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Canadian GP: Verstappen does talking on track, tops opening practice
13 June 2018, 12:38 | Henrietta Morgan
Feisty Verstappen vows not to change approach Image by Glenn Dunbar LAT
A win on Sunday would also see Hamilton draw level with F1 legend Michael Schumacher as the joint-most successful Canadian Grand Prix driver of all time on seven titles apiece.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver has been playing catch up after some issues during practice on Friday, but even with that he felt he should have qualified higher up the grid than he did if had found the kind of rhythm needed to be quick at the circuit.
The Red Bull driver has been under growing pressure this season following a number of key incidents, even suggesting he might "headbutt someone" on Thursday in response to ongoing questions about his performance.
After two races in Europe, Formula One heads across the Atlantic to North America for the Canadian Grand Prix.
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Ricciardo's Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen topped both sessions in Montreal, while Mercedes ended FP2 only fourth and sixth quickest with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. The Monaco Grand Prix victor set the fastest first sector of the session before a lock-up at the tight hairpin at the start of sector three cost him significant time on what proved to be his personal best lap. But so far the situation in this group is very conditional, as Nico Hulkenberg, who became the 14th, lost to Grosjean 0.3 seconds. Hamilton's chief championship rival, Sebastian Vettel, finished fifth.
"Now he (Verstappen) is in the spotlight. any small error now I think he's probably going to get a little picked apart from", Ricciardo said. If the start goes well and we gain a position or two, then I don't think a podium is unrealistic as long as we get the hypers [-soft tyres] to lap whatever it is to still do a one stop.
"It was a good day", Verstappen said.
Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari and Monaco victor Daniel Ricciardo'sRed Bull are in the third row, with Nico Hulkenberg seventh and the best of the rest.
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Ricciardo's auto has spent more time in the garage than Verstappen's this weekend, but Ricciardo does not think he can use too much of that as an excuse for the gap to the Dutchman.
"I think he's pretty headstrong; he won't let it get to him too much", said the Australian, who won in Monaco and now sits in third place, 38 points behind Hamilton, in the standings. "I'm happy for Canada that we participate in this sport".
"We managed to get a few laps in at the end of FP3 and I did enough to feel what the vehicle was like".
Asked why he had experienced so many crashes, he paused before he said: "I don't know. But looking at where we were, it doesn't make me satisfied, but I feel like we did all we could with what we had". "We knew - or we thought - Mercedes were going to qualify on the ultra, so yeah, we'll see tomorrow".
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