Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Verstappen fastest in final practice at Canadian GP

Ricciardo aiming to avoid Canada penalty			Image by Dunbar  LAT Ricciardo aiming to avoid Canada penalty Image by Dunbar LAT
Lucia Summers | 10 June, 2018, 11:10

Montreal has been kind to the British driver, who claimed his maiden F1 win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007.

The four-time world champion clocked a time of 1m 13.390s in the morning session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the early pace with a lap of 1m 13.302s. It's a dream of mine and seeing how passionate people are inside this team, and being one of them, makes me proud.

"That situation was a bit unlucky - we were all bunched up. I just couldn't get the rhythm", he said.

Verstappen added: "I'm very happy with this weekend". 'I will never do that because it has brought me to where I am right now, and after the race it is not the right time to talk.

"The auto was incredible in qualifying - it just kept getting quicker. But it was fantastic". "Usually, the last sector is my strongest at this track but I was just struggling", Hamilton said, after also qualifying behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman will line up third. "I still think tomorrow, race day, we will score points and we can get a better feeling". "The car's been working really well.to be third is great for us".

On paper, that sounds like bad news for Hamilton's hopes of taking a record-equalling seventh victory in Montreal.

England vs Costa Rica: Rashford, Welbeck seal win for Three Lions
Of England's chances in Russian Federation , he added: "Gareth has a great group of players there". But if it means seeing more goals like that of Rashford's tonight, then I'm all for it.

It is hard to see anybody, even Valtteri Bottas in the same machinery, beating Hamilton.

Esteban Ocon ensured it won't be a case of two-by-two on the grid as he secured eighth ahead of Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez, and the long-run pace suggests another close battle in the race. The second approach, I found that little bit, and now I thought, 'OK, now I just have to repeat what I did before, ' but I struggled and I lost a little bit of time.

Mercedes asked for so few hyper-softs because they believe it will be a poor race tyre but Red Bull proved at the last race in Monaco that they can run it longer and more competitively than other teams and Verstappen is confident he can challenge the Ferraris and Mercedes in the race. "We need to understand more about everything today but let's see what we can do tomorrow".

Although the circuit does not suit the auto, that isn't denting Fernando Alonso's optimism for the race, with the Spaniard confident McLaren will still recover to finish in the top 10 after a strong showing on Friday.

The failure added to a miserable weekend for Grosjean, who has yet to score a point this season and damaged his vehicle slightly during Friday's free practice when he struck a groundhog.

With hometown hero Lance Stroll and rookie Sergey Sirotkin rooted to the bottom of the timesheets and high-profile team personnel being axed, it doesn't look like things will begin to improve any time soon for the once great team.

It is the Italian team's first time on pole in Montreal since seven-time champion Michael Schumacher managed it in 2001.

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