Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Formula One leader Max Verstappen sets the pace in Baku
Max Verstappen set a time of 1 minute, 43.184 seconds in his Red Bull to beat Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc by .043 seconds. The second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz was third, .337 seconds off the pace.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (Courtesy: AP)
- Seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton finished seventh
- Ferrari driver’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished second and third
- The race in Baku was not held last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Formula One leader Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the first practice session Friday for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Verstappen set a time of 1 minute, 43.184 seconds in his Red Bull to beat Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc by .043 seconds. The second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz was third, .337 seconds off the pace.
Seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton, four points behind Verstappen after five races, was only seventh fastest with team mate Valtteri Bottas — winner in Baku in 2019 — 10th.
Both were slowed by traffic on quick laps, however, and the ‘dirty’ track proved slippery for drivers who also had to contend with breezy conditions.
The weekend has been dominated by a row over ‘bendy’ rear wings, with the governing FIA keeping a close eye on the situation before introducing new tests at the following French Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s Mexican team mate Sergio Perez, a two-times podium finisher in Baku with now-defunct Force India, was fourth on the timesheets.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, a winner in Azerbaijan with Red Bull in 2017, was fifth for McLaren and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly sixth.
The race in Baku was not held last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will be held without spectators this weekend.
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