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Canada GP: Verstappen sets early pace on Hypersoft in Practice 1

Written by  Jun 08, 2018

Max Verstappen used the Hypersoft tyre to put Red Bull at the top of the timesheets in a largely subdued first practice session at the Canadian GP.

On a typically dusty Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to start the weekend, the Dutchman posted a 1m13.302s on the softest compound available to finish three-tenths clear of Lewis Hamilton on the red-striped Supersoft.

The second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo also used the pink-striped tyre to finish third, though interestingly he was able to improve on several flying laps before degradation started to be an issue.

Sebastian Vettel eased his way into the weekend with just 19 laps on the board and was late to set a representative time as some flying laps on the Hypersoft rubber saw him jump upto P4 in the closing minutes.

The two Finns, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, completed the top six with the Mercedes driver also on the Supersoft tyre, two steps harder than the other leading teams.

McLaren enjoyed a strong start in Montreal, using the Hypersoft compound from the beginning and featured well inside the top 10 throughout the session before Fernando Alonso eventually settled for seventh with teammate Stoffel Vandoorne ninth.

Carlos Sainz was eighth but was the sole Renault to set a time in the session as a gearing problem left Nico Hulkenberg stranded on track early on leading to a red flag and an 11-minute delay.

The newly upgraded Honda power unit topped of the speed trap in the back of Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso in Practice 1 but it was Pierre Gasly in the better position in P10 for the junior Red Bull team.

Force India and Haas are two teams expected to go well this weekend but Esteban Ocon was only 11th for the Silverstone-based squad with Romain Grosjean 12th for the Anglo-American outfit.

Marcus Ericsson survived a scary spin at the Turn 8&9 chicane in the final moments which left him facing the oncoming traffic, but it was a solid session for Sauber with the Swede 13th, one place ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc.

At the back though, there would be problems for Williams as they sat bottom of the times, excluding the stranded Hulkenberg, and saw both drivers hit the wall as Lance Stroll tapped the Wall of Champions exiting the final chicane causing a puncture before Sergey Sirotkin spun at hit the barrier at Turn 6.

Full session times can be seen below:

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