WATCH LIVE: Canadian GP Race Day on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30pm ET, NBC from 2pm ET

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The fight at the top of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is set to rage on in Montreal on Sunday after the Mercedes teammates locked out the front row of the grid at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Bouncing back from his disappointing defeat in Monaco, Hamilton proved himself as the man to beat in qualifying by going three-tenths of a second faster than Rosberg in Q3 to secure his fourth pole position in Montreal.

More importantly for Hamilton – driver no. 44 –  it was the 44th of his career at the site of his first pole and win back in 2007 for McLaren.

Eight years and two world titles later, the Briton is now looking to extend his advantage over Rosberg at the top of the championship standings with victory in the race on Sunday.

You can watch F1 Countdown for the Canadian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30pm, before switching over to NBC at 2pm ET for the race start. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Hamilton’s record in Montreal is the most impressive on the grid, boasting more victories in Canada than any other active driver. However, as he learned last year, he will need a reliable car and the edge on Rosberg if he is to clinch a fourth victory in Montreal on Sunday.

Rosberg is currently riding the crest of a wave after scoring back-to-back wins for the first time in his F1 career. He could complete a hat-trick this weekend with victory and make more inroads on Hamilton’s championship lead, but the German will know that is far easier said than done.

Ferrari’s hopes of getting in the mix for the race win were dealt a big blow on Saturday when Sebastian Vettel suffered an engine failure, leaving him 18th on the grid after taking a penalty. Felipe Massa, Max Verstappen and Jenson Button are three other surprise names lurking at the back of the pack, suggesting we could be treated to a fight or two through the field in the race.

You can watch F1 Countdown for the Canadian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30pm, before switching over to NBC at 2pm ET for the race start. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Max Verstappen shows speed in Austria; Lewis Hamilton lacking pace

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen posted the fastest time Friday, and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton lacked pace in the second practice session for the Styrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was 0.043 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas – Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes – and 0.217 ahead of Racing Point driver Sergio Perez.

“The car already feels better than last week, the balance is a lot nicer and we have made a good step,” said Verstappen, who did not finish last Sunday’s season-opening Austrian GP after starting from second.

“It is too early to say how we are looking against Mercedes, but we are quite happy. We have tried a few different directions to understand the car a bit more and we are heading the right way.”

Hamilton was only sixth fastest, about 0.7 seconds slower than Verstappen. Hamilton spent a chunk of time in the garage while his team worked on his car.

“It was quite far off, so there’s a lot of work to do in the background to figure it out,” he said. “Others out there are quick and Valtteri’s obviously got good pace.”

Despite adding a new front wing to its car, struggling Ferrari had a dismal afternoon.

Charles Leclerc was only ninth quickest and 1 second slower than Verstappen, while teammate Sebastian Vettel lagged about 2 seconds behind Verstappen in 16th.

Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his Renault car early into the second session, swerving left off the track and thudding backward into a protective tire wall. He climbed out unharmed, other than a slight limp, but the left rear tire was mangled and the car was lifted off the track by a crane.

Alexander Albon spun twice, the Red Bull driver’s second spin taking him right off the track and into gravel.

Earlier, Perez was fastest in the first practice ahead of Verstappen and Bottas, with Hamilton fourth quickest and Vettel only 10th in sunny conditions.

That session was briefly interrupted when Nicholas Latifi’s Williams car pulled over to the side with a gearbox issue.

The incident brought out yellow flags, forcing drivers to slow down. But McLaren driver Lando Norris overtook Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and got a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

Norris, 20, finished third at the Austrian GP last weekend, becoming the youngest British driver in F1 history to get on the podium and third youngest in F1.

The upcoming race is changing names from last week but is at the same track. It is surrounded by the Styrian mountains.

A third and final practice will be held on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon, with heavy rain and storms in the forecast.

If third practice and qualifying are washed out, drivers take their grid positions from where they placed in second practice.

“It would definitely suck if we didn’t get to qualify,” said Hamilton, who started fifth and finished fourth last weekend. “It would make it challenging.”

However, qualifying also could be moved to Sunday morning.

“I don’t expect to be on pole position with this (practice) lap,” Verstappen said.