F1: Verstappen leads opening practice over two Ferraris

Red Bull Honda F1 point leader Max Verstappen led opening practice for the Azerbaijan GP in Baku by 0.043s over Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen’s lap of 1m43.184s was 0.337s faster than third quick Carlos Sainz Jr. in the 2nd Ferrari while Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez slotted in 4th 0.446s back.

Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top-5 for McLaren.

At the end of the session Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin spun into the barriers. “Yeah sorry, my fault,” radios the Russian as the cameras pick him up as he disentangles himself from the wall and starts to creep back to the pits. Replays show that he spun on the exit of the corner, slowly sliding across the run-off area to collide with the barriers rear-first.

And as soon as Mazepin made it to the pits, his Haas teammate Mick Schumacher joins in with some off-track action of his own. He ran straight on at Turn 4, could not quite manage a handbrake turn and found himself beached against the wall.

Not to be outdone, Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas found themselves in the runoff area.

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 04, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The other driver in the top 10 who didn’t get much of a mention is Fernando Alonso. He was sounding quietly confident yesterday, believing his comeback is going better than expected. P9 there, comfortably ahead of his teammate – can the Spaniard really announce himself as being back to his best this weekend?

Fernando Alonso in Baku Friday

Practice 1 Results

1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:43.184 +0.000s 19
2 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:43.227 +0.043s 20
3 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:43.521 +0.337s 20
4 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda 1:43.630 +0.446s 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 1:43.732 +0.548s 25
6 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1:43.757 +0.573s 23
7 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:43.893 +0.709s 20
8 4 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1:43.996 +0.812s 20
9 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 1:44.777 +1.593s 25
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:44.891 +1.707s 20
11 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:44.943 +1.759s 18
12 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:45.092 +1.908s 20
13 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1:45.234 +2.050s 23
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 1:45.384 +2.200s 25
15 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes 1:45.415 +2.231s 24
16 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1:45.446 +2.262s 23
17 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:45.452 +2.268s 24
18 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:45.774 +2.590s 22
19 47 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 1:46.899 +3.715s 20
20 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari 1:46.945 +3.761s 18
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