Baku Might Actually Be the Most Challenging Circuit on the F1 Calendar

Baku Might Actually Be the Most Challenging Circuit on the F1 Calendar

When's the Azerbaijan GP on Sky Sports? We've made a positive step which is always very useful on such a long straight. When the auto is working well, you can be confident and that can be a big difference on a street circuit. "This has definitely been the most Friday of the year so far".

"This circuit is a tough one and we had a few challenges that we tried to work through today".

"It's likely Mercedes and Ferrari will bring a little more heat tomorrow but we are obviously in the ballpark".

With 20 minutes left, the red flag halted the session after Perez mangled both wheels on the right side of his auto snaking through into a tight Turn 8.

"It was very weird to be honest", he explained. I locked up and I was still trying to make the corner and then I chose to play it safe and take the exit road.

Hamilton was fast on the soft compound tyres, but never got decent runs on the supersoft and finished the evening session 10th with the time he set on the former.

Bottas was one-tenth off the pace, Vettel trailed by a quarter of a second and Hamilton by more than a second.

"We can still be in the fight for pole", Hamilton said.

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"Looking at some on-board video stuff example, the Red Bull just looks very stable".

"It was very scrappy, I had a hard day and it was hard to get the tyres to work". The positive today is that I didn't crash!

The Scuderia moved to within 0.127s of Red Bull when it finally ran the super-soft tyre in a competitive afternoon session in which the top five were separated by just 0.253s.

After about hald an hour, we started to see the supersofts reappear as the teams shifted their focus to qualifying runs.

Hamilton, who trails title leader Sebastian Vettel by 12 points ahead of the eighth round of the championship here in Azerbaijan's capital city of Baku, was fifth in the opening session. The Russian only managed to get a timed lap in right at the end of FP1 after a heavily disrupted session, so he clearly wanted to make as much of FP2 as he could.

"We had a bit of a messy session, a lot of traffic, a lot of yellow flags and we didn't put him out at the right time".

Vettel conceded that any of six drivers could potentially take pole on Saturday. "So from that point I felt very good in the vehicle even though, I think, in my short runs in the second practice I couldn't really take the maximum out of it because of traffic and yellow flags".

"It is a tough one because we know it is likely Mercedes/Ferrari will bring a bit more heat tomorrow but at the same time you look at Max, he is first and I am third, we are right there so you don't want to go insane and chase too much because we are obviously in the ballpark".

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