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Lewis Hamilton edges out Sebastian Vettel but F1 focuses on financial gulf

• Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel make the pace at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
• Williams’ Paddy Lowe bemoans ‘gulf of spending’ between top teams and rest

The fight between Mercedes and Ferrari remains finely poised at the front of the Formula One grid as Canada hosts round seven of the season this weekend. Certainly there was little to choose between them in practice on Friday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with Lewis Hamilton edging out Sebastian Vettel in the morning and Kimi Raikkonen ahead of the British driver in the afternoon but, behind them the gulf to the midfield teams remains a chasm.

It is in danger of becoming even more pronounced. The Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe has warned that the spending differential to the top teams is greater than ever and the sport’s senior management addressed the issue in Canada. Williams are currently in sixth place in the constructors’ championship. They have a quick car but they and their contemporaries on the grid are still two seconds off the pace of the leaders, not a gap that can be bridged while the financial disparity remains so drastic.

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