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F1 - Montréal, FP2: Verstappen continues to set the pace in Canada

The Dutch driver doubles up in Montreal to beat Räikkönen and Ricciardo

8 June 2018 - 21h40, by Olivier Ferret 

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen made it a clean sweep in Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix as he set the quickest time of second practice at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

After eclipsing Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by just under a tenth of a second in the morning session the afternoon 90 minutes saw the Dutch driver edge Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen by 0.130s, and gap Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by four tenths of a second.

Verstappen’s afternoon best of 1:12.198 wasn’t a definitive statement, however. The Dutchman bolted on a set of pink hypersoft Pirelli tyres just after the halfway mark to dislodge Räikkönen from P1 after the Finn had earlier risen to the top of the order with a hypersoft lap of 1:12.328.

Third-placed Ricciardo spent much of the session confined to the Red Bull garage as his team worked on a suspected electrical problem on his RB14. When he did take to the track his first run, on supersofts, was hampered by heavy traffic as by the time the Australian rejoined the action most drivers were working through heavily fuelled long runs.

Ricciardo eventually sampled the hypersoft with a few minutes of the session left and he jumped to fourth and then third as he made improvements.

Neither Mercedes driver used the hypersoft tyre during the session, with Hamilton ending up fourth 0.579s off Verstappen’s pace, with Valtteri Bottas sixth, almost three tenths further back.

The Mercedes drivers were split by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Like former team-mate Ricciardo, the German had a troubled session and he too spent the early part of the session in the garage as his team solved a problem encountered at the end of FP1.

Vettel attempted a hypersoft-shod qualifying sim in the final half hour of running but the run was less than perfect and he finished the second session 0.787adrift of Verstappen. With Bottas sixth, best-of-the-rest honours in the second session wen to Haas’ Romain Grosjean, though the Frenchman was a full 1.4s behind Verstappen. He finished ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez while 10th place was taken by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

Elsewhere, there was more trouble for Renault. In the first session, Nico Hulkenberg had encountered a gearbox issues but in the afternoon it was Montreal’s unforgiving barriers that caused the problem. Carlos Sainz made mistake just before the half hour mark and spun into the wall at the exit of Turn 7. The Spaniard was able to limp back to the pits but debris on the track meant the red flags were deployed.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also hit trouble in the same section of track. The Belgian touched the wall with his right-rear and sustained a puncture and damaged suspension. He tried to make it back to the pits but was told to pull over to avoid tyre debris damaging the floor of his car.

01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:12.198 39
02 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:12.328 42
03 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:12.603 17
04 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:12.777 39
05 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:12.985 24
06 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:13.061 40
07 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:13.620 34
08 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:13.747 40
09 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:13.754 40
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:13.866 30
11 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:13.884 39
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:13.889 42
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:13.956 39
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:13.967 37
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:14.108 41
16 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:14.167 14
17 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:14.433 9
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:14.486 39
19 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:14.703 40
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:14.782 35

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