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After a three-year absence, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve generated plenty of conversation on the first day of Practice, with the midfield battle further intensifying. 

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were the main talking points after Free Practice, with the Spaniard setting some extremely impressive race simulations. 

Alonso's long-run pace in FP2 was as fast as anyone else's - including the likes of Max Verstappen- demonstrating the A522's potential for this weekend. 

FP DATA

The World Champion's race simulations also demonstrated that the hard tyre could again prove among the preferred compounds for teams on Sunday. 

Sebastian Vettel led the way for Aston Martin, also showing a reasonable race pace and putting himself in fourth place overall on the day's second session.

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The midfield fight looks as competitive as ever, though the likes of Alfa Romeo and Haas look to be struggling relative to their midfield rivals.

Alfa Romeo will be incredibly frustrated with their Friday Practice, again suffering from reliability issues that limited Valtteri Bottas's running.

Further at the front, Red Bull looks to have a slight edge over Ferrari, with the Italian team already on the backfoot after making changes to Charles Leclerc's engine and therefore sacrificing their qualifying. 

The Monegasque has focused on race-trim performance for most of the weekend, which will be necessary if he is to recover from a back of the grid start on Sunday. 

It is worth noting that Friday's pace doesn't always translate into qualifying or race, with Alpine showing something of an expert in losing lap time after FP1 and FP2. 

McLaren looks as solid as ever in the midfield and generally improves as the weekend progresses, so it will be worth analysing their performances in FP3 and qualifying.

Mercedes struggled on Friday, with Hamilton describing the car as regressing despite the Silver Arrow's upgrade package. 

Still, the stakes will begin to increase in Saturday qualifying, where teams must make their performance count.