Verstappen quickest in first F1 practice sessions for Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Posted June 24, 2017

Renault's Jolyon Palmer crashed at Turn Eight causing a stoppage for 15 minutes while the auto was cleared.

It wouldn't be practice without some sort of McLaren-Honda related smoke cloud appearing somewhere on the circuit, and today was no different. Then suddenly I lost the rear and I had like a four-wheel power slide into the barrier. I think we are OK, I think it is a question of getting everything together. However, as other drivers struggled for grip, Verstappen appeared to find a good balance between a low-drag setup on the straights and a decent level of grip in the corners.

Never in a Formula 1 session was reverse gear used by so many, the situation nearing farce in the evening session when, having visited the escape road in Turn 8 for the umpteenth time, world championship points leader Sebastian Vettel had to wait for Felipe Massa to back up in his Williams before he could do likewise. We've clearly still got lots of work to do ahead of qualifying, but Valtteri's time in FP2 looked promising, so there is obviously pace in the auto, which is encouraging.

The highly treacherous Turn 8 caused severe problems all day. British driver Jolyon Palmer did just that, bringing the red flag out and briefly halting the session midway through.

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 RB13.

Alonso is already facing a 15-place grid penalty as a result of a new turbocharger and MGU-H in his McLaren, the sixth of each component. But even he had his moments, nosing towards a wall in Turn 2 soon after going fastest, and then ending his day crashing in to the wall in Turn 1.

Indian sensex retreats from record highs on profit-taking
The broader NSE Nifty moved between 9,647.65 and 9,565.30, before ending 55.05 points, or 0.57% down at 9,574.95. The Sensex touched a high of 31,365.39 and a low of 31,110.39 points during intra-day trade.

His subsequent lap time gains put him in the 1m43s margin and he ended his first run with a best lap of 1m43.894s.

His team-mate Ricciardo remained cautious about Red Bull's prospects but was expecting a close fight among the top teams in the weekend's remaining sessions.

The 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) Baku circuit, which glides through the city's medieval walls and passes the Caspian sea, has F1's fastest top speed and is also one of the trickiest.

In the opening practice session, Bottas narrowly missed the barriers while Perez mangled both wheels on the right of his auto on Turn 8.

It was a hard session for Toro Rosso, with their drivers having combined to complete just nine laps and not set a time with half an hour to go.

While nearly every driver could recall a moment they had to take to the run-off area, Romain Grosjean was the main culprit as he complained of brake problems that saw the Haas driver take to the escape road time and again.