Max Verstappen topped the timesheets in an eventful first – and only – practice session of the weekend in Baku, with the Dutch racer leading the way ahead of Charles Leclerc and team mate Sergio Perez, in preparation for today’s Grand Prix qualifying.
With just one 60-minute session available to get to grips with the Baku City Circuit under the new Sprint format, the drivers showed their intention was to maximise every second of FP1. Led by Verstappen, they majority of the cars lined up at the pit exit waiting for the light to turn green at the start of the session.
While Verstappen set the early pace on the medium tyre, ahead of Perez and Leclerc, it was not good news for AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda, who hit the barrier at Turn 3 and suffered a right-rear puncture, forcing him to pit.
FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2023
Practice 1 results
|1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing||1:42.315|
|2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||+0.037s|
|3 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing||+0.139s|
|4 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari||+0.584s|
|5 Lando NORRIS McLaren||+0.810s|
Upon resumption, Verstappen once again led all the drivers out on to the track, except for Esteban Ocon, who did not make an appearance for the rest of the session as his team carried out precautionary checks, bringing an end to a torrid first practice for Alpine.
As the drivers switched from the harder compounds to the soft tyres for some qualifying simulation runs, it was Verstappen who left it until his last lap of the session to go fastest, with a time of 1m 42.315s to lead Leclerc, in second, by just 0.037s.
Categories: Formula 1, Practice Results
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