Max Verstappen experienced a positive opening day at the Canadian Grand Prix as he worked through the usual Friday setup and test program for Red Bull Racing.
The Dutchman was a full second off the fastest time in the first session but had set his time on the slower medium compound tyres, whereas the Mercedes AMG Motorsport’s Lewis Hamilton clocked his time on the softs.
The twenty-one year old progressed more in the afternoon session but was hindered by his team-mate Pierre Gasly at the final chicane and made contact with the barrier and lost time whilst he was performing a flying lap on the soft compound.
“For me Free Practice 1 was fine and I felt good in the car,” Verstappen said. “It maybe didn’t look easy from the outside in Free Practice 2 but from my side the car also felt good.
“I couldn’t finish the push lap in Free Practice 2 which was unfortunate. As I arrived at the last chicane I was in the wake of Pierre’s car and I understeered into the wall. It’s a shame and we missed a bit of running but when we were running the pace was pretty decent.”
Verstappen was unable to set a representative time on the softs, therefore had to settle for thirteenth position on the hard compound tyres and was over a second off the pace.
“Of course we want to do better and I think the slippery track was also not in our favour today but the long runs look competitive, so I’m happy about that, even with the disrupted running and we just have fine tuning to do for tomorrow,” Verstappen added.
“It’s very dusty out there and I had to use four or five tear offs when usually I don’t even use one, it’s a bit too much, especially off-line, but hopefully conditions will improve tomorrow.”