Max Verstappen made it three from three as practice drew to a close for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Fastest in both Friday practice sessions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Red Bull Racing driver completed a hat-trick of sessions on top of the timesheets, however the margin over his rivals was substantially smaller. The Dutch youngster outpaced the Ferrari pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen by just five-hundredths of a second ahead of the afternoon’s all-important qualifying session.
Verstappen moved to the top of the timing screens with an incredible 1:11.599 time in the final quarter-hour of the session, pipping Vettel’s earlier effort by 0.049 seconds.
Ferrari led the way early on with both drivers running on Hypersoft tyres. Räikkönen was quickest first with a 1:12.359 before he was beaten by Vettel’s 1:12.235.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who leads the standings by 14 points over Vettel, kept a watching brief with a time of 1:12.301 on the slower Ultrasoft tyres to go just 0.066 seconds slower than his chief title rival.
Red Bull Racing followed Mercedes’ approach by starting the session on the Ultrasoft tyres, with Daniel Ricciardo posting a 1:12.838 and Verstappen managing a 1:12.453.
Both drivers switched onto the Hypersoft rubber, with Ricciardo 1:12.153 after his previous lap was compromised trying to pass one of the Williams runners.
Vettel bolted on a new set of Hypersofts and became the first driver to lap the circuit under 1m12s this weekend, clocking a 1:11.648, while Räikkönen – delayed by some investigative work by his mechanics – went on to lap just 0.002 seconds slower.
The two Mercedes runners finally ran the Hypersoft tyres for the first time this weekend – both Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas only opted for five sets of the high-wearing rubber – with the pair posting a 1:11.706 and 1:12.255 respectively.
That put Hamilton fourth-fastest, with Ricciardo and Bottas completing the top six but half a second off the leading pace.
Sergio Pérez was the quickest of the midfield runners, ahead of Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg, with less than two-tenths of a second covering the runners down to Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso which was twelfth-fastest.
Stoffel Vandoorne was in the middle of this group and claimed a solid tenth-fastest, but the Belgian’s session was compromised by a heavy lock-up approaching Turn 3. He slid up the escape road and performed a five-point turn before rejoining the circuit.
Qualifying for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix gets underway on Saturday at 14:00 local time (GMT -4).
|FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX HEINEKEN DU CANADA 2018 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 3 TIMES|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB14||1:11.599||14|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF71H||1:11.648||+ 0.049||22|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF71H||1:11.650||+ 0.051||21|
|4.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09||1:11.706||+ 0.107||23|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB14||1:12.153||+ 0.554||29|
|6.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09||1:12.255||+ 0.656||27|
|7.||Sergio Pérez||Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM11||1:12.903||+ 1.304||16|
|8.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS18||1:12.946||+ 1.347||21|
|9.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-18||1:13.014||+ 1.415||16|
|10.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren F1 Team Renault MCL33||1:13.034||+ 1.435||21|
|11.||Esteban Ocon||Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM11||1:13.064||+ 1.465||18|
|12.||Brendon Hartley||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13||1:13.076||+ 1.477||24|
|13.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren F1 Team Renault MCL33||1:13.225||+ 1.626||19|
|14.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Renault Sport F1 Team RS18||1:13.331||+ 1.732||22|
|15.||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13||1:13.334||+ 1.735||19|
|16.||Charles Leclerc||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C37||1:13.452||+ 1.853||19|
|17.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-18||1:13.488||+ 1.889||21|
|18.||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41||1:13.818||+ 2.219||18|
|19.||Marcus Ericsson||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C37||1:13.925||+ 2.326||20|
|20.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41||1:13.968||+ 2.369||17|
Image via Aston Martin Red Bull Racing