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.
|3.||S. Perez||Force India||01:45.336||37|
|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|
|10.||D. Ricciardo||Red Bull||01:46.293||32|
|14.||D. Kvyat||Toro Rosso||01:46.744||35|