Monaco Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton pips Valtteri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton prevailed in a battle with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas to top the second free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The duo had set the pace early in the session when on medium-compound Pirellis, but Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel took top spot on his performance run on what was his second set of softs by 45 thousandths of a second.
Mercedes was one of the last teams to send its drivers out for quick runs on softs, with Bottas the first to reclaim first position with a lap of 1m11.597s.
The Finn then improved again to a 1m11.275s, before Hamilton jumped ahead with a time of 1m11.245s.
Bottas put in a 1m11.199s to move back ahead, while Hamilton paid a visit to the Ste Devote escape road after a lock-up.
But Hamilton, on his 10th lap on softs, was able to put in a time 0.081s quicker than Bottas’s best, which proved to be good enough to top the session.
Vettel, who locked up at Ste Devote with 17 minutes to go and, after just stopping short of the barrier, had to reverse to recover, held on to third place – 0.763s down.
Pierre Gasly was fourth fastest for Red Bull, less than a tenth behind Vettel, with Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon fifth on his debut Monaco F1 weekend with a lap of 1m12.031s set with 54 minutes of the session to go.
Max Verstappen looked quick, but sat out a large amount of the session after suffering a suspected water leak on his Red Bull – ending up 0.934s with his pace on a first set of softs.
He returned to the track in the closing stages and completed a further seven laps, but did not improve on his earlier time.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was best of the rest in seventh fastest, 1.056s off the pace, which put him just ahead of the Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen.
Charles Leclerc, in the second Ferrari, was 10th and 1.232s down having complained about braking problems during the session.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean was 11th ahead of the McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Daniil Kvyat lost time in the final sector on his best lap and ended up 14th, 1.459s down and just ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez.
After a promising first practice session, the Renaults were down in 16th and 17th place, with Nico Hulkenberg the quicker by 0.016s.
That put them ahead of Lance Stroll, who was 3.440s down, and Williams pairing George Russell – who was another to visit the Ste Devote escape road – and Robert Kubica.
Practice two times
|4||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m11.938s||0.820s||39|
|5||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m12.031s||0.913s||51|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m12.052s||0.934s||17|
|8||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m12.239s||1.121s||51|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m12.342s||1.224s||51|
|13||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m12.419s||1.301s||47|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m12.577s||1.459s||39|
|15||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m12.752s||1.634s||44|
|18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m14.558s||3.440s||40|
Monaco Grand Prix practice: Hamilton fastest, Verstappen second
Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton led the way in the opening Thursday practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix, beating Max Verstappen by 0.059 seconds.
Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas spent much of morning practice maintaining a familiar Mercedes one-two, before Verstappen slotted in between the pair in his Red Bull in the latter half of the session.
Times were tumbling down quickly in the opening half-hour as drivers got acclimatised to the street circuit, but Mercedes cars swiftly assumed the lead to sit first and second after their opening run.
While Hamilton and Bottas were closely matched at that point, with the top Ferrari of Charles Leclerc just a tenth behind, the reigning champion emerged from the pits again on the same set of softs and stretched out his lead as he fired in a 1m12.932s.
Bottas, Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel all surpassed Hamilton’s earlier benchmark as they switched to fresh softs, but Hamilton responded swiftly and was back in the lead, trading a couple of fastest laps with Bottas before ending up on a 1m12.106s.
As Mercedes and Ferrari soon switched focus to long runs, this lap time kept Hamilton top until the chequered flag flew.
But Bottas, despite being just 0.072s slower than his team-mate, was shuffled down to third by Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver went down the escape road at Mirabeau after commencing his run on fresh softs, and required help from the marshals to reverse and get going again, yet ramped up his pace after that to take an eventual second place.
Local hero Leclerc wound up as the fastest Ferrari in fourth, 0.361s off the pace but over three and a half tenths up on Vettel.
Pierre Gasly, who had narrowly avoided a crash by catching a big slide in the Swimming Pool section, moved up to sixth place with 10 minutes left on the clock yet ended up a second off Red Bull team-mate Verstappen’s pace.
Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest behind the top three teams in seventh place, while Renault team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished 11th.
Haas had its session compromised by a telemetry and radio issue, which forced it to request the FIA to black-flag both of its drivers on the opening run as it could not communicate with them.
