Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Mistake-free Verstappen fastest in Canada

Verstappen Verstappen dominated practice after his'headbutt threat in Montreal. Pic GettyMore
Sidney Guerrero | 13 June, 2018, 00:40

After a flawless showing to go fastest in the morning at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 20-year-old Red Bull driver followed up with a similar run in the afternoon.

He dominated Friday's two sessions and made the most of his upgraded Renault engine to complete the hat-trick on Saturday with a lap of one minute 11.599 seconds around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Early on, Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso briefly topping the times, the New Zealander emhpasizing his talent after weeks of rumours that he was in danger of losing his seat. Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest for Ferrari but the competitive picture was skewed by Mercedes opting against using Pirelli's fastest compound - the hyper-soft - on either auto across both practice sessions.

The Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas will also start in the front row.

Montreal has been well-suited to Mercedes, but let us not forget Vettel should have won there back in 2016 only for Ferrari's two-stop strategy to backfire and afford Hamilton the win.

Verstappen's decision-making has been challenged following crashes at Baku, when he and Ricciardo took each other out of contention for the podium, and at Monaco, when the Dutchman missed qualifying after crashing at the end of the third practice session. But we re still ok: "Max had good pace, but Mercedes are going to be big tomorrow (Saturday)", he said.

Asked whether his Friday clean sweep meant pole position could be on the cards, Verstappen replied: "In terms of pole position, I think Mercedes will be very strong again".

"It was a good day", Verstappen said.

Police operation over hostage situation in Paris
The hostages are being held in the internal courtyard of the building, which contains a mix of offices and residential apartments. Police would not immediately confirm whether the person holding the hostages was armed or describe the nature of his demands.

Hamilton tops the championship leaderboard, 14 points ahead of Vettel, as each pursues a fifth Formula One title.

However, this did not prevent Lewis Hamilton to lead the first part of practice, when riders worked on the harder tyre.

"I think they re the ones to beat".

Ricciardo is third in the standings, but he also failed to finish two races.

While an issue during the second session was initially thought to be MGU-K related, many still fearing that the Australian is on the verge of a grid penalty following the Monaco failure, it turned out to be an electrical issue related to the Renault engine update.

Only Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz, who crashed out of the session, posted fewer trips around the track. "But we're going to get it later anyway, so that's all good". "The lap time, I can't say I'm too excited about".

Only Force India reserve Nicolas Latifi, in his first F1 practice session, and Hulkenberg, who did not set a time, were behind the Williams on the time sheets. His best lap was the slowest in the field at 1:17.145, but he was there just to get the feel of an F1 vehicle and help the team test it on two types of tires.

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