Friday, 18 October, 2019

Red Bull take top two spots in Azerbaijan practice

Vera Richards | 24 June, 2017, 01:15

After topping both Friday practice sessions for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Max Verstappen says he could have gone even quicker in the evening session.

"Luckily, it was nothing for the race so it is all good", Verstappen said.

The session was heavily disjointed as all the drivers struggled for grip on low-fuel runs and yellow flags were regularly deployed as cars ended up in run-off zones. He finished the second session in 10th. "Now it's just a case of getting our heads together tonight to work out exactly how to extract that pace across the entire weekend".

A disjointed first session had to be stopped for 10 minutes after Force India's Sergio Perez misjudged the tight section at Turns 8 and 9, where he bounced over the entry kerb and smashed into the wall on exit. "We've clearly still got lots of work to do ahead of qualifying". In an all-too-familiar sight, Alonso slowed with smoke emerging from the rear of his McLaren, with the Spaniard radioing in with the simple message of "engine".

Alonso then stood and wistfully watched from behind the protective barriers, hands on hips, which was seemingly a better option than going back to a despondent team garage. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel on the soft compound tyre registered times of 1:44.967 and 1.43.615, finishing third and fifth. Only once it had been cleared into a run off area on the other side of the track was the session able to get back underway with less than ten minutes remaining on the clock. The crew did a truly fantastic job to replace all the broken components and get the auto out for the start of FP2, which allowed us to complete a full programme this afternoon.

Lakers great Magic Johnson picks successor in Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball entered his lone season at UCLA as a soft-spoken and dynamic player expected to be taken near the top of the draft. Kuzma impressed the Lakers in a recent draft workout with an outside shooting touch complementing his physical inside game.

It promises to be a tricky one.

The Baku street circuit had caught out a fair few drivers in the earlier Friday session, but yellow flags were nearly a permanent feature in the afternoon, with nearly all competitors either making ample use of the run-off areas or brushing the barriers. With its combination of long straights and hard-braking corners, it is a mixture of Monza and Monaco and poses big problems for grip. It was an error a number of drivers had made, but Verstappen was too late in making the decision to take to the escape road and ended up sliding sideways into the barrier and heavily damaging his vehicle.

However with the session all but over the youngster made a mistake at Turn 1 and went sideways into the barriers.

Meanwhile, French driver Romain Grosjean was slowest and ranted constantly about brake trouble in his Haas vehicle.

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