Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time in the first free practice session ahead of Sunday’s Baku grand prix.
The first ever official Formula 1 session in Azerbaijan got underway in splendour as the cars and drivers had their first look at the Baku City circuit. Aesthetically the circuit and its surrounds create a terrific view with the architecture around the circuit making the biggest impression.
Several drivers took their time to get the proverbial eye in around the long lap. Turn 15 claimed the most errors with several drivers taking to the escape road a few times throughout the session.
Daniel Ricciardo became the first victim of the new circuit as he heavily clouted the barrier at turn 15 with the right-rear of his Red Bull. The incident brought out the red flag for several minutes as marshals took about clearing the debris and stricken Red Bull.
The rest of the session ran to plan for most of the teams. However, Max Verstappen’s session ended earlier than scheduled with an oil leak. Similarly, Lewis Hamilton’s session came to a premature end as he flat spotted his tyres with several minutes of practice remaining.
While the two Mercedes drivers led the way with Hamilton in first and Rosberg in second the Williams of Valtteri Bottas set the third quickest time overall. Fernando Alonso set the fourth quickest time ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in fifth.
Free Practice 1 Standings: