Home / World News / Leclerc edges out Perez in Baku practice

Leclerc edges out Perez in Baku practice

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fastest in practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo finished 14th.

Leclerc was denied victory on home soil in Monaco a fortnight ago when his team were caught flat-footed in the wet-dry conditions. However, he edged out Sergio Perez in Baku on Friday.

Fresh from winning in Monte Carlo, and penning a new contract which will keep him in Red Bull colours until 2024, Perez was quickest in the opening running of the weekend.

But the Mexican was trumped by Leclerc later in the day, trailing the Ferrari man by a quarter-of-a-second.

Ferrari and Red Bull continue to be the top of the Formula One class, with world champion Max Verstappen third in the order, three-tenths of a second back.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso finished fourth for Alpine, albeit almost a second slower than Leclerc, with Carlos Sainz fifth in the other scarlet car.

Lewis Hamilton trailed in 12th and heads into Sunday’s race – the eighth round of 22 this season – already 75 points behind Verstappen, the equivalent of three victories.

And Mercedes continue to struggle with porpoising problems which have wreaked havoc this year. Hamilton and teammate George Russell both suffered from heavy bouncing on Friday.

At one point in the first session, Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington advised his driver to be wary of crossing the pit-entry line when he completed a lap.

A frustrated Hamilton replied: “It is so bumpy, I couldn’t see the line.”

Russell, who is 34 points clear of his team-mate in the standings, finished seventh, 1.3sec off the pace.

Verstappen leads Leclerc by nine points at the top of the championship, but the Dutchman complained of understeer throughout practice and lost control of his Red Bull at the end of the opening session.

Verstappen spun at Turn 15 but crucially avoided contact with the barriers before returning to his garage.

In the concluding action of the day, Verstappen had to slow down when he was on a speedy lap after Perez spun at the opening bend.

Leclerc also took an off-track detour when he lost control of his Ferrari at the seventh bend. Both drivers escaped damage.

British driver Lando Norris, fully recovered from the tonsillitis which affected him at the recent rounds in Spain and Monaco, finished 10th for McLaren, four places ahead of his under-pressure team-mate Ricciardo.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

SA container recycling scheme revamped

The South Australian government will make key changes to the state’s container deposit scheme in …

%d bloggers like this: