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Max Verstappen fastest in both practices at Canadian GP

13 June 2018

There is a third practice session plus qualifying on Saturday, with the race on Sunday afternoon.

The Australian lapped the unforgiving steel-lined streets of the Mediterranean principality in one minute and 11.841 seconds to outpace the Dutchman by almost two-tenths of a second with the first lap under 1:12 at the track.

Ricciardo took a different direction in setting up his RB14 after Friday's running and, while Verstappen then completed a clean sweep of practice sessions in Saturday morning's FP3, the Aussie was over half a second off.

Twenty-four hours after his impetuous performance at a pre-race news briefing, in which he threatened to "head-butt" his inquisitors, it was a flawless answer to those who had questioned his temperament after a series of incidents this season.

It was the first time he had topped the times in any practice sessions this year.

"We have got the pace in the auto to challenge for pole, but we are not really getting the best out of the hyper-softs", said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff.

"They were quicker on the harder tire for the moment, but we'll be all right".

While the strategy will give Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas fewer laps to become accustomed to the the hyper-soft ahead of their qualifying laps, it gave the team more super-soft and ultra-soft tyres to test during Friday practice, which are expected to be the better race tyres.

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He follows in the footsteps of compatriots Bradley Wiggins, who won the race twice, and three-time victor Chris Froome . France's Romain Bardet , of AG2R, jumped to third from seventh overnight and is at 2min 01sec.

It was also a grim day for the struggling Williams team with Canadian teenager Lance Stroll and Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin brushing the barriers and ending up 19th and 20th at the back of the field. Like many drivers, he had a brief slip off the track 50 minutes in at a chicane on the back side of the course. "But so far everything went well and I have a good feeling". It is the tail end of that pack, which is why I am not happy. "It was waiting, waiting, waiting and eventually we got out".

"A lot of laps, good information that's been absorbed", the 19-year-old said.

"My problems weren t with the MGU-K (power unit) again, but it wasn t the best day for me".

"Happy with the progress we made today, " Verstappen tweeted. "It would be great to see Canada continue to expand in the sport".

The afternoon practice session, like the morning one, delivered two major incidents when Spaniard Carlos Sainz smacked the wall in his Renault, bringing a red-flag interruption for seven minutes, and later when Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne went into the barriers at Turn Eight, breaking the suspension of his McLaren.

Latifi was named reserve driver by Force India this season after holding a similar position with Renault.

Hamilton will take some stopping considering he's finished outside the podium places in only one of the six races so far this season.

Max Verstappen fastest in both practices at Canadian GP