Formula 1

Verstappen Sets The Pace In First Practice In Canada

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen topped a session for the first time in 2018 as he was fastest in first practice at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman, who said in his press conference yesterday if he gets anymore questions about his incidents this season he would “headbutt someone”, made sure reporters would be saying positive stories about him as he beat Lewis Hamilton by under a tenth of a second.

Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top three as it was a strong showing again from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

Sebastian Vettel finished fourth fastest ahead of the two Finnish drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen.

Fernando Alonso is celebrating his 300th grand prix this weekend and started well as he was seventh fastest with his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne ninth.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was the meat in the McLaren F1 Team sandwich with Pierre Gasly rounding out the top ten.

Verstappen was the first driver to venture out onto the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve while the Williams Martini Racing of Sergey Sirotkin set the first flying lap of the weekend.

There were two Canadian drivers in first practice as Nicholas Latifi replaced Sergio Pérez in the Sahara Force India F1 Team for the morning session but the young Canadian struggled in front of his home crowd.

Latifi finished nineteenth and the slowest of the runners to set a time and also made a mistake at turn eight, forcing him to run wide and use the escape road.

His fellow Canadian Lance Stroll secured his first point in Formula One in Canada last year but his weekend has got off to a poor start after being forced to sit out of a large part of first practice after damaging the car and getting a puncture when he hit the infamous wall of champions.

Latifi and Stroll both struggled but Nico Hülkenberg had an even worse session as he only completed two laps before his Renault Sport Formula One Team car ground to a halt on the back straight due a suspected gearbox issue causing a red flag and forcing everyone else to abort the laps and head into the pits.

The German was not seen again in the session as he Renault was pushed back to the pits with the hope of it being ready to take part in second practice later on.

The track was very dusty offline and it was clear to see when Alonso passed Räikkönen at turn one while Brendon Hartley, potentially in danger of losing his race seat at Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, struggled behind the Force India of Esteban Ocon and had to use the run off area on the exit of turn one.

Marcus Ericsson was another driver who struggled as he spun at turn eight before Sirotkin made it two Williams out of two to have a brush with the wall as he spun and hit the wall at turn six.

Verstappen and Red Bull has no such trouble and with Ricciardo third, will be looking at continuing their fine form into second practice while Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport hope to hit back, especially considering they were on the slightly slower ultrasoft tyre compared to the Red Bull’s on the hypersoft.

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