F1 Azerbaijan GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP1 & FP2

Live Formula 1 updates for FP1 and FP2 for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

F1 Azerbaijan GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP1 & FP2

By: Haydn Cobb, Stefan Mackley


1. Perez, Red Bull
2. Verstappen, Red Bull
3. Sainz, Ferrari
4. Leclerc, Ferrari
5. Gasly, AlphaTauri
6. Alonso, Alpine
7. Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
8. Norris, McLaren
9. Ocon, Alpine
10. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri

  • Perez topped FP2 for Red Bull from team-mate Verstappen and Ferrari's Sainz
  • Second practice briefly red-flagged after Latifi stopped with engine problem
  • Leclerc hit the barrier at Turn 15 and lost his front wing
  • Hamilton P11 and Bottas P16 as Mercedes struggled
  • Verstappen topped FP1 from Ferrari pair
Status: Stopped
Plenty to mull over tonight then ahead of qualifying, we'll be back tomorrow to bring you all the action from FP3 and the crucial sessions to set the grid. Thanks as always for joining us, see you then!
So what should we make of that? Red Bull looking very strong on Friday with Mercedes well down the order, but is that a representative picture of how qualifying will look tomorrow? And can Perez continue his strong start and get on terms with Verstappen?
Leclerc complaining that his medium tyres are "destroyed" doesn't bode especially well for Ferrari. Can it sort out its car to be kinder on the tyres over a stint without compromising its one-lap performance for qualifying? Much head-scratching to do at Maranello tonight.
There's the chequered flag and with no late improvements it is Sergio Perez who tops the times. A good confidence-booster that for the Mexican.
A minute to go until the end of the session and no Mercedes in the top 10. Not often you can say that...
Sainz has also pitted for mediums, presumably just to scrub in a set for tomorrow.
Bottas has come into the pits and switched to the medium tyres for the final minutes of what has been a largely miserable session for the Finn.
Sainz has a big wobble going into Turn 15 and has to turn right where he'd ordinarily be going left to avoid clobbering the steep kerb and drive around the back of it. Ferrari seemingly quick on one lap, but hanging on over a stint.
"I've got huge graining on the rear," says Leclerc on the mediums. Tsunoda meanwhile becomes the latest man to go straight on at Turn 2.
Oh dear, it's another Turn 1 overshoot for Bottas who had a midcorner snap of oversteer that sent him into the run-off. The Finn does a good impression of Gilles Panizzi at a hairpin by lighting up the rears in a textbook spin turn to get back on track, but it doesn't look like he's going to trouble the front-runners today.
When looking at sector times, interestingly Perez isn't the fastest man through any of the three sectors - Verstappen has the best splits in sectors one and two, but it's Giovinazzi's Alfa who was quickest through the flat-out blast of sector three.
For reference, the best time in FP1 earlier was Verstappen's 1m43.184s, while Perez's benchmark is currently a 1m42.115s.
Perez and Verstappen both come out again on soft tyres. Will anybody be able to topple the Mexican's best time? Would be a great confidence booster for the man who finished third here in 2018 if he could top the Friday times.
Hamilton is also on mediums, while Bottas has gone for another try on soft tyres - perhaps with a view to getting some more confidence on a flying lap?
Looks like Sainz and Gasly are having another go on the softs, so too Norris, while Ocon has headed out on mediums.
Leclerc has come back out again with his Ferrari given the all-clear. He's now on the medium tyres and looking to make up for lost time after that Zidane-esque headbutt of the wall.
Just a little over 20 minutes remaining in the session - with most of the field having set times on the soft tyre, will we see any further improvements as they switch their focus to long runs?
Bottas has set his PB, but it's only good enough for P16 on a 1m44.184s. Mercedes not appearing to be especially happy here.
"I don't really know where the time is to be honest," says Hamilton over the radio. Rare to see the seven-time champion bemused, but could this be one of those days? The Mercedes driver is only 11th, a second behind Perez.
Vettel has had a little trip down the escape road at Turn 2, but decides not to go on a tour of Baku and turns around for another (aborted) lap in his Aston.
Perez had advanced to third prior to the VSC and now improves again to go fastest on a 1m42.115s, a tenth up on team-mate Verstappen who moves into second.
Leclerc's car is indeed pushed back into the garage for further checks. Replays show that he hit the wall fairly square on, so hopefully he hasn't deranged the suspension too badly. That could prove costly though as the Ferrari driver has fairly limited long-runs under his belt.
That's the VSC out of the way then, the track is back to green.
Unlike his 2019 qualifying crash at Turn 8 though, Leclerc is able to reverse out and crawl back to the pits, sans-front wing, where he'll be assessed by the mechanics for any further damage.
Virtual Safety Car is deployed as the Ferrari driver has plonked the car in the tec-pro wall at Turn 15 after locking up and going straight on.
Oh dear, Leclerc has overcooked it again!
We've not talked about the title contenders much so far. Verstappen currently sits sixth on a 1m43.368s, with Hamilton one place behind on a 1m43.370s. Just the 0.002s between them...
The only other man in the 1m42s bracket at the moment is Giovinazzi, who sets an encouraging third-quickest time in the Alfa Romeo. Ferrari's power unit seems to be going strongly here.
Sainz duly improves to a 1m42.243s, Leclerc also goes better but is unable to push the Spaniard off top spot with his 1m42.436s.
Indeed everybody currently out on track is trying the softs, so expect to see improvements in the coming minutes. Can Ferrari maintain its advantage?
After Alonso was the only man to go out on the softs before the red flag, the red-walled tyres have got plenty more takers at the moment.
After that brief interruption, we're back underway again.
Gasly is third, just 0.006s behind Leclerc, with Verstappen fourth and Alonso on his soft tyres in fifth.
Just prior to the red flag, Sainz had pushed Leclerc back down to second, but it's still a Ferrari 1-2. The Scuderia has never won in Baku before - second for Raikkonen in 2018 remains its best result here.