Verstappen returns to the podium in Canada

Rex Christensen
June 13, 2018

A win on Sunday would also see Hamilton draw level with F1 legend Michael Schumacher as the joint-most successful Canadian Grand Prix driver of all time on seven titles apiece.

While Mercedes and Ferrari opted to qualify on the ultrasoft tyres in Q2, Red Bull went for the hypersofts, which means Verstappen and Ricciardo will have the advantage of grippier rubber in the early stages.

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan admitted the MGU-K from Monaco is unlikely to be re-usable.

Max Verstappen set the pace for the second practice session in a row at the Canadian Grand Prix as the top three teams all looked competitive on Friday afternoon. "We didn't have the smoothest day and we had what looks like an electrical problem with the engine".

Not to be overlooked is Ricciardo, the last man to beat Hamilton to victory in Canada, who put down the fifth best effort ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

The Red Bull driver said at a news conference Thursday before the Canadian Grand Prix that he's exhausted of questions about the crash in Azerbaijan that also knocked out teammate Daniel Ricciardo, or the one in Monaco that sent him to the back of the grid. I know it's fourth but I'm actually happy.

"To be third is great for us and I think in the race we can do a really good job."

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But as the Spaniard struggled to win points on his first serve, he was broken again for 5-4 and Schwartzman served for the set. Nadal was far from his usual impeccable self on red clay, too. "It's a challenge that every player wants to have", he said.

It was the second time this season Verstappen has failed to finish.

"I think we have the pace to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes", Verstappen told reporters later.

"We have the B-spec engine this weekend, the upgrade, and I think just configurating a few things on that, we're not necessarily aligned, so we just had to go through a little bit of trial and error".

The Dutchman also put his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the shade by over a tenth-and-a-half as the Monaco race victor struggles to find the same pace around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. When you feel confident with the vehicle then you can do a good job. The 36-year-old Spaniard fears the high-powered Montreal track will work against his McLaren vehicle.

But after the dreary spectacle in Monaco a fortnight ago, at least we can rely on one of the finest overtakers in the sport fighting his way back through the field to provide the entertainment this weekend. The one from the failure in China is alive, hence we haven't got a penalty.

Indeed Ricciardo could be thrown to the back of the pack, dependant on the number of engine parts his Red Bull team have to change. "So it sets us up to be aggressive in attack, so should hopefully make for some good TV as well". His best lap was the slowest in the field at 1:17.145, but he was there just to get the feel of an F1 auto and help the team test it on two types of tires. So qualifying was good.

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