Sebastian Vettel withstood a challenge from team-mate Charles Leclerc to head final practice in Canada as Ferrari laid down a gauntlet ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.

The four-time world champion, who took his second victory in Montreal at last year’s event, set blistering pace on his way to recording the fastest time of a 1:10.843.

Both Ferrari’s swapped places several times at the top of the timesheets, with Leclerc the first of the pair to lay down a marker.

The Monegasque compromised his final attempt with a severe double lock-up into Turn 1, allowing Vettel to steal top spot with his last run.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes’ charge in third place, albeit some three-tenths off Vettel’s benchmark.

The Brackley-based outfit were lighting up the timing screens in sector one but were lacking in straight-line speed compared to Ferrari.

Mercedes has brought its latest Phase Two spec engine to Canada this weekend to reduce the deficit to Ferrari’s advantage in top speed, but concede it is still losing 0.6 seconds to the Maranello squad on the straights.

Red Bull were third-fastest with Verstappen ahead of Gasly, although the former was badly held up while on a quick lap into the final chicane.

2014 Canadian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo was an encouraging seventh for Renault, the team’s upgrades aiming to bolster them to a much needed double points finish.

McLaren’s Lando Norris ended up eighth quickest in FP3, the Briton five positions ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz after being a considerable margin off the Spaniard’s impressive P4 effort in second practice.

Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10 for Racing Point and Toro Rosso respectively, as the two aim to carry forward their performance into qualifying.

Local driver Lance Stroll’s session came to an abrupt end early on as he suffered a hydraulic leak that caused his car to chuff out blooms of smoke and grind to a halt in the pitlane.

Although the 20-year-old was pushed back to the garage by his mechanics, the issue was not fixable in time to allow him to rejoin the track before the conclusion of the session.