Verstappen sets the pace in Montreal practice

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen topped both sessions to set the pace in the Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver proved the class of the field as the Milton Keynes outfit once again showed their pace on the hypersoft compound tyres at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

After heading the timesheet in Practice 1, the Dutchman, who is under pressure to perform, impressed to improve to a 1:12.198s by the chequered flag in the second 90 minute session.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen emerged as his nearest rival just over a tenth slower than Verstappen on the same hypersoft compound rubber.

It proved to be an eventful day for Monaco Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo, who spent long periods in the garage with an electrical issue after logging four laps early in Practice 2.

When he re-emerged late in the piece the Australian was able to post a time good enough for third, some 0.4s adrift of his team-mate.

Ricciardo is among the six Renault runners to receive the latest engine upgrades from the French manufacturer.

“It (the problem) was not related to the MGU-K, there was some electrical stuff going on,” said Ricciardo when asked about the engine issue.

“It was not the best day. We are ok, Max was able to show some pace, so there is a bit to learn.

“Mercedes are going to be quick tomorrow for sure and I would say they are the ones to beat at the moment.”

Mercedes elected not to use the softest hypersoft tyres throughout the day as they looked to keep their powder dry until final practice and qualifying.

The Silver Arrows finished fourth and sixth headed by Lewis Hamilton, while Valtteri Bottas sandwiched the hypersoft shod Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

Romain Grosjean (Haas F1) was the best of the rest in seventh with the top 10 completed by Esteban Ocon (Force India), Sergio Perez (Force India) and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

Alonso’s team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne saw his day end prematurely when he hit the wall at the Turn 6-7 chicane just shy of the hour mark in Practice 2.

The Belgian damaged the right suspension on his car which prompted a Virtual Safety Car period.

He wasn’t the only driver to find the wall as Renault’s Carlos Sainz backed into the barriers at Turn 7 after losing control upon entry to the corner earlier in the session.

The crash halted the running while debris was cleared by the marshals.

Meanwhile, under fire Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley showed encouraging pace to end the day in 12th spot, while team-mate Pierre Gasly was 18th.

Williams’ struggles continued as the squad propped up the times with drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.

The former found the infamous ‘Wall of Champions’ in the first session in front of his home crowd.

Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix is scheduled for Sunday at 0400 AEST.

Results: Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix Practice 2

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m12.198s 39
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m12.328s 0.130s 42
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m12.603s 0.405s 17
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m12.777s 0.579s 39
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m12.985s 0.787s 24
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m13.061s 0.863s 40
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m13.620s 1.422s 34
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m13.747s 1.549s 40
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m13.754s 1.556s 40
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m13.866s 1.668s 30
11 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m13.884s 1.686s 39
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m13.889s 1.691s 42
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m13.956s 1.758s 39
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m13.967s 1.769s 37
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m14.108s 1.910s 41
16 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m14.167s 1.969s 14
17 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m14.433s 2.235s 9
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m14.486s 2.288s 39
19 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m14.703s 2.505s 40
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m14.782s 2.584s 35

Results: Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix Practice 1

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m13.302s 26
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m13.390s 0.088s 29
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m13.518s 0.216s 24
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m13.574s 0.272s 19
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m13.617s 0.315s 31
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m13.727s 0.425s 28
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m13.900s 0.598s 27
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m14.116s 0.814s 24
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m14.311s 1.009s 19
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m15.004s 1.702s 31
11 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m15.071s 1.769s 29
12 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m15.119s 1.817s 21
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m15.386s 2.084s 30
14 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m15.439s 2.137s 30
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m15.579s 2.277s 21
16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m15.756s 2.454s 38
17 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m15.768s 2.466s 30
18 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m16.259s 2.957s 16
19 Nicholas Latifi Force India/Mercedes 1m17.145s 3.843s 28
20 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 3

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