Red Bull victory possible in Canada - Ricciardo


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.

Max Verstappen looked in too good of a mood to head butt anyone.

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.

Ricciardo made a first set-up change to his RB14 after Friday's running, but while Verstappen completed a clean sweep of practice in Saturday morning's FP3 the Australian was more than half a second off.

Mercedes' championship leader Lewis Hamilton, chasing a record equalling seventh Canadian Grand Prix win, was fourth best ahead of his Ferrari championship rival Sebastian Vettel and team mate Valtteri Bottas.

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.

Come qualifying, Ferrari and Mercedes upped their game - as they've done at each race weekend this year courtesy of their superior engine modes - with Verstappen the best-placed Red Bull in third.

"I guess I still know how to drive", he said across the team radio.

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.

For Verstappen, it was his second podium of the season and a welcome return.

Ricciardo will start the race on the softer hypersoft compound tyre, as will Verstappen in third place - whereas the Mercedes and Ferrari cars will all line up on ultrasofts.

It was the first time he had topped the times in any practice sessions this year.

"The tyres worked well, we were quite fast and to see it in the long run, we can be even faster".

"So far everything went well and I have a good feeling". The main thing was to get through the program, which we did. "It was especially nice on my last lap to see all the Canadian flags waving to me".

Stroll touched a wall in the morning session, forcing a stop for repairs, but was back out for a full run in the afternoon. "Now we just have to break it down and get it in the best position for (qualifying)". I'm looking at the positives: "we also took two points from Lewis so we're still in the championship, we're still there".

Romain Grosjean finished at the front of the midfield for Haas but hit an animal, believed to be one of the native groundhogs, towards the end of the session.

He has raced in the F2 series the last two seasons and now sits 10th in F2 standings after eight races this year, including a third-place finish at Baku, Azerbaijan.