Max Verstappen tops FP2 in Baku and then mysteriously crashes out

23 June 2017

In the second practice session at the Baku circuit on Friday, Max Verstappen topped the timesheets ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo in a session that saw the drivers perfecting their set ups and seeing where they need to improve before FP3 and Qualifying on Saturday as Verstappen mysteriously crashes out of the session.

During FP2, the Baku street circuit had caught out a fair few drivers in the earlier Friday session, but yellow flags were almost a permanent feature in the afternoon, with almost all competitors either making ample use of the run-off areas or brushing the barriers.

The super-soft runs were interrupted at the halfway point when the narrow, twisty Turn 8 claimed its second F1 car of the day, as the Renault of Jolyon Palmer ground to a halt in the barriers with broken right-front suspension.

The session was restarted after 10 minutes of clean-up, but while many drivers carried on with super-soft runs, Max Verstappen’s lap would remain unmatched. But Verstappen went into the barriers at the first corner in the dying minutes of practice, attempting to make the run-off area but losing control of his Red Bull

McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso’s session then came to a premature end with half an hour left on the clock, as he pulled over with smoke bellowing out of his McLaren-Honda and radioed “engine, engine”. It was announced later on today by the McLaren team that it was a gearbox issue that caused what happened.

Also Haas driver Romain Grosjean endured a particularly troubled time in this session. He avoided crashing but went off on several occasions at Turn 3 and Turn 8 and was constantly voicing his frustration over a perceived brake problem on the team radio.

But it was Max Verstappen who was fastest with a lap time of 1:43.362 ahead of Valtteri Bottas in second place who was 0.100 seconds behind him and ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in third place who was 0.111 seconds behind Verstappen.

Kimi Raikkonen finished the session in fourth place ahead of Sebastian Vettel in fifth place, Lance Stroll in sixth place, Sergio Perez in seventh place, Daniil Kvyat in eighth place, Esteban Ocon in ninth place and Lewis Hamilton who rounded off the top ten finishers.

Felipe Massa ended the session in eleventh place ahead of Fernando Alonso in twelfth place, Carlos Sainz Jr in thirteenth place, Kevin Magnussen in fourteenth place and Nico Hulkenberg in fifteenth place.

As we head into the latter stages of the grid, Jolyon Palmer ended the session in sixteenth place ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in seventeenth place, Pascal Wehrlein in eighteenth place, Marcus Ericsson in nineteenth place and Romain Grosjean in twentieth place.

The classification of FP2 for the Baku GP is as follows:-

1. Max Verstappen, Red-Bull-TAG Heuer, 1.43.362
2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 0.100s
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.111s
4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 0.127s
5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 0.253s
6. Lance Stroll, Williams-Mercedes, 0.751s
7. Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 0.944s
8. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 0.959s
9. Esteban Ocon, Force India-Mercedes, 1.122s
10. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.163s
11. Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 1.247s
12. Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda, 2.153s
13. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 2.371s
14. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, 2.469s
15. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 2.641s
16. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 2.699s
17. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, 2.812s
18. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber-Ferrari, 3.788s
19. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 3.985s
20. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 4.360s

Driving for Pleasure will be covering the Baku GP weekend with our practice, qualifying and race reports alongside the latest news.

Sarah Jones- @jonesy_laaa