Verstappen Sweeps Practice Rounds Ahead of Canadian GP Qualifying

Max Verstappen with Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix

The Red Bull driver turned in the quickest laps in both practice runs at the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday, when Lance Stroll of Montreal and Nicholas Latifi of Toronto gave fans a rare look at two Canadians on the track at once.

Sebastian Vettel has claimed the pole position in the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix with the fastest lap ever on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Scorching the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with the fastest times of the day will have that effect on a driver.

Verstappen had the day's quickest lap in the afternoon session of one minute 12.198 seconds on the 4.361-kilometre track after leading the morning session at 1:13.302. His best lap was the slowest in the field at 1:17.145, but he was there just to get the feel of an F1 auto and help the team test it on two types of tires.

Early on, Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso briefly topping the times, the New Zealander emhpasizing his talent after weeks of rumours that he was in danger of losing his seat.

The Dutchman also put his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the shade by over a tenth-and-a-half as the Monaco race victor struggles to find the same pace around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Then came three-time defending Montreal victor Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.

Ricciardo's auto has spent more time in the garage than Verstappen's this weekend, but Ricciardo does not think he can use too much of that as an excuse for the gap to the Dutchman.

"We still have work to do, " Vettel said.

"I would say it explains some of the inconsistency".

Max Verstappen has either crashed spun or been involved in a racing incident in all six of this season’s opening Grands Prix
Max Verstappen has either crashed spun or been involved in a racing incident in all six of this season’s opening Grands Prix

"I think they re the ones to beat". So qualifying we actually made really good progress.

But he is well aware that practice sessions are for working on the car's set-up, adjustments and performance and Red Bull will still have its hands full chasing the Formula One leaders - Mercedes and Ferrari.

"Germany is so legendary, so important for Formula One it really has to be there so I hope they find a solution", added the German, who won his 2016 title in a season that included a race at Hockenheim. Raikkonen, the 38-year-old Finn, has been accused of touching the woman's breasts after the Montreal race two years ago.

Mercedes did not practice on the hypersoft tires, leaving Ricciardo wondering if he has seen their best effort.

Hockenheim is back this year but the future is uncertain beyond that and local promoters have said they can not continue without a new deal that is free of financial risk to them.

Ricciardo is third in the standings, but he also failed to finish two races.

"(The problem was) not related to the MGU-K", Ricciardo said. The main thing was to get through the program, which we did.

Ricciardo won in Monaco despite nursing an engine problem so terminal that his Red Bull boss Christian Horner likened it to the troubling Apollo 13 space mission. Team-mate Sainz put the back end of his vehicle into the wall early in the afternoon and managed just nine laps.

In the morning session, Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin spun and hit a wall, but was able to continue.

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