Max Verstappen fastest as Carlos Sainz crashes out of rain-hit Canadian practice

Max Verstappen finished fastest in final practice (Christinne Muschi/AP)
Max Verstappen finished fastest in final practice (Christinne Muschi/AP)

Max Verstappen finished fastest as Carlos Sainz crashed out of a rain-hit final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen has won five of the first seven races of the season and even a wet track in Montreal could not slow the Dutchman down.

The world champion, already 53 points clear of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez in the championship standings, finished 0.291 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

The Monegasque was the only driver within one second of Verstappen. Fernando Alonso took third for Aston Martin, 1.3 sec off the pace.

Lewis Hamilton, fastest in Friday’s dry running at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, finished 10th in the rain, 1.98 sec slower than Verstappen, with George Russell 15th in the other Mercedes.

In the greasy conditions, Sainz spun after he stepped on to the white line under braking for the opening left-right chicane.

Sainz was sent out of control and into the wall, sustaining significant damage to the front of his scarlet car.

The Ferrari man escaped unharmed from the high-speed shunt which saw the one-hour session suspended for eight minutes.

But his mechanics will now face a race against time to repair his machine for qualifying which is due to start at 16:00 local time (21:00 BST).

Sainz was also summoned to the stewards for blocking Williams’ Alex Albon at the final chicane. Albon was forced to take evasive action to avoid slamming into the back of the Spaniard.

Hamilton headlined the order here on Friday, but the seven-time world champion was not at ease with his black-liveried car on a sodden surface.

“Grip is very poor,” said Hamilton after he ran off the road at the first corner and failed to trouble the top of the time sheets.

Elsewhere, Kevin Magnussen finished an impressive fourth for Haas, one spot ahead of Sainz, who set his speediest lap moments before his accident.

British driver Lando Norris was 13th, one spot behind his rookie McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, while Perez finished a lowly 17th, 2.7 sec behind Verstappen.