It’s the first time F1 is back in Montreal since 2019 after the last two races were cancelled due to coronavirus. 

The reigning F1 champion topped the timesheets but it wasn’t a completely straightforward session for Verstappen in Canada.

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"Did you see that? I just had my inside wheel in the air. Are we sure the roll bar is correct over there?" Verstappen reported over team radio with 30 minutes on the clock before being forced to return to the pit lane.

The Dutchman then returned to the track just five minutes later and stormed to the top of the timesheets with a 1m15.158s.

That lap time put him just over two-tenths clear of Carlos Sainz, who was faster than his former Toro Rosso teammate in the opening two-thirds of the lap.

Verstappen held the advantage in the final third of the lap which consists of the long back straight.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso completed the top three on mediums in what was another impressive outing for the two-time champion.

Alonso was consistently fast in a straight-line Baku so it was no surprise to see Alpine competitive in Canada given it is a low downforce track. 

Sergio Perez made it two Red Bulls in the top four, over four-tenths shy of his teammate.

The Mexican led the field on the initial medium tyre runs at the start of the session but struggled to improve on the softer rubber.

Charles Leclerc was fifth in the second Ferrari but ran a slightly different programme to his teammate, using the softs on both of his runs.

Ahead of the weekend, there was a lot of speculation about whether Leclerc would take a grid penalty for this weekend after his most recent power unit failure in Baku.

For now, Leclerc will not be hit with a grid penalty although he moves closer to one later in the season after taking a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, MGU-K and energy store.

George Russell was sixth overall in the lead Mercedes ahead of home hero Lance Stroll.

Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton completed the top eight ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.

It was a tightly-contested first hour of practice with just 1.2s separating Verstappen at the top and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas in 16th.

Tsunoda to start from the back

Yuki Tsunoda will start from the back of the grid after taking a fourth ICE, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K.

In accordance with the FIA’s regulations, all drivers are only allowed to use three of the aforementioned components.

Kevin Magnussen, Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi all have new components for this weekend, but they all escape grid penalties.