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Verstappen continues to set Montreal pace

NEWS STORY
08/06/2018

Ahead of today's second practice session, the air temperature is 21 degrees C, while the track temperature is 43 degrees. It is bright and sunny with 0% chance of rain.

Max Verstappen topped the timesheets earlier, edging out Lewis Hamilton by 0.088s, and teammate Daniel Ricciardo 0.216s off the pace. However, while the Bulls sets their best times on the hypersofts, the Mercedes was on supers.

The session was red-flagged for 11 minutes after Nico Hulkenberg stopped on track with a gearbox issue that sidelined him for the rest of the morning, while Lance Stroll was also sidelined after he clouted the 'Wall of Champions' with his rear.

Other than that it was a pretty uneventful ninety minutes, though an unusually dusty track saw a number of spins in the closing moments.

Having given his car over to Nicholas Latifi earlier, Sergio Perez is back in action this afternoon. Hulkenberg has opted to use his race gearbox in this session following this morning's problem.

Raikkonen is first out when the lights go green, and as he completes the opening lap he is finally joined by another driver, Sainz.

As he begins his first flying lap, Raikkonen reports "pulling" from the brakes. He crosses the line at 16.158.

As Sainz posts 16.677, the Spaniard is on the supers while Raikkonen is on ultrasofts.

A 16.014 sees Hartley go quickest while Perez goes fourth with a 16.971.

Purples in all three sectors see Raikkonen go top, the Finn crossing the line at 14.817.

Grosjean goes third (16.132) as more drivers head out, a mixture of ultras and supers.

A 15.822 sees Magnussen go second.

Hartley complains of "big traction issues" and that his fronts are a "bit lazy".

Ricciardo's first flying lap sees the Monaco winner go third (15.238) after losing time in the final corner behind a slow car.

In the other Ferrari garage, Vettel's car is up on its stand and showing no sign of heading out any time soon.

Leclerc goes third and Sauber teammate Ericsson fourth, thereby demoting Ricciardo to fifth. This time around the Australian misses the final chicane and has to use the escape road.

Unusually, Grosjean is not a happy bunny. Frustrated at the antics of the driver in front, the clearly exasperated Haas driver is warned that Ricciardo is incoming. Lots of Gallic oohs and aahs but no sacre bleus.

On the supers, Hamilton and Bottas go first and second, the Briton stopping the clock at 13.347.

A 13.712 sees Verstappen go third, like the Mercedes pair he is on the red-banded supersoft.

Hamilton improves to 13.031 as, after almost 25 minutes of running, Vettel is the only driver yet to post a time.

No sooner has Alonso gone third on the ultras than he is demoted by his teammate Vandoorne who posts a 14.242.

Sainz loses the back end of the Renault and hits the wall with the rear of his car at T7. He is able to continue but the Renault took quite a knock.

The session is red flagged.

Meanwhile, the swarm of mechanics descending on Ricciardo's car suggests the Australian has a problem.

As marshals arrive to clear the debris - hence the red flag - it would appear the Renault has suffered more damage than first appeared.

The session resumes and moments later Perez heads out to get things going again.

Ericsson improves to ninth with a 14.633. The Swede is on the hypers, as are a number of other drivers who are now heading out including Raikkonen.

Indeed, on the pink-banded rubber Raikkonen improves to second with a 13.049 but remains 0.272s off Hamilton's pace.

Ericsson improves to sixth while teammate Leclerc consolidates fifth with a 13.884.

On the supersofts, Verstappen improves to second with a 12.858, as Vettel, also on supers, posts 13.973 to go sixth.

Quickest in all three sectors, Raikkonen crosses the line at 12.328 to go quickest by 0.449s.

A lock-up for Leclerc sees the Sauber driver miss the first corner. "I did a mistake," he admits.

Hartley improves to seventh with a 13.889.

Stroll is told that he's carrying too much speed into the final corner, this morning's appointment with 'The Wall' having clearly not taught him his lesson.

"Last corner you are still too quick on entry," he is warned, "you are carrying too much speed and you nearly crash again."

Ocon goes fifth on the hypers, ahead of Leclerc, Hartley, Hulkenberg and Vettel.

Now on the hypers, Verstappen goes quickest in S1 and again in S2, crossing the line at 29.007.

"What's your main limitation," Grosjean is asked, and after a long, long, long pause, he replies: "I don't know". The Frenchman is currently fifth.

As Alonso has a change of front wing, the Mercedes duo are stoically avoiding the hypersofts.

A 13.754 sees Perez go seventh, just behind his teammate.

TV camera picks up on Vandoorne who has damage to his right-rear. The McLaren driver having clipped the wall at T9.

The VSC is deployed.

Several minutes later, with the VSC still deployed, Bottas heads out, followed by Hamilton, Hartley and Hulkenberg.

With 26 minutes remaining, attention has now switched to Sunday afternoon and the race sims.

"Traffic, traffic," complains Vettel who is thought to be on a qualifying sim.

PBs in all three sectors see the German improve to fourth, albeit 0.814s off Verstappen's pace, and on the same hypersoft compound.

On his next lap he improves in S1 but traffic means he fails to improve in the final sectors.

With 20 minutes remaining, Ricciardo is finally back on track, keen to build on the four laps he has already completed. He is on the supersoft.

In quick succession, Ericsson and Hartley get it wrong at T1 and are forced to use the run-off.

Ricciardo is desperately looking for some clear space in order that he can do a flying lap. Good luck with that honey badger.

The Australian posts 14.097 to go 14th.

"I lose power," reports Ericsson, "quite a lot." He is informed that it is his battery and all will be fine in another lap.

Finally Ricciardo improves to fourth with a 12.980, albeit 0.782s off his teammate's pace.

PBs in all three sectors see Ricciardo improve to third, now just 0.405s off the pace.

Drivers are warned that it is slippery in the final chicane.

"Are we certain that the front wing is where it should be," asks Raikkonen.

The session ends. Verstappen is quickest again, ahead of Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Grosjean, Ocon, Perez and Alonso.

Leclerc is eleventh, ahead of Hartley, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Ericsson, Vandoorne, Sainz, Gasly, Stroll and Sirotkin.

Check out our Friday gallery from Montreal, here.

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