Max Verstappen fastest in both practices at Canadian GP

Daniel Ricciardo may avoid a Canadian GP grid penalty after all

Daniel Ricciardo may avoid a Canadian GP grid penalty after all

After a flawless showing to go fastest in the morning at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 20-year-old Red Bull driver followed up with a similar run in the afternoon.

The Australian lapped the unforgiving steel-lined streets of the Mediterranean principality in one minute and 11.841 seconds to outpace the Dutchman by almost two-tenths of a second with the first lap under 1:12 at the track.

Max Verstappen completed the second training session in Montreal on the top line of the Protocol.

While the strategy will give Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas fewer laps to become accustomed to the the hyper-soft ahead of their qualifying laps, it gave the team more super-soft and ultra-soft tyres to test during Friday practice, which are expected to be the better race tyres.

"If we did the same as the others, it would just probably put us in the running sequence of everyone, so this is why we'll try it and hopefully it works".

"Didn't have any problems, " said Hamilton, who leads the championship standings by 14 points over Vettel and 38 over Ricciardo.

Hamilton will take some stopping considering he's finished outside the podium places in only one of the six races so far this season. So, the pilots Mercedes, which took just five Hypersoft, he made a decision to abandon the use of soft tyre in Friday practice.

Aussie Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo dives into a pool to celebrate his Monaco GP win
Aussie Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo dives into a pool to celebrate his Monaco GP win

Hockenheim is back this year but the future is uncertain beyond that and local promoters have said they can not continue without a new deal that is free of financial risk to them.

But Ricciardo, who will start sixth, believes Red Bull can fight for victory - which would be their third in seven races in 2018.

While an issue during the second session was initially thought to be MGU-K related, many still fearing that the Australian is on the verge of a grid penalty following the Monaco failure, it turned out to be an electrical issue related to the Renault engine update.

"It was a little bit frustrating, but it doesn't seem too dramatic" of a problem, Ricciardo said.

"We have got the pace in the vehicle to challenge for pole, but we are not really getting the best out of the hyper-softs", said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff. "It was waiting, waiting, waiting and eventually we got out".

Verstappen was also able to crack a smile at the end of the day having answered his critics with a smooth error-free effort to not only top a practice session for the first time this season, but do it twice. Aside from a few laps after his pit-stop, when Ricciardo, who jumped Hamilton at the change, came within two seconds, the Dutchman was in cruise control. He is hoping to build on last year's appearance at his hometown track, when as a rookie he earned the first points of his Formula One career.