Max Verstappen finishes on top in the first free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News June 8, 2018 Updated: 5:07 PM PT
MONTREAL, Canada -- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen shined in the Montreal morning as he took the top spot of the first free practice session ahead of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
“We did not really change a lot initially and that’s always a good sign and gives you hope,” Verstappen said.
Coming off a difficult weekend in Monaco, Verstappen still pulled a points scoring result with a measured drive. Now the Dutchman looks to bounce back as he finished ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in second.
Mercedes may be at a disadvantage as the team were set to have their upgraded engine this weekend, but it was postponed due to a what they said was a “quality control” issue discovered at the factory.
Verstappen’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo took third finishing 0.056s ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in fourth with a time of 1:13.574 on the hyper-soft tire. Ferrari hopes to make some headway bringing their upgraded engine this weekend.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finished fifth and was 0.315s off Verstappen. Kimi Raikkonen ended the morning in sixth in the second Ferrari followed by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso who continues to make progress in seventh.
Carlos Sainz finished eighth but was the only Renault to set a time as his teammate Nico Hulkenberg ran into trouble during the session on the back straight triggering a red flag. Later, the team discovered a gearbox issue is what ended the German driver’s morning.
Stoffel Vandoorne finished ninth in the second McLaren with the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly in tenth. Outside the top ten, Esteban Ocon finished 11th for Force India followed by Haas’ Romain Grosjean in 12th.
Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and teammate Charles Leclerc finished 13th and 14th. Grosjean’s teammate Kevin Magnussen took 15th with Brendon Hartley finishing 16th in the second Toro Rosso.
Sergey Sirotkin and teammate Lance Stroll took 17th and 18th for Williams with Stroll kissing the ‘Wall of Champions’ puncturing his right rear tire.
Formula 2 driver Nicholas Latifi finished 19th as the young Canadian had some time behind the wheel of Sergio Perez’ Force India.
With no time set for Nico Hulkenberg, he finished at the bottom of the order as the team hopes to have his gearbox issue resolved before the afternoon session.