F1 – Verstappen quickest in first practice for Azerbaijan Grand Prix | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

F1 – Verstappen quickest in first practice for Azerbaijan Grand Prix

04.06.21

Formula 1 Driver’s championship leader Max Verstappen set the fastest lap of the first practice session for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the Baku Street Circuit.

The session on the streets beside the shores of the Caspian Sea was held in windy conditions and on a temporary track severely lacking in grip early on.

There was a spin for AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda with the Japanese driver running out of road at Turn 4 before getting stuck in the run-off area as the half way mark in the session arrived.

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel also went long, this time in Turn 1, and the German was forced to used the escape road there. Defending F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, team-mate Valtteri Bottas and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly also had off-track moments during the session.

As the grip began to improve times fell and as the session moved into the final half hour, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo took top spot with a lap of 1:43.732 set on this weekend’s C5 soft compound tyre.

The Australian’s team-mate Lando Norris might have gone quicker but the Briton spun at the final corner, though he managed to stay out of the barriers.

The Ferrari drivers then claimed 1-2 spots on the timesheet with Leclerc leading the way with a lap of 1:43.227 ahead of Sainz's 1:43.521s.

But in the final 10 minutes Verstappen used soft tyres to jump to the top of the order with a lap of 1:43.184, 0.043s ahead of Leclerc and three tenths quicker than Sainz.

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Pérez took fourth place with a lap of 1:43.630, a tenth quicker than Ricciardo, while Pierre Gasly was sixth, a couple of hundredths of a second further back. Hamilton finished the session in seventh place ahead of Norris, Alpine's Fernando Alonso and Bottas.

2021 FIA Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:43.184 19 209.439
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:43.227 0.043 20 209.352
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:43.521 0.337 20 208.757
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:43.630 0.446 17 208.538
5 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:43.732 0.548 25 208.333
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:43.757 0.573 23 208.282
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:43.893 0.709 20 208.010
8 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:43.996 0.812 20 207.804
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:44.777 1.593 25 206.255
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:44.891 1.707 20 206.031
11 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:44.943 1.759 18 205.928
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:45.092 1.908 20 205.636
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:45.234 2.050 23 205.359
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:45.384 2.200 25 205.067
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:45.415 2.231 24 205.006
16 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:45.446 2.262 23 204.946
17 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:45.452 2.268 24 204.934
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:45.774 2.590 22 204.311
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:46.899 3.715 20 202.160
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:46.945 3.761 18 202.073