Red Bull fastest on one of the most demanding engine tracks on the calendar, Lance Stroll in the top six, Lewis Hamilton down in 10th, the four fastest cars separated by little more than a tenth of a second, drivers going off the track left, right and centre, struggles with the tyres, brakes and to put any kind of meaningful laps together without making mistakes. This was Formula 1 practice at its most chaotic.
The reasons for such unpredictability are complex. Azerbaijan's Baku city circuit is an unusual street track, combining the straightline speed demands of Monza, the aerodynamic efficiency requirements of Spa, the asphalt smoothness and corner profiling of Sochi, but claustrophobic run-off areas and walls with all the forgiveness of Monaco at its most menacing.
"It's a weird track," says Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. "You pretty much run low downforce to not get eaten alive on the straight, but all the corners are second or third gear. It's kind of a high downforce track with a low downforce set-up. I think, if anything, that shouldn't hinder us. We'll see how we go."