Max Verstappen fastest in 1st practice at Canadian GP

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Hamilton is concerned that doing this race with an old engine that will have lost a small amount of power over its life could be enough to make it hard to contend for victory at a track where he has won six times in 10 races.

In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 178 points, Ferrari is second with 156 points and Red Bull is third with 107 points.

Team mate Max Verstappen bounced back from a frustrating weekend in Monte Carlo to dominate all three practice sessions at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, as Red Bull emerged as genuine contenders. "We didn't have the smoothest day and we had what looks like an electrical problem with the engine". While the strategy will give Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas fewer laps to become accustomed to the the hyper-soft ahead of their qualifying laps, it gave the team more super-soft and ultra-soft tyres to test during Friday practice, which are expected to be the better race tyres.

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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. He sits sixth in the standings some 75 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton and with less than half the number of his Australian Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. "But as I said at the start, I am exhausted of these questions and if I get any more I am going to head-butt someone".

It was the second time this season Verstappen has failed to finish.

The young Dutchman clocked the best time of the day in the afternoon session, one minute, 12.198 seconds, ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull team mate and Monaco Grand Prix victor Daniel Ricciardo.

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But after the dreary spectacle in Monaco a fortnight ago, at least we can rely on one of the finest overtakers in the sport fighting his way back through the field to provide the entertainment this weekend. Mercedes was very quick, but I think we are not too far away.

"I feel like we were always kind of one step back, I think we got our stuff together in qualifying and I felt the laps were worth more than a sixth place, but in the end they weren't", he added.

"The others did a bit better but I'm not really bitter or anything at myself, I honestly did the best I could today".

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The good news for Ricciardo is that Red Bull thinks he can get through the weekend without needing to use a new energy recovery system. "I'm exhausted of all the comments that I should change", he said. "The auto was working well. Every session we made progress". The main thing was to get through the program, which we did. We got a few laps at the end there so I did enough to feel what the vehicle was like. Not the best day but we are OK.

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