Lewis Hamilton grabs Baku F1 practice top spot from Nico Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to the quickest time in final practice for the inaugural grand prix in Baku

Lewis Hamilton grabs Baku F1 practice top spot from Nico Rosberg

Hamilton clocked a 1m44.352s on super-softs on his qualifying simulation to finish 0.258 seconds clear of Rosberg.

It was a scrappy session for the champion, who failed to string together a clean run until his final lap with just a few minutes to go, allowing Rosberg to lead much of the hour.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest, 1.188s adrift in third.

But while one Force India was chasing Mercedes, the other caused a last-minute red flag as Sergio Perez crashed at Turn 15 just after the chequered flag had flown.

Williams had been in the mix with Force India behind Mercedes on Friday, but its Saturday got off to a bad start.

Valtteri Bottas ran over a loose drain cover in the pitlane at the end of his installation lap, flicking it up and causing damage to the car.

The team battled to get back him out again, but with 20 minutes to go it became clear that would not be possible.

Felipe Massa got sideways and clipped the wall on an early run, and though he soon returned to the track he was only 14th fastest.

Daniel Ricciardo was the quickest non-Mercedes powered car in fourth, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Perez.

Max Verstappen was seventh with Jenson Button, who complained on team radio that he was held up by Hamilton on his low-fuel run, eighth.

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen completed the top 10. The latter lost running time when he returned to the pits citing a loss of power.

Romain Grosjean, who was one of a number of drivers to slide into an escape road and had NASCAR driver Kurt Busch in the garage watching on, was the leading Haas in 13th.

Manor's Pascal Wehlein finished ahead of Jolyon Palmer's Renault and both Saubers in 17th.

The temperature ramped up in Baku on Saturday, with track temperatures 15C higher than they were in second practice.

PRACTICE THREE TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m44.352s - 17
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m44.610s 0.258s 22
3 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m45.540s 1.188s 18
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m45.620s 1.268s 13
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m45.630s 1.278s 20
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m45.735s 1.383s 17
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m45.901s 1.549s 14
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m45.954s 1.602s 17
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m45.981s 1.629s 19
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m46.024s 1.672s 16
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m46.131s 1.779s 16
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m46.190s 1.838s 17
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m46.361s 2.009s 21
14 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m46.510s 2.158s 20
15 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m46.670s 2.318s 21
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m47.024s 2.672s 16
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m47.100s 2.748s 19
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m47.158s 2.806s 18
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m47.328s 2.976s 14
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m47.379s 3.027s 18
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m47.556s 3.204s 18
22 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes - - 1


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The tech tweaks required to conquer Baku

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