Both drivers returned to the track in the final 20 minutes, with Kevin Magnussen finishing just 0.005s behind Hulkenberg in eighth, while Romain Grosjean followed Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo in 10th.
Toro Rosso was alone in running the medium tyre in the second half of the session, and had Daniil Kvyat as its leading driver in 13th. Racing Point worked on the hard tyre late on, with Sergio Perez heading its efforts in 16th.
George Russell was the leading Williams entry in 17th, four tenths up on Robert Kubica – whose session ended with an off with just over 30 minutes to go.
Kubica spun his FW42 exiting Casino Square, and tapped the front wing against the inside barrier, subsequently returning to the pits but not reappearing after that.
McLaren was down to just one car for most of the session, with Carlos Sainz Jr sidelined with a reported electronics issue and unable to record a timed lap.
Practice one times
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m12.165s||0.059s||35|
|6||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m13.170s||1.064s||41|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m13.363s||1.257s||39|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m13.437s||1.331s||39|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m13.731s||1.625s||40|
|14||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m13.827s||1.721s||45|
|16||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m14.566s||2.460s||40|
|19||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m16.135s||4.029s||37|
|20||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||2m00.670s||48.564s||4|
Spanish GP qualifying: Bottas storms to third straight F1 pole
Valtteri Bottas completed a hat-trick of Formula 1 pole positions in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Bottas had the edge on Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton throughout qualifying, ending up a massive 0.634 seconds quicker.
None of the top four were able to improve their times on their second runs on soft Pirellis in Q3, ensuring Mercedes kept hold of the front-row lockout it had taken earlier in the final segment of qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel was third and 0.866s off the pace, less than a tenth quicker than fourth-best Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Charles Leclerc only had one run in Q3 thanks to having to use two sets of soft Pirellis in Q2 after compromising his first run by running wide at Campsa – also picking up some minor floor damage.
He put in two attempts on his one set of tyres, but ended up fifth and over two tenths slower than Verstappen – though he stayed ahead of the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen made good on the promise the upgraded Haas showed in practice by taking seventh and eighth place, with Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat ninth.
Daniel Ricciardo was slowest of those in Q3 in 10th, and anyway must serve a three-place grid penalty for reversing into Kvyat in the Azerbaijan GP two weeks ago.
Lando Norris was the best of those who didn’t reach Q3 in 11th place after being bumped down a position by Leclerc’s late improvement in Q2.
Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon, like his team-mate, only had one run on fresh softs in Q2 and ended up 12th after running wide at Turn 5.
Carlos Sainz Jr made an error on what should have been his quickest lap and was 13th ahead of the lead Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.
Nico Hulkenberg was the fastest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th place, 19 thousandths slower than team-mate Ricciardo.
Hulkenberg crashed at the Turn 4 right hander on his first run before he set a time, but was able to recover to the pits despite crunching his front wing.
He returned to the track in the closing stages and briefly lifted himself out of the dropzone with his first flying lap on the second set of options – although his pace was hindered by having switched to an older-spec front wing.
But Raikkonen then improved to push him down to 16th, with Hulkenberg finding two tenths on his second flier but not quite enough to escape.
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was eliminated for the fifth time in five 2019 races in 17th place, two tenths faster than 18th quickest Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo.
George Russell won the intra-Williams battle for 19th place despite a spin out of the corner before the chicane on his first run, outpacing Robert Kubica by 1.2s after the Pole failed to improve on his second run.
But Russell will drop back to last when his five-place grid penalty for having a gearbox change due to his practice crash is applied.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m16.357s||0.951s|
|6||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m16.708s||1.302s|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m17.573s||2.167s|
|11||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m17.445s||–|
|12||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m17.599s||–|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.788s||–|
|15||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m17.886s||–|
|17||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m18.471s||–|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m18.664s||–|
Spanish Grand Prix F1 practice report: Hamilton top, Bottas spins
Lewis Hamilton dominated final practice for the Spanish Grand Prix as a late off for George Russell prevented any final improvements ahead of Formula 1 qualifying.
Mercedes driver Hamilton enjoyed a commanding advantage over the chasing Ferraris in the session, which ended under red flags when Russell lost the rear of his Williams at the long Turn 4 right-hander and ended up in the wall backwards after travelling through the gravel.
That stopped three drivers – Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Lando Norris – completing a final new-tyre run and some from improving on a second flying lap on softs.
