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Mistake-free Verstappen tops practice

13 June 2018

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. It was the best time in Friday afternoon's (Saturday NZ time) practice and a full second better than his best lap in the morning, when he was also the fastest. Then he turned in the leading performance in two 90-minute practice sessions at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes will also start in the front row, coming in about one-tenth of a second slower than Vettel.

"We still have work to do, " Vettel said.

He returned to the track at the end of the session to set his flying lap, and although his flying lap was slightly hampered by being on track at the same time that the rest of the field was focusing on long-run pace, he still managed a time 0.405s off his teammate Verstappen.

"I think if I get a few more I'll head-butt someone", he said, only slowly allowing a faint grin. "If we got in that mess around here on this circuit, it is not as bad as Monaco but it is still very hard to make much progress here". So qualifying we actually made really good progress. The vehicle has been working really well and we know in qualifying we are missing top speed.

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

The Dutchman's litany of misjudgments means that with less than a third of the season gone, he already trails championship leader Lewis Hamiton by 75 points.

Verstappen has failed to finish in two of the six races this season with a best result of third in Spain last month.

"Now he (Verstappen) is in the spotlight. any small error now I think he's probably going to get a little picked apart from", Ricciardo said.

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.

Alonso headed Renault's Carlos Sainz, with the second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne and Toro Rosso Pierre Gasly completing the top 10. The main thing was to get through the program, which we did. "It was especially nice on my last lap to see all the Canadian flags waving to me". The 22-year-old, who is now racing in the Formula 2 Championship, was 19th fastest ahead of only Nico Hulkenberg, who interrupted the session for almost 15 minutes when his Renault coasted to a stop with suspected gearbox problems. Team-mate Sainz put the back end of his vehicle into the wall early in the afternoon and managed just nine laps. Lance Stroll clipped the "Wall of Champions" with his right-rear wheel, triggering a puncture and curtailing his session with 30 minutes left on the clock.

Mistake-free Verstappen tops practice