Daniel Ricciardo quickest in FP2, as Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton struggle
Azerbaijan Grand Prix - FP2

Daniel Ricciardo quickest in FP2, as Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton struggle

29/04/2018

Daniel Ricciardo set the pace in the second practice session for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Red Bull and Ferrari emerged as the two quickest cars on Friday afternoon.

Ricciardo was 0.069s clear of Kimi Raikkonen in second place as the Chinese Grand Prix winner set a scintillating pace through Baku's tight second sector. The RB14 appears to be well suited to the Baku City Circuit, but it remains to be seen if it will maintain that advantage through qualifying when both Ferrari and Mercedes will run more powerful engine modes.

After crashing out in first practice, Max Verstappen was third fastest in second practice but still 0.166s off teammate Ricciardo. He had a small brush with the wall at Turn 7 and also appeared to suffer some sort of engine issue at the end of the session as he coasted back to the pits on low revs.

Mercedes finished fourth and fifth, with Valtteri Bottas once again outperforming teammate Lewis Hamilton by a small margin. But Hamilton certainly has some pace in reserve after setting the fastest first sector of all before mistakes later in his lap left him 0.808s off Ricciardo by the time he crossed the line.

Mercedes finished fourth and fifth, with Valtteri Bottas once again outperforming teammate Lewis Hamilton by a small margin. But Hamilton should have some pace in reserve after setting the fastest first sector of all before making mistakes later on in his hot lap. He also ran deep at Turn 8 while on soft tyres, proving just how tricky the tight section around the Old City walls can be.

Sebastian Vettel will also look to improve on Saturday after setting the 11th fastest time, 1.3s off Ricciardo and teammate Riakkonen. Vettel looked out of sorts throughout Friday practice and went straight on at Turn 2 on his quick lap. But with the sister Ferrari showing promising pace, Vettel still can't be ruled out as a contender for pole position on Saturday afternoon.

Fernando Alonso managed to haul his McLaren up to sixth in the absence of Vettel at the top of the timesheets and was ahead of Esteban Ocon in the Force India and Carlos Sainz in the Renault. Kevin Magnussen's promising early-season form continued with the ninth fastest time ahead of the second Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean were both 0.3s off their respective teammates, but had a 0.2s buffer to the bottom seven, which was headed up by Williams' Lance Stroll. Pierre Gasly was 15th in the Toro Rosso ahead of Charles Leclerc in the Sauber, Sergey Sirotkin in the second Williams and Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso.

Stoffel Vandoorne and Marcus Ericsson failed to set their fastest times on the ultra-soft tyres and were left in 19th and 20th at the bottom of the timesheets.

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