But it did nothing to impact the gap Hamilton had over the next-best driver, Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton’s eventual best was a 1m16.568s, more than half a second clear of the two Ferraris.
Leclerc pipped Sebastian Vettel by 0.073s, a tiny margin that was still big enough for Valtteri Bottas to slot into and steal third from Vettel.
Bottas’s session started badly when he caused a seven-minute red flag by spinning on his out-lap at the downhill Turn 5 left-hander and beaching his car in the gravel.
After the Mercedes was recovered Bottas did join the action with just under 20 minutes to go but the Friday pacesetter ended up 0.555s slower than team-mate Hamilton.
Vettel, demoted to fourth by Bottas’s improvement, had his own spin when he lost the rear mid-corner at the chicane early in the session.
He ended up only a fraction faster than the leading Haas of Romain Grosjean as the American team challenged the established frontrunners in final practice.
Grosjean believes Haas can "play" with Red Bull in Spain and his time in third practice, 0.624s off the pace and within a tenth of both Ferraris and Bottas, backed this stance up.
Kevin Magnussen also got ahead of the two Red Bulls in the second Haas, lapping sixth-fastest and 0.962s off the pace.
Max Verstappen was Red Bull’s leading man, partly thanks to Gasly being denied a final run.
Verstappen was fractionally slower than Magnussen, 0.990s behind Hamilton, but encountered traffic in the final sector of his first lap on new tyres at the end of the session.
Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon finished the session eighth, while Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10.
Practice three times
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m17.558s||0.990s||12|
|8||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m17.864s||1.296s||16|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.969s||1.401s||17|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m18.003s||1.435s||17|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.105s||1.537s||17|
|13||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m18.656s||2.088s||12|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.693s||2.125s||12|
|15||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m18.734s||2.166s||16|
|16||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m18.740s||2.172s||14|
Alfa Romeo makes permanent front wing fix after Baku exclusion
Alfa Romeo has made a permanent front wing tweak to ensure Kimi Raikkonen’s exclusion from Formula 1 qualifying in Azerbaijan is not repeated at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Raikkonen had to start from the pitlane in Baku after his front wing failed a deflection test on Sunday morning.
The wing had a problem with the flap adjuster hook on both sides, which was changed to a new specification for the race.
Team boss Frederic Vasseur said the issue should not be repeated this weekend.
"Just to clarify, that I think first we were out of the spec, we did a mistake," he said.
"Perhaps you could consider that the decision was a bit harsh, but it’s like this. We have to clean in front of our door first.
"The mistake was on our side and for sure we are not coming to Barcelona with the same wing."
Alfa had identified a component weakness ahead of the Baku race following a problem Raikkonen had suffered in an earlier grand prix.
However, resolving that properly was not possible during the run of flyaway races, hence a final fix being readied for this weekend’s race.
Asked by Autosport to clarify whether Alfa had needed to change the specification or simply replace it with a new component, Vasseur said: "We changed the hook and the fixation."
Aside from change the adjuster hook, Alfa’s front wing has been upgraded for the Spanish GP.
The team has revised the inner wing tips and the shape of the elements sitting between the flap adjuster and the endplate.
“That was a difficult day for us, with lots of issues here and there. At the end of FP2 we understood the car a bit better, but we still have a lot of work to do for tomorrow’s qualifying.”
Spanish GP: Bottas stays on top by beating team-mate Hamilton in FP2
Valtteri Bottas topped the second Formula 1 free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, outpacing Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.049 seconds.
Bottas, who also set the pace in the morning session, was fastest in the early stages when using medium-compound Pirellis, seven-tenths faster than Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel and team-mate Charles Leclerc then traded top spot as the first frontrunners to use the soft Pirellis, with the latter eventually winning the intra-team battle with a lap 0.088s quicker than Vettel.
But at the halfway mark of the 90-minute session, Bottas and Hamilton were out and lapping quickly on the softs.
Hamilton initially took first place with a lap of 1m17.410s, only for Bottas to eclipse it with a 1m17.284s on his first flier on softs.
Although Hamilton subsequently improved, it was not by enough and he ended up just behind his team-mate and a quarter-of-a-second faster than the lead Ferrari of Leclerc.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who suffered an oil leak in the first session that led to an engine change – with the spec 2 engine that was slated to be put in overnight anyway fitted – was fifth fastest and 0.750s down.
He subsequently complained of a loss of power that led to him returning to the pits after completing only 15 laps, although he did return to the track for the final 15 minutes of the session.
