With echoes of the old Long Beach, the Montreal street circuit heralds more elevation changes than a Sean Penn mood swing and the grid wasted no time in getting to grips with its tight confines.


Robin Frijns jumped out of the blocks early to take an early lead of the timesheets ahead of the Jaguar of Mitch Evans, but it wasn’t long until the New Zealander was usurped by championship contender .


Di Grassi and championship rival were evenly-matched through the first sector of the lap and would eventually finish 1st and 4th respectively, however not too much should be read into that with di Grassi the only driver of the pair to complete a full 200kW lap, which put the Brazilian over a second-clear over second-placed Bird.


Frijns was sporting a bandaged knee after a jogging mishap, but it certainly wasn’t slowing the Dutchman down, attacking turn nine with gusto and unloading the tyre of his Amlin Andretti in the process.


Tacheetah showed some impressive form with Jean-Eric Vergne slotting into second-place mid-way through the session despite exhibiting a prodigious amount of understeer. That the privateer was so far up the order probably said much for others also struggling to get their vehicles turned-into the apex.


On driver in particular who was struggling under brakes was Stephane Sarrazin, who complained that a lack of feel left him – in his own words – being a “pussy under brakes”.