The Formula One action returned on Friday after two weeks as the fans got the first glimpse of all drivers ahead of the much-awaited Azerbaijan Grand Prix this Sunday. The famous street circuit in Baku is one of the most challenging tracks in the calendar and the F1 stars certainly got the first taste of it on Friday on a windy day. While the current constructors' leader Red Bull dominated the sessions, defending champions Mercedes continued to struggle much to everyone's surprise.
Max Verstappen tops the first practice session
Red Bull's Max Verstappen resumed from where he left at Monaco as he produced the fastest lap in the first session with an impressive timing of 1:43.184. Surprisingly, Ferrari had another good outing with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz taking the second and third spots, respectively, and showed some good speed on the long straights at Baku. Perez, Ricciardo, Gasly, Hamilton, Norris, Alonso and Bottas completed the top 10 in the first session of the day.
There were a few close shaves and spins for various drivers including the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, Antonio Giovinazzi and Carlos Sainz.
Sergio Perez registers the fastest lap in FP2
The Red Bull duo continued their dominance in the second session, as well as Sergio Perez, topped the charts with a lap time of 1:42.115 followed by his teammate Max Verstappen. The Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc also continued their impressive show taking the third and fourth spots, respectively.
The session was stopped midway due to various incidents as Williams' Nicholas Latifi brought in a red flag after his car had a loss of power. A virtual safety car also introduced after Charles Leclerc hit the barriers at turn 15. Overall, it was a horrendous outing for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished out of top 10.