Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Max Verstappen and take Red Bull one-two in FP1
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News June 23, 2017 Updated: 3:55 PM
BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished one-two in the first free practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Verstappen finished with a time of 1:44.410 and was 0.470s ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third and was 0.557s from Verstappen with a strong result from Force India’s Sergio Perez in fourth. Sergio Perez, who scored a podium at the Baku City Circuit last year, made hard contact with the barriers at Turn 9.
After the session Perez said: “First and foremost, I want to thank my mechanics and the whole team for fixing the car so quickly. They are some of the best guys in the pit lane and they showed exactly why. This morning was all about trying to find the limits, and I think we did – it was good it happened today rather than tomorrow.”
The accident tore off the right rear wheel off the hub which damaged the front suspension as well as the left side of the car.
The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valteri Bottas started the first practice session finishing fifth and sixth due to Perez’s accident.
“We were struggling with the setup of the car and it wasn’t so well balanced. Today, we needed multiple laps in a row to generate the temperatures we want for a good balance,” said Bottas.
Perez’s teammate Esteban Ocon finished seventh running the super-soft tires (Red stripe) ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa in eighth and Kimi Raikkonen in ninth.
Toro Ross’s Daniil Kvyat took the final top ten spot ahead of Williams' Lance Stroll in 11th who looked smooth and solid throughout the session for his first time on the streets of Baku.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean finished 12th and 13th with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finishing 14th and the McLaren-Honda of Stoffel Vandoorne in 15th.
“It wasn’t too bad today. I think we had a decent day. There’s a lot to look at. This track is pretty special and unique, so we’ll see if we can improve the car for tomorrow. It’s a very fun track to drive. There’s a lot to take in and you’re finding a lot of speed every lap,” said Magnussen.
Kvyat’s teammate Carlos Sainz, who only was able to crank out 13 laps, finished 16th ahead of Fernando Alonso in 17th driving the second McLaren.
Jolyon Palmer, who continues to give everything he has in what has been a rough season so far, finished 18th ahead of the Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson in 19th and 20th.