Azerbaijan GP: Verstappen leads the Ferraris in incident-filled Practice 1

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Max Verstappen set the pace but mistakes would skew the pecking order in opening practice at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Dutchman posted a 1m43.184s to lead Charles Leclerc by just 0.043s, as drivers got reacquainted with the thrills of Baku City Circuit.

Carlos Sainz claimed third in the second Ferrari, as the performance shown in the low-speed corners in Monaco continued to be evident around the streets of the Azerbaijani capital.


While Sergio Perez benefitted from a strong slipstream behind his Red Bull teammate on the 2.2km main straight en route to fourth.

Based on the lap times, it would appear Daniel Ricciardo is feeling more comfortable in his McLaren after taking fifth, and Pierre Gasly also looks impressive for AlphaTauri in sixth.

But, Lewis Hamilton would only end seventh for Mercedes after a much faster lap was ruined by locking up on the approach to Turn 15, causing the Briton to take to the escape road.

Likewise, Lando Norris may well have set the fastest time as he was well up on Verstappen's eventual lap after the first two sectors, but a spin at Turn 16 left him down in eighth.

Fernando Alonso improved in the final moments to take ninth, as lock-ups left Valtteri Bottas only 10th in the final standings.

The two Alfa Romeo's sat 11th and 12th, while Lance Stroll was the lead Aston Martin in 13th with Sebastian Vettel 15th.

Yuki Tsunoda found himself stuck in the escape road at Turn 4 struggling to find reverse at one stage, before eventually recovering and finishing 14th.

Esteban Ocon was 16th in the second Alpine, as the two Williams and two Haas cars completed the final positions.

It was an eventful first F1 session in Baku for Nikita Mazepin, who somehow managed to hold up Verstappen despite Max weaving to alert the Russian of his presence.

Then he ended his practice with a spin into the barrier at Turn 16, damaging his Haas' rear wing.

A typically Baku start to the weekend then. Will we get a better picture in Practice 2? We'll have to wait and see!

Full results from Practice 1 can be seen below: