Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Max Verstappen sweeps Friday F1 practice in Montreal

Canadian Grand Prix - Strategy guide Sebastian Vettel wins Canadian Grand Prix for 50th career victory
Cary Erickson | 11 June, 2018, 00:55

There wasn't a happy end to Fernando Alonso's 300th Grand Prix weekend. Perhaps fittingly on such a dominant weekend it meant the Ferrari driver took the chequered flag twice.

"I'm just so happy that I finished as from the start I was down on power and my engine was saying that it was over temperature and I couldn't get them down", he said. "I don't think it was anything to do with the engine". I couldn't find the rhythm, I wasn't happy with the auto.

Before the race, 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve drove the No. 12 Ferrari his late father Gilles used to win the 1978 Canadian GP in the parade lap.

The Ferraris set the pace, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen exchanging P1, and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas behind them, followed by the Red Bull pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Verstappen arrived in Montreal under attack from all corners, after an incident-filled start to the season in which the 20-year-old reach the podium once in six races, while Ricciardo has recorded a pair of wins. "It's great when you have a session like that".

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Australian Daniel Ricciardo, victorious in Monaco two weeks ago, was sixth in the second Red Bull as his team-mate Verstappen, who had been fastest throughout practice, continued to deliver a ideal riposte to his critics. The Briton has won the last three on the track that seems to suit the Mercedes vehicle with its heavy braking after long straightaways and tight chicanes. "Also myself didn't get the rhythm yet so missing a little bit of the laps but overall we tried to go through the programme as good as we could".

It was a strong result for Bottas, who made himself the leading Mercedes driver for the weekend thanks to his better feeling for Pirelli's softest tires, but he lamented that his auto didn't have the pace to challenge for more.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has hinted that Red Bull Racing is ready to take a gamble on Honda power units for the 2019 Formula 1 season, with a decision set to be made before the Austrian Grand.

"There is no reason to lose control, we just keep doing what we're doing, keep our heads down, keep motivated and keep pushing because they will falter", Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

"We did not really change a lot initially and that's always a good sign and gives you hope", said Verstappen.