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Canadian GP: Verstappen does talking on track, tops opening practice

2018-06-08 18:44

Under-fire Dutchman Max Verstappen topped the times for Red Bull in Friday's action-packed opening free practice session for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

Twenty-four hours after his impetuous performance at a pre-race news briefing, in which he threatened to "head-butt" his inquisitors, the young Dutchman produced a near-faultless answer to his critics.

Verstappen clocked a best lap in one minute, 13.302 seconds, outpacing nearest rival, championship leader and defending four-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by 0.088 seconds.

His Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, victorious in Monaco two weeks ago, was third fastest ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Finn Valtteri Bottas, who was fifth in the second Mercedes.

Another Finn, Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second Ferrari ahead of two-time champion Fernando Alonso of McLaren and fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Renault.

The session was punctuated by incidents as the drivers came to terms with a slippery circuit, several touching or hitting the barriers.

Both Williams drivers hit the wall, Canadian Lance Stroll suffering a puncture, while in an earlier incident Renault's German driver Nico Hulkenberg came to a halt with an engine failure on track.

This resulted in a 12-minute red-flagged delay before the action resumed. Hulkenberg was unable to complete a timed lap in the session.

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