Max Verstappen fastest in 1st practice at Canadian GP

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Max Verstappen installed himself as the early favourite for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix after topping both practice sessions on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes drives during a practice session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during a practice session for the F1 race in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018.

Verstappen was again fastest in the afternoon session with a time of 1m 12.198s, while Hamilton clocked 1m 12.77s down in P4 after running on the SuperSoft and UltraSoft tyres.

Hamilton said: "I believe that the gap in the time sheets is down to the different tyre choices today, but we will find out tomorrow [Saturday]".

Speaking after Friday practice, Stevenage racer Hamilton said: "It's been a lovely day, the weather has been fantastic and the track feels better than ever".

He added: "I'm hoping tomorrow that we're still in a good position". Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

"On Friday the auto balance was great into [Turn] 10".

"We still have work to do", Vettel said. "This circuit could suit us better than a few of the others coming up".

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Mercedes did not practice on the hypersoft tires, leaving Ricciardo wondering if he has seen their best effort.

"But so far everything went well and I have a good feeling".

Hamilton qualified only fourth in Montreal, three places behind closest title rival Sebastian Vettel and also two spots adrift of teammate Valtteri Bottas who came within a tenth of denying the Ferrari the fastest time.

"So we should be there or thereabouts". It was a very smooth session for us. A year ago he dominated the grand prix, starting from pole and leading every lap on his way to the win, while behind him there was plenty of drama. Picture: Steve Etherington for Daimler AG. With a new engine upgrade fitted to Vettel's auto this weekend, Ferrari was expected to be one of the favourites in Canada but Vettel was not happy with his performance after he was restricted to just 17 laps in second practice due to vehicle issues at the start of the session.

"Today was a good day, the vehicle is working very well. The laps weren't great laps", said the Mercedes driver, like Vettel a four times champion.

However, with 10 cars covered by just over half a second, any error by a driver from one of the six teams included could be the difference between Q3 or a Q1 elimination in qualifying. But I just struggled in the session and couldn't pull it through.

"However, comparing on the same tyres, we do look to be in better shape than we were in Monaco".

"Ferrari are particularly very strong on the straights so it'll be interesting to see if we are able to match them or not, but we'll give it everything, that's for sure".

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