Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice: Charles Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc topped the second Formula 1 free practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice: Charles Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2

Leclerc traded fastest times with team-mate Sebastian Vettel during their qualifying simulation runs, with the soft Pirellis able to deliver three push laps.

Leclerc put in a best lap of 1m42.872s, which put him 0.324 seconds ahead of Vettel - and 0.669s quicker than third-fastest Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

With teams eager to make up for lost time after most of morning practice was abandoned when Williams driver George Russell hit a loose drain cover, Hamilton recovered from a trip up the escape road at Turn 8 to put his Mercedes top in the early running on medium-compound Pirellis.

Leclerc was initially just behind, but then put in a time of 1m44.748s to take top spot despite glancing the Turn 7 wall with the left side of his car, shortly before the session was stopped because Racing Point driver Lance Stroll had crashed.

Stroll had a moment at the entry to the Turn 2 left-hander and subsequently attempted to bail out of the corner to head up the escape road, only to hit the barrier with his front left wheel having aborted too late.

Stroll reported over the radio that "I just got a snap on entry" and the damage meant he couldn't return to the pits, leading to the session being stopped 15 minutes in.

Following an 11-minute delay, Vettel was among the first to head out on softs but had to abort his first push lap after having to take to the Turn 3 escape road.

Leclerc improved on his first lap, but then briefly dropped behind Vettel's lap of 1m43.196s before reclaiming top spot with a time that would stand for the rest of the session - 1m42.872s.

Max Verstappen was one of the last to do a qualifying simulation run on softs, slotting into fourth place 0.252s behind Hamilton.

Bottas, who had an early trip up the escape road on his first flying lap of the session, ended up two tenths further back and comfortably ahead of the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

Kvyat hit a power steering problem on his out-lap, leading to him returning to the pits for it to be changed.

He eventually rejoined the track in the second half of the session, setting a time 1.305s off the pace to pip McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr to fifth, only to crash and cause a nine-minute red flag with 26 minutes remaining.

Kvyat lost the rear in the Turn 7 right-hander, sliding into the wall and hitting initially with the left rear, then the left front.

Alex Albon made it two Toro Rossos in the top eight, just 0.033s slower than Sainz and 0.022s quicker than the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly - the latter having a couple of trips up the escape road during the session.

McLaren driver Lando Norris had an off at Turn 3 on what should have been his first push lap, but on his second set a time good enough for 10th place, 1.423s down.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen beat Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi to 11th place, with Racing Point's Sergio Perez 13th ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

Daniel Ricciardo had a difficult session, which ended prematurely once he had run out of tyres - not helped by flatspotting a set of softs with a major lock-up.

He was still quick enough to secure 15th ahead of the second Haas of Romain Grosjean, with Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg down in 17th.

Stroll's early pace on mediums was good enough for 18th place ahead of the Williams of Baku debutant Robert Kubica - with the Racing Point team close to getting the Canadian back out at the end of the session but not quite making it.

George Russell did not participate after his morning accident, as monocoque damage means his car is now being rebuilt around a spare.

Practice two times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m42.872s - 28
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m43.196s 0.324s 28
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m43.541s 0.669s 31
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m43.793s 0.921s 24
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m44.003s 1.131s 31
6 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1m44.177s 1.305s 9
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1m44.183s 1.311s 27
8 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1m44.216s 1.344s 33
9 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1m44.240s 1.368s 24
10 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m44.295s 1.423s 32
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m44.901s 2.029s 25
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m45.366s 2.494s 31
13 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m45.436s 2.564s 28
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m45.482s 2.610s 30
15 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m45.483s 2.611s 15
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m45.618s 2.746s 31
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m46.717s 3.845s 24
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m47.875s 5.003s 8
19 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m48.111s 5.239s 27


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