Verstappen leads Hamilton in FP1 in Montreal

Verstappen leads Hamilton in FP1 in Montreal

The Red Bull driver made full use of the hypersoft tyres by registering a 1:13.302

Max Verstappen
photo: Dan Istitene/Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen in Red Bull set the fastest lap in free practice 1 for the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull driver made full use of the hypersoft tyres by registering a 1:13.302 to lead a very dusty opening free practice session in Montreal.

Verstappen time was 0.088 of a second faster than the Mercedes driver, whose fastest time was set on the ultrasoft tyre, the second fastest compound available, showing early signs of Mercedes’ pace this weekend.

Hypersoft lap times from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel were good enough for third and fourth place. Although the Ferrari spent a lot of time in the pits trialling new parts.

The second Mercedes and Ferrari drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top six.

The McLaren’s of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne completed the majority of their laps on the hypersoft tyre, finishing seventh and ninth respectively, and separated by the Renault of Carlos Sainz.

Pierre Gasly was the first of several midfield runners not to run the hypersoft tyre in the first 90-minute session. But he still managed to set a time good enough for tenth place.

There was a red flag for a stoppage for Nico Hulkenberg in the opening half-hour of the session. The Renault driver appeared to be having gear selection problems and pulled over just after the hairpin.

“I can shift and it changes the display, but nothing’s happening,” said Hulkenberg over the radio.

Lance Stroll became the first victim of the ‘Wall of Champions’ by tagging it. The rear of the Williams car stepped out as he left the final chicane and he sustained a puncture.

Team-mate Sergey Sirotkin only fared slightly better. The Russian lost the rear of the car under braking for turn six and went backwards into the barrier. However, he appeared to mostly escape damaging the car.

Several drivers made errors into the turn eight and nine chicane – Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and Force India’s Nicholas Latifi. He was making a one-off appearance on home turf in place of Sergio Perez.