World Championship leader Max Verstappen (Netherlands) completed Formula 1’s first training session at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with the fastest time – and the record was well ahead of world champion Lewis Hamilton.
The Red Bull driver clocked the fastest lap on the street circuit in Baku in 1:43.184 minutes, leaving behind Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc (Monaco/+0.043) and Carlos Sainz (Spain/+0.337).
Scuderia had already presented itself very well last time in Monaco. Mercedes driver Hamilton (Great Britain / +0.709) finished the session dominated by some twists and breaks, with only a clear margin in seventh place. His teammate Valtteri Bottas (Finland) was second slow.
Click through to the results of the first free training
Sebastian Vettel, fifth in Monaco with his first World Cup point for Aston Martin, was initially very unclear on 15th on Friday afternoon. Like his teammate Lance Stroll (Canada/13th), however, unlike in the competition, he did not use fast soft tyres. Mick Schumacher was mostly at the bottom of the field in the defeated Haas, but in 19th place he pushed his teammate Nikita Mazepin (Russia) to the last place.
problems with many pilots
In principle, the results of the first training session should not be underestimated, and this was especially true on Friday: Hamilton made a spin on one of his fast laps, Verstappen was slowed down by the competition, and McLaren Driver Lando Norris (Great Britain / 8th) also lost Best Time Course in control of his car. In the second training session in the afternoon (Live and exclusive on Sky Sport F1 from 1:45 pm) The picture above may still change.
In the last race in Monaco, Verstappen took the championship lead with his victory, four points separating him from Hamilton. Their racing team is also one point ahead of Mercedes in the team standings. The last time Red Bull had such a double lead was in 2013, when Vettel won his fourth and last title so far with the racing team.
Sports Information Service (SID)