Romain Grosjean, driving the upgraded Haas, split the Red Bulls in sixth place after outpacing Pierre Gasly.
Kevin Magnussen was running in the old-spec Haas to allow the team to compare its revised package to the known one, and ended up eighth – two-tenths slower than Grosjean.
McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr pipped the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat to ninth.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was one of the last drivers to improve during the session, allowing him to jump from 15th to 11th, putting him just ahead of the second Toro Rosso of Alex Albon.
Lance Stroll, who crashed his Racing Point machine at the ultra-fast Campsa right-hander in the morning and drove a car without the latest aero upgrades in FP2 as a result, was 13th fastest ahead of the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.
Lando Norris was 16th, albeit only three tenths off the top 10, ahead of the second Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.
Sergio Perez was 18th in the Racing Point, ahead of Williams pair George Russell and Robert Kubica – the latter duo separated by six tenths.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.035s||0.751s||30|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.238s||0.954s||34|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m18.658s||1.374s||45|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.722s||1.438s||40|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m18.727s||1.443s||30|
|12||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.779s||1.495s||44|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m18.839s||1.555s||33|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m19.427s||2.143s||37|
|18||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m19.448s||2.164s||40|
Spanish GP: Bottas beats Ferraris in FP1 before suffering oil leak
Formula 1 championship leader Valtteri Bottas eclipsed the two Ferraris to set the pace in opening Spanish Grand Prix practice but his session was ended early by an oil leak.
The Mercedes driver traded times with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel before establishing himself at the head of the order with two laps good enough to end the session quickest.
Bottas was left out of the car in the final half hour, though, as Mercedes stripped down his W10 to understand what was initially described as a hydraulic problem.
Mercedes determined an oil leak had caused a precautionary engine shutdown, which it is investigating the cause of.
The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton ended FP1 fourth fastest, half a second adrift after complaining of "terrible" tyre preparation.
Vettel set the early pace on soft tyres and topped the times at the midway stage of the session on a 1m18.407s.
Bottas was more than a second slower at this point but had only run the medium tyres, and immediately usurped Vettel once he bolted on softs with just over half an hour of the session left.
He initially set a 1m17.990s, the first sub-1m18s lap of the day, and then improved on the same set of tyres after a cool-down lap to end up on a 1m17.951s.
No other driver set a 1m17s lap, although both Ferraris finished within two tenths of Bottas.
Leclerc initially moved himself ahead of Vettel thanks to a 1m18.172s lap and his team-mate botching his first flier during the second set of runs.
Vettel caught traffic in the final sector and ran wide, dipping his left wheels into the gravel, as he cleared a slower car on the outside exiting the long uphill Turn 12 right-hander.
However, after a cool-down lap, Vettel was able to push again and re-established himself as the lead Ferrari on a 1m18.066s.
Hamilton’s session was understated, and included him falling to the foot of the times briefly after failing to set a competitive effort on medium tyres in the first half of FP1.
He bemoaned his rear tyres being "done" after a mediocre flying lap on softs that left him 0.6 seconds slower than Bottas.
The Red Bulls did not feature in their usual position between Mercedes, Ferrari and the rest of the field after avoiding using soft tyres.
Pierre Gasly was the lead Red Bull representative in eighth, 1.3s off the pace, while Max Verstappen was only 12th and 0.6s slower.
Like Bottas, Verstappen ended his session early as Red Bull assessed an unknown problem on his RB15.
Red Bull’s tyre strategy opened the door for Romain Grosjean to end FP1 fifth-fastest as Haas seeks to respond to its poor start to the season at a more favourable circuit.
Grosjean beat the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr to best-of-the-rest honours in first practice by 0.2s.
Kevin Magnussen was 0.025s slower than Sainz in the second Haas, while behind Gasly the top 10 was completed by Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso and Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Beyond a minor early run-in between Bottas and Verstappen, who caught the Mercedes while on a flying lap and gesticulated at the points leader, the session was almost completed without major incident.
That was until Lance Stroll crashed his Racing Point with just over a minute left to run.
Stroll had a wobble on the entry to Turn 9 after clipping the grass and locked up a front wheel as he corrected it, which sent him straight on and into the barriers nose first.
He emerged unharmed, although the front of his car picked up a significant damage, and the session ended under red flags.
