Azerbaijan Grand Prix FP2 Report: Red Bull Dominate Ahead of Ferrari Duo as Lewis Hamilton Struggles

Published 06/04/2021, 9:02 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will most likely be a thriller if we are to believe the events of Friday. After a fairly quiet start to Friday with the first practice session, all the action unraveled during the second session. There were tense exchanges between the drivers, crashes, and a couple of quick Red Bulls on track.

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Red Bull driver Sergio Perez topped the session ahead of his Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen. The Ferrari pair of Leclerc and Sainz came next. On the other hand, Mercedes couldn’t even make it top 10 of the grid as Hamilton was 11th and Bottas 16th. Are they sandbagging or simply trying a new setup? The qualifying tomorrow will tell.

How did the FP2 of Azerbaijan Grand Prix unfold?

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The session started with the air temperature at 28.1 degrees and the track temperature at 49.2. On the other hand, there was a gusty wind also blowing over the street circuit.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during practice REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Fernando Alonso cut the ribbon on the second session as he was the first driver out on track. He started the session on softs while most others opted for medium; Mick Schumacher was a rarity as he began the session on hard tires. As the track improved because of more rubber, times started to improve.

Sebastian Vettel was the first driver to have a nervy moment. He was caught up by the wind, entering turn 2, and spun his Aston Martin car around.

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Afterward, Nikita Mazepin and Carlos Sainz were involved in some tense exchanges. The Russian has gained notoriety among the F1 community for his blocking antics. During FP1, Max Verstappen was furious with him as he impeded him on his flying lap.

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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

But this time, he wasn’t the only one at fault as Sainz also tussled with him on the start-finish straight. Both of them brought out the F-bombs over their respective team radios. Though Charles Leclerc stole all the limelight away from them as he rammed into the barriers at turn 2. The Monegasque had a deja vu moment from his home Grand Prix here and brought out the red flags.

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Tomorrow’s qualifying promises to be a spicy affair, especially between the mid-field teams. Let’s see how the action unfolds.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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