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verstappen fastest

Montreal FP1: Verstappen puts aside criticism to go fastest

verstappen fastest

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has countered criticism he has faced in the build-up to the Canadian Grand Prix, in the best way possible, by setting the fastest lap time in the first free practice session of the weekend in Montreal, the first time he has topped a session so far this season.

Verstappen’s best effort of 1:13.302 was a mere eight-hundredths of a second faster than championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes followed by Monaco Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo in the other Red Bull who ended the 90 minutes session in third.

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Sebastian Vettel was fourth quickest as Ferrari also used opening practice to break in their upgraded engine.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth best in a Mercedes that will run with an old power unit that will be on its seventh race.

Kimi Raikkonen, was sixth for Ferrari in front of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who is entered in his landmark 300th Grand Prix.

The home crowd had very little to get excited about as Williams’ Lance Stroll, who collected his first points at the Canadian Grand Prix last year, continued his struggles, posting only the 18th best effort after the teenager clipped the Wall of Champions and damaged a rear rim.

Right behind Stroll was fellow Canadian Nicholas Latifi, who got his first taste of what it is like to take part in a Grand Prix weekend, sitting in for Sergio Perez in the Force India for the first practice.

The 22-year-old, who is currently racing in the Formula 2 Championship, was 19th fastest ahead of only Nico Hulkenberg, who interrupted the session for nearly 15 minutes early on when his Renault coasted to a stop with suspected gearbox problems.