Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix preview

Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix preview

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said Bottas' narrow deficit to Vettel - 0.093s - could not purely be blamed on limited running on the hypersoft given Mercedes would also have benefited from an upgraded engine this weekend had the team not run into late reliability concerns with the new units earlier this week.

Sebastian Vettel says building his confidence after a scrappy Friday was the key to securing his first pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since 2013.

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes was fourth at 1:12.777, Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari was fifth at 1:12.985 with Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes sixth in 1:13.061.

Again, Kimi Raikkonen led the Ferrari charge in second place, but Monaco victor Daniel Ricciardo, who missed a large chunk of FP2 as mechanics rushed to fix a mechanical problem, was able to end the day third. The 20-year-old Dutchman is looking to overcome a recent history of mistakes that left him threatening to head-butt anyone who asked about the crashes. "I think we looked quite competitive and it was a positive start to the weekend".

"What happened was a bit odd, my auto had been working well all day". Today I think we had a couple of small lock ups, but as you continue to push the setup there are areas that can be affected.

The Briton, who is already the most successful driver of the current crop at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with six wins, is only one victory away from equalling the legendary Michael Schumacher's record haul of seven triumphs at the track.

"It was just a hard session".

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I really believe in that, that they're helping me out, giving me that little "push" that Laffit Pincay used to talk about. Gronkowski , named for the National Football League player, finished second, having been last for much of the race.

On a dry and sunlit day, there was immediate drama when Frenchman Romain Grosjean pulled up in the pit-lane with clouds of smoke billowing from his Haas car's Ferrari engine. The vehicle was incredible, it just kept getting quicker.

"I've been watching Formula One for a long time and we're going to see our first Formula One race", said Glynn Cornwall, a fan from Toronto who made the trek with his son and a friend.

Mercedes had to go off-piste with their approach to Friday practice as they didn't bring as many hypersoft tyres to Montreal compared to the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull, and only ran the softest compound for the first time in FP3.

The session was punctuated by incidents as the drivers came to terms with a slippery circuit, several touching or hitting the barriers.

Lewis Hamilton hopes his Mercedes team have overcome the problems they had in Monaco with the "hyper-soft" tyre ahead of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes were first out in Q3 and smashed the records, Bottas topping Hamilton in 1:10.857 before Vettel beat that.

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