Leclerc leads stop-start practice – FP2 Report

Azerbaijan Grand Prix – In the first full F1 session of the day, Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two in the second free practice session.

With teams and drivers looking to make up for the time lost due to the cancellation of free practice one, everybody was forced into condensing their Friday practice schedule into one 90-minute session.

Ferrari, looking to fight back after Mercedes’ consecutive one-two victories in the first three races, managed to top the qualifying simulations, with Leclerc setting a 1:42.872.

Such was the difficulty in warming up the tyres – along with a relatively ‘green’ track – Leclerc’s best time came on his third flying lap. He traded best times with team-mate Sebastian Vettel, before eventually beating him by just over one-quarter of a second.

The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas seemed unable to compete on Friday, finishing third and fifth respectively, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen separating them.

Daniil Kvyat took sixth place for Toro Rosso, but his session was far more problematic than the timing screen suggested.

He was initially set back by steering issues, which kept him in the pits for a long time. He was then deployed on a later-than-planned qualifying simulation when he set his best time, before crashing out at turn seven.

An oversteer moment into turn seven resulted in a collision with the barrier on the outside of the corner, bringing out the red flags.

That was, however, not the first red flag of the session. Racing Point’s Lance Stroll crashed out at turn two earlier on in the session when he was unable to bail out of a corner.

Locking up on the approach to left-handed turn two, he attempted to make the corner before turning right to go down the escape road, but this resulted in a collision with the barrier.

Back on track, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz finished seventh, with Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon in eighth, Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly in ninth and the second McLaren of Lando Norris in tenth.

Several yellow flags were deployed for various cars running wide. Notably, there was more than one error from the likes of Bottas, Vettel, Gasly and Haas’ Romain Grosjean.

To view the full results of the second free practice session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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