Verstappen tops opening practice for the first time in 2018

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Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest on a circuit where he has tasted the victory Champagne on six different occasions, including the last three consecutive years.

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.

Ricciardo won in Monaco despite nursing an engine problem so terminal that his Red Bull boss Christian Horner likened it to the troubling Apollo 13 space mission.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen topped his first session of the 2018 Formula 1 season, posting the fastest time in opening practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes will also start in the front row, coming in about one-tenth of a second slower than Vettel.

The Red Bull driver said at a news conference Thursday before the Canadian Grand Prix that he's exhausted of questions about the crash in Azerbaijan that also knocked out teammate Daniel Ricciardo, or the one in Monaco that sent him to the back of the grid.

"I'm very happy with this weekend so far". Hamilton's chief championship rival, Sebastian Vettel, finished fifth. If I'm on the seventh race with a hard circuit on engines, I want to see it through. "Starting on the softer tyre is a benefit as it's quite slippery on track and in the race I think we'll be competitive".

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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.

"It was a special feeling pulling out of pit lane - I had a big smile on my face", the 22-year-old said.

Stroll, in his second season with Williams, posted the 19th fastest time of 1:14.703, outpacing only his Russian teammate Sergey Sirotkin. "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".

"I think we have the pace to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes", Verstappen told reporters later.

Indeed Ricciardo could be thrown to the back of the pack, dependant on the number of engine parts his Red Bull team have to change. "It was waiting, waiting, waiting and eventually we got out".

"We managed to get a few laps in at the end of FP3 and I did enough to feel what the auto was like". The tyres were holding on really well at the end when I was challenging Valtteri because he was fuel saving which shows our auto was working well and for sure we have a very competitive vehicle at the moment. Not the best day but we are OK. Obviously if something happens in practice then we will probably have to take one, but no is the answer today.

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