Max Verstappen dominates practice ahead of Canadian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen dominated the opening day of the Canadian Grand Prix as Formula One returned to Montreal for the first time in three years.

The defending world champion is currently top of the standings and was untouchable in both of Friday’s practice sessions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Verstappen is the in-form man this year, winning four of the last five races, including around the streets of Baku last weekend.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen was in fine form on Friday (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Heading to Montreal, the talk of the paddock has surrounded the FIA’s decision to intervene and attempt to find a solution to the bouncing which has affected the new-look cars this season.

Verstappen has had less trouble than others on the grid and his time of one minute 14.127 seconds saw him top the time sheets at the end of second practice.

Lewis Hamilton struggled with a bad back last weekend and said his car was “undriveable” towards the end of the second hour, which the Mercedes man finished down in 13th.

The Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc, who narrowly avoided a grid penalty after replacing parts of his power unit, and Carlos Sainz were second and third fastest.

Former world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were next up with Pierre Gasly sixth and Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell seventh.

The McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, followed by Esteban Ocon, rounded out the top 10.

A groundhog survived a risky run across the track towards the end of the first session while a stray can meant a virtual safety car was required in the second hour.

Verstappen had gone quickest in the early running and will take some beating heading into qualifying on Saturday.

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