Max Verstappen quickest in final practice, top four split by 0.1s
Canadian Grand Prix - FP3

Max Verstappen quickest in final practice, top four split by 0.1s

10/06/2018

For the third practice session in a row, Max Verstappen topped the timesheets at the Canadian Grand Prix as Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes all appear to be in the running for pole position at Montreal.

The Red Bull driver held a narrow 0.049s margin over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after finding all of his time advantage in the first sector. Despite an upgraded Renault engine in the back of the Red Bull this weekend, Verstappen was still losing time to Vettel on Montreal's long straights and that performance gap is likely to get even bigger when Ferrari and Mercedes run their fastest engine modes in Q3.

Lewis Hamilton will fancy his chances of securing pole position after setting the fourth fastest time -- 0.107s off Verstappen -- although Mercedes did not find the expected performance step when they ran the hyper-soft tyre for the first time this weekend on Saturday morning. The tyre should offer a 1.1s advantage over the ultra-soft compound Hamilton had been using up to that point, but he only found a 0.6s gain from the softer rubber. It remains to be seen whether that is due to the Mercedes' tendency to struggle on softer compounds or whether Hamilton has more in his locker for qualifying later this afternoon.

Such were the close margins in final practice that any of the top six drivers could hope to challenge for pole position, but Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas will both have to up their game after setting times 0.5s off their respective teammates. Neither driver has looked comfortable this weekend and both will be studying their teammate's data to understand where they are lacking ahead of qualifying.

Sergio Perez was seventh fastest for Force India as the battle outside the top six appears to be even closer than the battle for pole. Under 0.2s split Perez in seventh and Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso in 12th, with five different teams in the running for a place in Q3. At all the midfield teams, one driver appears to be performing better than his teammate but the big surprise in final practice was that Stoffel Vandoorne, who crashed in second practice and made a mistake early in FP3, held a 0.191s advantage over Fernando Alonso in the other McLaren.

The bottom of the grid looks set to be filled with Saubers and Williams, but Kevin Magnussen may also feature in the bottom five after appearing to struggle across all three sessions so far this weekend.

Related news

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

M-Sport's Sebastien Ogier capitalised on trouble for his World Rally Championship rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville with a fifth Rally GB victory, fending off Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez took victory in MotoGP's inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, passing chief rival Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap to take a step closer to the 2018 championship crown.

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton has inched ever closer to a fifth world championship after dominating an incident-filled Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel once again hit trouble.

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second

World Rally Championship title hopeful Ott Tanak has extended his Rally GB lead on Saturday morning, while Sebastien Ogier continued to jump up the order after a troubled Friday.

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying

Valentino Rossi narrowly missed out on his second pole of the season on Saturday, coming in second just 0.011 of a second behind Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez in qualifying for the Thailand Grand Prix.

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Japan as Ferrari made yet another costly blunder, this time misjudging the weather conditions in Q3 and leaving Sebastian Vettel on the wrong tyres.

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap

Sebastian Vettel closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.116s off his title rival.

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice

Lewis Hamilton has capped off a dominant day for Mercedes at Suzuka by topping the timesheets in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles

It looks as though Lewis Hamilton will once again be the man to beat after comfortably topping the opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix as title-rival Sebastian Vettel struggled for pace.

RELATED NEWS

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead
Rally Great Britain

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

M-Sport's Sebastien Ogier capitalised on trouble for his World Rally Championship rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville with a fifth Rally GB victory, fending off Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle
Thailand Grand Prix

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez took victory in MotoGP's inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, passing chief rival Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap to take a step closer to the 2018 championship crown.

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth
Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton has inched ever closer to a fifth world championship after dominating an incident-filled Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel once again hit trouble.

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second
Rally GB

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second

World Rally Championship title hopeful Ott Tanak has extended his Rally GB lead on Saturday morning, while Sebastien Ogier continued to jump up the order after a troubled Friday.

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying
Thailand Grand Prix - Qualifying

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying

Valentino Rossi narrowly missed out on his second pole of the season on Saturday, coming in second just 0.011 of a second behind Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez in qualifying for the Thailand Grand Prix.

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder
Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Japan as Ferrari made yet another costly blunder, this time misjudging the weather conditions in Q3 and leaving Sebastian Vettel on the wrong tyres.

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap
Japanese Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap

Sebastian Vettel closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.116s off his title rival.

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice
Japanese Grand Prix - FP2

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice

Lewis Hamilton has capped off a dominant day for Mercedes at Suzuka by topping the timesheets in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles
Japanese Grand Prix - FP1

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles

It looks as though Lewis Hamilton will once again be the man to beat after comfortably topping the opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix as title-rival Sebastian Vettel struggled for pace.