Red Bull’s championship leader lays down fastest practice lap at Montreal GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the fastest time of the first practice session for the Montreal Grand Prix on Friday, as he aims to build on his lead in the Formula One season standings.

Verstappen covered the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track with a lap time of one minute 15.158 seconds.

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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was second (1:15.404), while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was third (1:15.531).

Verstappen has a 21-point lead over teammate Sergio Perez in the championship standings.

Perez, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Mercedes’ George Russell rounded out the top six.

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Montreal native Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) was seventh, while Toronto’s Nicholas Latifi (Williams) was 19th.

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton was eighth fastest. The Mercedes driver had said in the morning press conference that he’d be tinkering with the car’s setup and that results in practice might suffer. His Mercedes was sporting a fairly large cut out on the edge of the floor in practice.

Drivers hadn’t been on the track in three years. The weekend marks Formula One’s return to Montreal after COVID-19 forced cancellation of the Canadian stop in both 2020 and 2021.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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