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m19.155s||1.204s||31|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m19.285s||1.334s||30|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m19.364s||1.413s||34|
|12||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m19.844s||1.893s||14|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m19.855s||1.904s||28|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m20.021s||2.070s||28|
|15||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m20.030s||2.079s||25|
|17||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m20.459s||2.508s||26|
|18||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m20.591s||2.640s||22|
Azerbaijan GP qualifying: Bottas on pole, Leclerc crashes in Q2
Valtteri Bottas claimed a surprise pole position for Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix after pre-qualifying favourite Charles Leclerc crashed out in Q2.
Bottas lapped 0.059 seconds faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was in the tow behind him, on the final runs in Q3 to grab top spot, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel three tenths down in third place.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen only had one run in Q3 and ended up fourth, almost three tenths behind Vettel and well clear of fifth fastest Sergio Perez.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was sixth ahead of McLaren driver Lando Norris.
Antonio Giovinazzi headed Alfa Romeo team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in the battle for eighth place, although the Italian must serve a 10-place grid penalty for taking his third power unit control electronics of the season earlier in the weekend.
Leclerc was classified 10th in Q3 as his pace on medium-compound Pirellis before he crashed meant he made the top 10 – but he was unable to run in the pole session.
Leclerc was the faster Ferrari driver in free practice and Q1, but hit the wall at the narrow Turn 8 after locking up the front-left on entry during Q2 -calling the error "stupid" over the radio.
Carlos Sainz Jr was 11th fastest after being pushed into the dropzone by McLaren team-mate Norris at the end of Q2 – missing out on a place in Q3 having lapped just 0.017s slower than Giovinazzi.
That put Sainz ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Alex Albon 13th after clipping the wall with the right-rear of Toro Rosso late on in a Q2 session interrupted by the red flag that followed Leclerc’s crash.
Kevin Magnussen was 14th due to locking up and heading up the Turn 3 escape road on his final lap.
Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly, who must start from the pitlane as a punishment for missing the weighbridge during Friday practice, was 15th and did not run in Q2.
But he did set the fastest time in Q1 with the help of a mighty tow from Lance Stroll’s Racing Point.
Stroll was eliminated in Q1 for the fourth time this season, relegated to 16th by Ricciardo at the end of the session.
Ricciardo positioned himself behind Stroll for his final lap, benefiting from the tow both in the first and last sectors to take the position by a tenth and a half.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean was 17th after not improving by enough on his final lap, although it was sufficient to beat Nico Hulkenberg, who had briefly jumped ahead of him, by 0.02s.
George Russell was 19th having missed almost all of Friday’s running as a result of hitting a manhole cover early in the abandoned morning practice session, forcing the Williams team to rebuild his car around the spare monocoque.
Robert Kubica was slowest after crashing at the Turn 8 left-hander on his final push lap as a result of tagging the inside wall behind the apex.
This brought out the red flag and delayed the start of Q2, although little running was lost as the chequered flag had already been thrown.
Provisional starting grid
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m41.069s||0.574s|
|5||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m41.593s||1.098s|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m41.681s||1.186s|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m43.068s||2.573s|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m42.398s||–|
|12||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m42.494s||–|
|14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m42.630s||–|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m42.424s||–|
|20||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||–||–|
Azerbaijan GP practice: Charles Leclerc on top as Ferrari dominates
Charles Leclerc set a stunning pace in final practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the Ferrari team outpaced its Formula 1 rivals by more than a second.
The 21-year-old was quickest in Friday practice and reinforced his early control of the Baku weekend in emphatic fashion in the Saturday session, which he led for its majority and eventually topped ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc, seeking his first F1 win, set a 1m41.604s that briefly put him 1.2s faster than anyone near the end of the session.
Vettel lapped 0.198s slower than his young team-mate to complete Ferrari’s one-two, with Max Verstappen next up for Red Bull on a 1m42.852s.
Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were stuck in the 1m43s in fourth and fifth.
Leclerc was 0.3s clear of Vettel at the halfway point of the session, with Hamilton the same distance back in third after a longer run on medium tyres.
Switching to softs hauled Hamilton and Bottas closer to the Ferraris, with Hamilton initially edging his team-mate by 0.06s before eventually losing out by just over a tenth.
Both were overhauled by Verstappen when the Red Bull driver punched in a 1m42.852s to split the Ferraris and go second, just 0.2s behind Leclerc.
Leclerc then put an enormous gap between Ferrari and the rest of the pack with a 1m41.604s on a fresh set of softs to go 1.2s clear at the top.
Vettel’s efforts to match his team-mate were hindered when he locked his left front and ran deep into Turn 1, where he took to the escape road.
His second effort was tidier, and allowed him to improve to a 1m41.802s.
Hamilton also made mistakes, ending up on the escape roads at Turn 2 and Turn 15, as neither Mercedes showed the sort of pace the team is likely to have in qualifying.
Toro Rosso was a surprise best of the rest, with Daniil Kvyat sixth fastest and 1.6s off the pace.
Kevin Magnussen’s Haas split the two Toro Rossos as Alex Albon – briefly fourth fastest at one stage – wound up eighth, and Sergio Perez (Racing Point) and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) completed the top 10.
Raikkonen was involved in a minor incident with Carlos Sainz Jr near the end of the session as the two drivers appeared to race each other through the end of the final sector and down to Turn 1.
They did not make contact although Sainz complained to his McLaren team over the radio after the bout of slipstreaming.
George Russell completed an early installation in his new Williams chassis following the drain cover incident he suffered at the start of Friday’s abandoned first session.
Among the changes Williams has had to make around the new chassis is a new floor, while it also has new Mercedes control electronics and energy store.
The Formula 2 champion went on to complete 20 laps as he clocked his first real Baku mileage in an F1 car, and though he was outpaced by team-mate Robert Kubica by 0.3s he was not the slowest.
That place fell to Pierre Gasly, as the Red Bull driver ignored performance running in preparation for his pitlane start – though his difficult weekend continued with a near miss with the wall that took him down an escape road.
Practice three times
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m42.852s||1.248s||16|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m43.223s||1.619s||18|
|8||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m43.300s||1.696s||19|
|9||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m43.430s||1.826s||15|
|10||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m43.537s||1.933s||19|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m43.637s||2.033s||20|
|14||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m43.978s||2.374s||19|
|15||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m44.039s||2.435s||16|
|20||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m47.836s||6.232s||22|
Formula 1 looked ‘amateur’ in Baku drain incident – Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen says Formula 1 was made to look ‘amateur’ by the Baku drain cover incident that damaged George Russell’s Williams and disrupted Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice.
Russell struck a loose drain cover during the opening free practice, with the impact badly damaging his car and forcing Williams to build him a new chassis for Saturday.
The FIA later explained that the drain had come loose because of a broken underside mounting.
With a need for track officials to inspect all the drains around the circuit to ensure that there would be no repeat issue elsewhere, the first practice session had to be abandoned.
Formula 2 qualifying was also put back by half an hour.
The second F1 session then ran on schedule.
Alfa Romeo driver Raikkonen thinks the FIA should shoulder the blame for what happened, as he said the lost track time "destroyed" Friday for the teams and fans.
"Obviously it was far from ideal for everybody and we looked like amateurs here today," said Raikkonen.
"It should not be like this. It’s up to FIA to make sure that track is like it’s supposed to be.
"It seems to be that every year some drainage hole comes loose or something slides up.
"It’s up to them to check and tell the people here. It is their responsibility to have the track as it is expected to be.
"Luckily nobody got hurt, but it obviously destroyed everybody’s day.
"Also for the people who came to watch here it is far from ideal."
When asked if the matter would be brought up in Friday night’s drivers’ briefing, Raikkonen said: "It’s not the first time. Hopefully it’s the last time."
There was a further incident while Russell’s car was recovered to the pits, with the truck carrying it striking a bridge that it was too high to get under.
That led to hydraulic fluid from the damaged crane section on the truck pouring onto the Williams and a second vehicle having to be arranged to bring it to the garage.
With drivers effectively only having one session to get all their Friday running done, Raikkonen said it was hard to draw conclusions from the timesheets.
"It was a confusing day," he said.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice: Charles Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc topped the second Formula 1 free practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Leclerc traded fastest times with team-mate Sebastian Vettel during their qualifying simulation runs, with the soft Pirellis able to deliver three push laps.
Leclerc put in a best lap of 1m42.872s, which put him 0.324 seconds ahead of Vettel – and 0.669s quicker than third-fastest Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
With teams eager to make up for lost time after most of morning practice was abandoned when Williams driver George Russell hit a loose drain cover, Hamilton recovered from a trip up the escape road at Turn 8 to put his Mercedes top in the early running on medium-compound Pirellis.
