CANADIAN GP – Max Verstappen fastest in first practice a quarter of a second ahead of Carlos Sainz

Testing & Race Reports

Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, the Red Bull driver set a 15.158 putting him nearly a quarter of a second faster than the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. The Red Bull driver found the time on the soft tyre going fastest just after the middle part of the session to top the times as F1 returned to Montreal.

The Dutchman looked to have control of the Red Bull, with him finding time on almost every run and that saw him claim the top spot. Fernando Alonso put his Alpine third almost four-tenths off after going nearly a tenth faster than Sergio Perez, the French manufacturer has appeared to be competitive at high speed street circuits all season.

Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari fifth fastest half a second off title rival Verstappen and was half a second faster than the Mercedes of George Russell. Leclerc entered the session with a new internal combustion but retained a used turbocharger to leave a looming grid penalty unconfirmed at this stage.

The Monacan the slowest of the top two teams half a second off his title rival, following a major blow to his title hopes after Ferrari confirmed they were unable to recover the power unit which blew up in Baku on Sunday.

Leclerc is aware that he needs to start bouncing back having dropped thirty-three points behind thanks to engine failures in Barcelona and Baku, while botch strategy to cost him victory in Monaco, and a spin at Imola dropped him from third to sixth.

Despite the threat of rain and the first track running at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in two years the session passed without major on-track drama. Russell going almost half a second ahead of Lance Stroll, the Canadian setting an identical time as Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver spent the session experiment with a test floor as the team continue to look for answers to porpoising which they believe is restricting their performance this season. However, Hamilton complained about the balance of his Mercedes, but it didn’t appear to bounce as much on the straights.

Stroll and Hamilton were around a tenth and a half faster than the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo who rounded out the top ten. Pierre Gasly spilt the two McLaren’s after going just under five-hundredths of a second faster than Lando Norris. Alex Albon put his Williams thirteenth almost a hundredth and a half ahead of Yuki Tsunoda.

Tsunoda will have a grid penalty, though, having taken a new engine and exceeded his permitted allowance of all four engine components.

Esteban Ocon put his Alpine fifteenth going ahead of the two Alfa Romeo’s, with Valtteri Bottas five thousandths of a second faster than his teammate Guanyu Zhou. Mick Schumacher was seven-tenths further behind and nearly two hundredths ahead of Nicolas Latifi, who spilt the Haas’s after going three tenths faster than Kevin Magnussen.



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