Azerbaijan GP

Hamilton retains Baku lead, Rosberg ends day early

It was another dominating performance by Mercedes on Friday in Baku, ending the day in a commanding one-two position with Lewis Hamilton once again leading the times for the second session running.

The British World Champion was in a class of his own though, seven tenths ahead of Nico Rosberg at the end of the ninety minute session. That was even with Hamilton making a mistake on his supersoft tyre run, while Rosberg had his own problems to contend with, losing the last 20 minutes of the session when the Mercedes was stuck in fourth gear and was forced to stop on the circuit.

Mercedes enjoyed a power advantage as well around ‘the world’s fastest street circuit’, highlighted by Sergio Perez finishing in third place, Valtteri Bottas in fourth and Nico Hulkenberg in fifth, all powered by the Mercedes powerunits.

Interestingly, it wasn’t a current generation powerunit which would be the nearest challengers to Mercedes, Carlos Sainz’s year old Ferrari engine in the Toro Rosso was in sixth. Max Verstappen, after a difficult first session was the fastest of the Renault drivers in seventh.

Ferrari has some issues, with both drivers suffering MGU-K problems later on in the session, with Sebastian Vettel in eighth, and Kimi Raikkonen thirteeth. With many of the other teams improving it pushed McLaren back slightly, Jenson Button just staying in the top ten in ninth, with Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten.

Once again it was a session with many of the drivers having scare – notably Kevin Magnussen, while Felipe Massa didn’t enjoy the fortunes of his teammate in 18th.

1. L. Hamilton Mercedes 01:44.223 33
2. N. Rosberg Mercedes 01:44.913 26
3. S. Perez Force India 01:45.336 37
4. V. Bottas Williams 01:45.764 35
5. N. Hulkenberg Force India 01:45.920 37
6. C. Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 01:46.027 35
7. M. Verstappen Red Bull 01:46.068 35
8. S. Vettel Ferrari 01:46.219 36
9. J. Button McLaren 01:46.234 32
10. D. Ricciardo Red Bull 01:46.293 32
11. F. Alonso McLaren 01:46.498 27
12. R. Grosjean Haas 01:46.681 29
13. K. Raikkonen Ferrari 01:46.694 32
14. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 01:46.744 35
15. E. GutiƩrrez Haas 01:46.830 26
16. F. Massa Williams 01:47.060 28
17. K. Magnussen Renault 01:47.329 38
18. R. Haryanto Manor 01:47.487 33
19. M. Ericsson Sauber 01:47.772 22
20. J. Palmer Renault 01:47.794 35
21. P. Wehrlein Manor 01:48.018 36
22. F. Nasr Sauber 01:48.081 38

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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