Leclerc was initially just behind, but then put in a time of 1m44.748s to take top spot despite glancing the Turn 7 wall with the left side of his car, shortly before the session was stopped because Racing Point driver Lance Stroll had crashed.
Stroll had a moment at the entry to the Turn 2 left-hander and subsequently attempted to bail out of the corner to head up the escape road, only to hit the barrier with his front left wheel having aborted too late.
Stroll reported over the radio that "I just got a snap on entry" and the damage meant he couldn’t return to the pits, leading to the session being stopped 15 minutes in.
Following an 11-minute delay, Vettel was among the first to head out on softs but had to abort his first push lap after having to take to the Turn 3 escape road.
Leclerc improved on his first lap, but then briefly dropped behind Vettel’s lap of 1m43.196s before reclaiming top spot with a time that would stand for the rest of the session – 1m42.872s.
Max Verstappen was one of the last to do a qualifying simulation run on softs, slotting into fourth place 0.252s behind Hamilton.
Bottas, who had an early trip up the escape road on his first flying lap of the session, ended up two tenths further back and comfortably ahead of the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.
Kvyat hit a power steering problem on his out-lap, leading to him returning to the pits for it to be changed.
He eventually rejoined the track in the second half of the session, setting a time 1.305s off the pace to pip McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr to fifth, only to crash and cause a nine-minute red flag with 26 minutes remaining.
Kvyat lost the rear in the Turn 7 right-hander, sliding into the wall and hitting initially with the left rear, then the left front.
Alex Albon made it two Toro Rossos in the top eight, just 0.033s slower than Sainz and 0.022s quicker than the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly – the latter having a couple of trips up the escape road during the session.
McLaren driver Lando Norris had an off at Turn 3 on what should have been his first push lap, but on his second set a time good enough for 10th place, 1.423s down.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen beat Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi to 11th place, with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez 13th ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
Daniel Ricciardo had a difficult session, which ended prematurely once he had run out of tyres – not helped by flatspotting a set of softs with a major lock-up.
He was still quick enough to secure 15th ahead of the second Haas of Romain Grosjean, with Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg down in 17th.
Stroll’s early pace on mediums was good enough for 18th place ahead of the Williams of Baku debutant Robert Kubica – with the Racing Point team close to getting the Canadian back out at the end of the session but not quite making it.
George Russell did not participate after his morning accident, as monocoque damage means his car is now being rebuilt around a spare.
Practice two times
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m43.793s||0.921s||24|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m44.177s||1.305s||9|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m44.183s||1.311s||27|
|8||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m44.216s||1.344s||33|
|9||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m44.240s||1.368s||24|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m45.366s||2.494s||31|
|13||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m45.436s||2.564s||28|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m45.482s||2.610s||30|
|18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m47.875s||5.003s||8|
Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice one abandoned after drain incident
The first Formula 1 practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was curtailed after just over 10 minutes, following a track surface incident involving George Russell’s Williams.
Russell ran over a loose manhole cover on the run down to Turn 3, with the car briefly lifting into the air and shedding debris all over the track.
"I just hit it and got the biggest smack through my body," Russell explained to Sky Sports afterwards. "I was just going down the straight on my normal line."
As Russell pulled over on the exit of Turn 3, the session was red-flagged for his FW42 to be extricated while track workers attempted to force the manhole cover back in its place.
Amid suggestions that the circuit inspectors now need to check over 300 manhole covers around the track surface, the session was abandoned completely shortly afterwards.
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams described the situation as "not acceptable", telling Sky Sports: "It’s not what you would expect from a Formula 1 circuit, the drain covers are supposed to be welded down. We’ll be taking that up with race control."
Russell’s FW42 was caught up in another incident as it returned to the pitlane on the recovery truck, as the crane that had extricated it made contact with a bridge and was damaged – spilling liquid onto the F1 car sat on its flatbed.
All teams but Mercedes had completed at least an installation lap in the first 10 minutes of practice, while the two Ferrari drivers were the only ones to set timed laps.
Charles Leclerc recorded the fastest time on the medium tyre, a 1m47.597s, two seconds quicker than team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Television replays suggested that Leclerc’s car had initially lifted the drain cover that was then struck by Russell.