

Renault's Nick Heidfeld and Force India reserve Nico Hulkenberg, with Adrian Sutil having made way for the opening session, were ninth and 10th respectively, both just under two seconds down.

Remarkably, there was no Red Bull in the top 10 as Mark Webber was down in 12th and Vettel 16th in light of his accident, managing only eight laps.

Narain Karthikeyan brought up the rear for Hispania Racing, with the Indian 5.248secs behind Rosberg.

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