Mercedes power dominates Baku opening practice

Lewis Hamilton on top
Lewis Hamilton on top

Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ran 1-2 in opening practice for the European GP at Baku with Mercedes customer team Williams third at the hands of Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton's lap of 1m46.435s was 4/10ths up on teammate Rosberg.

Fernando Alonso was a surprise 4th for McLaren with Sebastian Vettel rounding out the top-5 with a late lap that moved him up from 9th to 5th.

The session was red-flagged when Daniel Ricciardo made hard contact with the wall in Turn 15. Fellow Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen sat out much of the session with an oil leak.

After just seven laps, Verstappen’s RB12 was spotted smoking early in the 90 minute session, prompting the team to withdraw him to discover an oil leak around the gearbox.

“We’ve got quite a bit of engine oil around the clutch housing, so we’re going to take the gearbox off to see what’s happening in there," said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

“Hopefully we’ll get it completed before the end of the session.

Ricciardo became the first victim to crash at the brand new street circuit, tearing the right rear wheel from the car as he swiped the barrier at Turn 15.

His rear suspension and right-rear wheel were wrecked in the incident, which immediately brought out the red flag.

“He just went in and carried too much speed. That’s costly," says Sky Sports pundit and former F1 driver Paul di Resta.

Ricciardo finished the session 13th fastest, while Verstappen’s hindered session saw him finish down in 16th.

Results

1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 46.435s
2. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 46.812s
3. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 47.096s
4. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 1m 47.989s
5. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 48.627s
6. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 48.922s
7. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 49.019s
8. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m 49.125s
9. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 49.267s
10. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m 49.301s
11. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari 1m 49.611s
12. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 49.635s
13. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-TAG> 1m 49.778s
14. Esteban Gutierrez MEX Haas-Ferrari 1m 50.167s
15. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 50.473s
16. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull-TAG> 1m 50.485s
17. Daniil Kvyat RUS Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 50.551s
18. Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault-Renault 1m 50.910s
19. Kevin Magnussen DEN Renault-Renault 1m 50.939s
20. Pascal Wehrlein GER Manor-Mercedes 1m 51.219s
21. Felipe Nasr BRA Sauber-Ferrari 1m 51.771s
22. Rio Haryanto INA Manor-Mercedes 1m 51.925s

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