Max Verstappen sweeps Friday F1 practice in Montreal

Max Verstappen sweeps Friday F1 practice in Montreal

Max Verstappen, who was quickest in all three pre-qualifying practice sessions, placed third and will start in the second row next to Hamilton, whose run of three straight Canadian poles ended.

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes was fourth at 1:12.777, Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari was fifth at 1:12.985 with Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes sixth in 1:13.061.

Bottas added: "It's always annoying when it's so close and we're not ahead but starting on the front row is good for this race". Fortunately the forecast looks good this year, with only partly cloudy skies predicted for both Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race.

Raikkonen and Vettel finishing P2 and P5 respectively in FP2, but both feel they have endured a tough opening first day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Stroll picked up his first career points with a ninth-place finish as a rookie at last year's Canadian GP.

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.

It was clearly a strategic scrap as the teams were aiming to use the tyres in Q2 that would suit them best to start the race.

More news: Injured Salah deemed fit enough for Egypt's World Cup campaign

But Ricciardo points to the fact that neither Mercedes driver used Pirelli's faster hypersoft tyre, the team electing to run on the harder compound instead because it has selected fewer sets of the pink-rimmed rubber than its rivals for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

"I get really exhausted of asking me that I should change my approach", he said at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Montreal's Ile Notre-Dame.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, the 2014 Canadian GP victor, is coming off a victory two weeks ago in Monaco. "We need a little more time to get everything together", Vettel said.

"We knew that, in general, we're lacking power, so we just try to compensate with that", said Verstappen.

"It once again showed us that this is a championship where tiny details will make the difference in the end", he said.

"I think we have the pace to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes". Obviously, Max showed some pace, so I think there's a bit for us to learn.

The young Dutchman clocked the best time of the day in the afternoon session, one minute, 12.198 seconds, ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull team mate and Monaco Grand Prix victor Daniel Ricciardo.

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