Valtteri Bottas quickest as Max Verstappen crashes out of opening practice in Baku
Azerbaijan Grand Prix - FP1

Valtteri Bottas quickest as Max Verstappen crashes out of opening practice in Baku

29/04/2018

Valtteri Bottas topped the opening practice session ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Max Verstappen's scrappy start to the season continued with another accident.

Mercedes and Red Bull traded fastest laps at the top of the timesheets for most of the session, but Verstappen eliminated himself from the battle midway through when he crashed at Turn 5. The Red Bull driver, who is under pressure after mistakes at all three races this year, lost control of the rear of his car under braking before slamming sideways into the barriers.

Although a number of drivers ran wide or locked tyres during the session, Verstappen was the only one to make contact with the wall and paid the price by missing out on the second half of the session. The collision snapped the front wing of his Red Bull and when he tried to get the car going again it stalled and refused to restart.

Verstappen's soft tyre time from the start of the session was still good enough for sixth overall, but left him 1.3s off the battle at the front between Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo. Bottas set his time on the ultra-soft tyre -- the fastest and least durable compound on offer this weekend -- whereas Ricciardo's time was on the slower super-soft tyre. Just 0.035s separated the two drivers, with Lewis Hamilton a distant fourth, 0.9s off

The Force Indias, which have been competitive every year at this circuit, were third and fifth using the super-soft tyre, with Sergio Perez third fastest and 0.125s clear of Hamilton. Fernando Alonso was seventh fastest in the McLaren ahead of Sergey Sirotkin and Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso.

Sebastian Vettel was tenth fastest after spending a large part of the first half of the session in the garage. Both Ferraris were fitted with ultra-soft tyres for the entirety of the session but they appeared to struggle for pace, with Vettel 2.271s off Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen a further 0.348s adrift in 15th place.

Raikkonen was limited to just ten laps after his car was put on jacks in the garage to investigate an issue at the rear of the car and he and Vettel complained of a lack of rear grip early in the session. Ferrari undoubtedly has work to do to during the second practice session this afternoon in order to get the car in a more competitive state ahead of qualifying.

Lance Stroll was 11th in the second Williams ahead of Brendon Hartley and the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg. Romain Grosjean was 14th after a series of lock-ups on his quick laps while Raikkonen was 15th ahead of the two Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson.

Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne will both look to improve in the second session after setting times well off their teammates, while a huge flatspot on his second set of tyres saw Carlos Sainz unable to continue and finish the session in last place overall.

Related news

Lewis Hamilton eases to Spain win, Max Verstappen beats Sebastian Vettel to third

Lewis Hamilton eases to Spain win, Max Verstappen beats Sebastian Vettel to third

Lewis Hamilton led a comfortable Mercedes one-two at the Spanish Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen beat Sebastian Vettel to the final step of the podium.

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas to pole position at Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas to pole position at Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton ended Sebastian Vettel's run of pole positions by claiming top spot for the Spanish Grand Prix, while his Ferrari rival had to settle for third.

Lewis Hamilton tops session ended by huge Brendon Hartley shunt

Lewis Hamilton tops session ended by huge Brendon Hartley shunt

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in final practice at the Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes looked like the team to beat ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton edges Red Bull drivers in second practice

Lewis Hamilton edges Red Bull drivers in second practice

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix in an unusual session that featured mistakes from the top drivers on their fastest laps.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in messy opening Spanish GP practice

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in messy opening Spanish GP practice

In an incident-packed first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas dominated the timesheets as Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull end up in the barriers at Turn 4.

Marc Marquez wins in Spain and takes MotoGP lead

Marc Marquez wins in Spain and takes MotoGP lead

Marc Marquez won his home Spanish Grand Prix and took the overall MotoGP lead on Sunday after the reigning champion's main rivals collided spectacularly.

Crutchlow blasts to Spanish GP pole

Crutchlow blasts to Spanish GP pole

Cal Crutchlow broke MotoGP's Jerez track record to take pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Johann Zarco.

Tanak wins in Argentina, Ogier retains overall lead

Tanak wins in Argentina, Ogier retains overall lead

Ott Tanak secured his first World Rally Championship victory since joining Toyota with a commanding Rally Argentina performance.

Lewis Hamilton claims stunning win in thrilling Baku finish

Lewis Hamilton claims stunning win in thrilling Baku finish

Lewis Hamilton took his first victory of the season at a dramatic and chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the race was turned on its head by a late collision between the Red Bulls.

RELATED NEWS

Lewis Hamilton eases to Spain win, Max Verstappen beats Sebastian Vettel to third
Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton eases to Spain win, Max Verstappen beats Sebastian Vettel to third

Lewis Hamilton led a comfortable Mercedes one-two at the Spanish Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen beat Sebastian Vettel to the final step of the podium.

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas to pole position at Spanish Grand Prix
Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas to pole position at Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton ended Sebastian Vettel's run of pole positions by claiming top spot for the Spanish Grand Prix, while his Ferrari rival had to settle for third.

Lewis Hamilton tops session ended by huge Brendon Hartley shunt
Spanish Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton tops session ended by huge Brendon Hartley shunt

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in final practice at the Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes looked like the team to beat ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton edges Red Bull drivers in second practice
Spanish Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton edges Red Bull drivers in second practice

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix in an unusual session that featured mistakes from the top drivers on their fastest laps.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in messy opening Spanish GP practice
Spanish Grand Prix - FP1

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in messy opening Spanish GP practice

In an incident-packed first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas dominated the timesheets as Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull end up in the barriers at Turn 4.

Marc Marquez wins in Spain and takes MotoGP lead
MOTOGP - Spanish GP

Marc Marquez wins in Spain and takes MotoGP lead

Marc Marquez won his home Spanish Grand Prix and took the overall MotoGP lead on Sunday after the reigning champion's main rivals collided spectacularly.

Crutchlow blasts to Spanish GP pole
MOTOGP - Spanish GP - Qualifying

Crutchlow blasts to Spanish GP pole

Cal Crutchlow broke MotoGP's Jerez track record to take pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Johann Zarco.

Tanak wins in Argentina, Ogier retains overall lead
Rally Argentina

Tanak wins in Argentina, Ogier retains overall lead

Ott Tanak secured his first World Rally Championship victory since joining Toyota with a commanding Rally Argentina performance.

Lewis Hamilton claims stunning win in thrilling Baku finish
Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton claims stunning win in thrilling Baku finish

Lewis Hamilton took his first victory of the season at a dramatic and chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the race was turned on its head by a late collision between the Red Bulls.

DERBY OF THE WEEK
Real Madrid - Liverpool - Champions League Final
Derby of the week
20:45
26/05/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.20    
   W 3.00
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
05-14-2018 09:00 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores