Baku, FP2: Pérez heads Red Bull 1-2 as Mercedes struggle in Baku

Sainz 3rd, Leclerc 4th

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By Olivier Ferret

4 June 2021 - 15:08
Baku, FP2: Pérez heads Red Bull 1-2 (...)

Sergio Pérez narrowly beat team-mate Max Verstappen by a tenth of a second to hand Red Bull Racing a 1-2 in the second practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Mercedes struggled on the Baku City Circuit.

In the first part of the session, run on medium tyres, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz led the way with a lap of 1:43.162s. Any assault on that benchmark would have to wait, however, as soon after the Spaniard set his time the session was halted.

Nicholas Latifi was forced to use the escape road at Turn 15 after a mistake but when he reversed back onto the track he reported his that his car had lost all power. With his Williams stranded on track and the cranes being positioned to move it the session was red-flagged.

After a seven-minute delay running resumed and the field emerged from the pit lane on softs to undertake their qualifying simulations.

On the red-walled tyre Sainz improved to 1:42.243s to retain P1 with Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc taking P2. The Monegasque driver might have gone quicker on a second flying lap but after setting the fastest first sector he locked up on entry to Turn 15 and went nose first into the barriers.

The contact was not heavy, however, and he was able to reverse away and make his way back to the pits.

The incident meant that several drivers missed out on a meaningful soft tyre run, with one of the disadvantaged being Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes’ driver’s best lap on softs handed him P9 but as quicker times were posted he dropped to P11 at the flag. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas, meanwhile, finished in P16 in a difficult session for the Silver Arrows.

Pérez then found enough time to take P1 with a lap of 1:42.115s. Verstappen also improved as like his team-mate he gained time across multiple soft tyre laps. However, the Dutchman was not happy with the balance of his car and complained of a lack of front-end grip as he claimed P2, 0.101s behind his teammate

Sainz and Leclerc took P3 and P4 in the session respectively, while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly finished fifth ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.

The top 10 was completed by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, Norris, Alpine driver Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda in the second AlphaTauri.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:42.115 22
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:42.216 23
03 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 1:42.243 24
04 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1:42.436 22
05 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:42.534 26
06 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A521 1:42.693 24
07 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:42.941 25
08 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:43.018 24
09 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A521 1:43.020 23
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:43.130 25
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12 1:43.156 24
12 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:43.220 23
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:43.298 23
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:43.812 21
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:43.881 22
16 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W12 1:44.184 23
17 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:44.537 24
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:45.563 23
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:46.095 12
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:46.983 5

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