Max Verstappen crashes into barriers during final practice for Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen suffered a setback ahead of qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after crashing out into the barriers during final practice in Baku.

Race marshals remove Max Verstappen’s car from the track after he crashed during practice. (Reuters Photo)

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen crashed into the barriers
  • AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was surprisingly fastest in final practice
  • Verstappen ended his session prematurely, crashing out at Turn 15

Red Bull’s Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen crashed his car into the barriers during the final practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Verstappen carried too much speed through the left-handed Turn 15 and hit the barrier and was unable to reverse away from the accident and the session was red-flagged with 30 minutes remaining.

Verstappen, leading the championship for the first time and four points clear of Hamilton after five races, was left as a mere spectator for much of the session after going into the barrier at turn 15. The session was halted for the car, with a broken front wing and suspension, to be removed.

Meanwhile, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was surprisingly fastest in final practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Saturday. Frenchman Gasly, a winner for the Red Bull-owned team in Italy last season, lapped the Baku street circuit with the best time of one minute 42.251 seconds in an eventful session on a hot afternoon. Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez was second quickest, 0.344 slower.

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Mercedes’ seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton was third, after earlier complaining of a lack of grip, but his pace was increased significantly by running in the Mexican’s slipstream. The aerodynamic ‘tow’ on the long and fast straight may have been worth as much as six-tenths of a second to the Briton, Mercedes estimated.

Ferrari remained in the mix at the front, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz fourth and fifth respectively, while Lando Norris was sixth for McLaren, who had both their cars in the top 10.

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