Bottas leads FP1 as Verstappen crashes out

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Azerbaijan, Baku Street Circuitaz

Valtteri Bottas topped the first session at Baku and flushed away fears that Mercedes were slowly dropping down the pecking order. The Finn didn't have much of a margin over Daniel Ricciardo though, with the Australian coming very close to the fastest lap time as well.

Ricciardo's lap was an interesting message to Bottas, as he managed to do his lap on super soft tyres, contrary to Bottas being on the softer ultra soft compound.

While you'd expect Mercedes and Red Bull at the front, Force India were surprisingly firmly among the top 6, with Perez going third fastest, and Ocon 5th, sandwishing Lewis Hamilton on the timing sheet. The pink cars have been searching for performance in earlier races, despite numerous car updates, but it appears like their initial set-up at Baku seems spot on.

Max Verstappen was 6th fastest, with his best recorded on soft tyres before he crashed out. The Dutchman lost the rear under braking and slid sideways into the TecPro barrier at Turn 5. This incident forced him to step out of the car and sit out the remainder of the session.

Fernando Alonso occupied his fairly familiar 7th spot on the sheet, followed by Sirotkin in the Williams and Pierre Gasly in the fastest Toro Rosso.

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest Ferrari while Raikkonen was even down in 15th. The Scuderia suffered a troubling session with the German complaining of a lack of rear grip. His Finnish team mate meanwhile completed just 10 laps before being confined to the garage with a technical issue on his SF71-H.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:44.242-26
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:44.277+0.035s24
311Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:45.075+0.833s26
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:45.200+0.958s24
531Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:45.237+0.995s29
633Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:45.559+1.317s11
714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Renault1:46.465+2.223s25
835Sergey SirotkinWilliams Mercedes1:46.480+2.238s28
910Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:46.492+2.250s18
105Sebastian VettelFerrari1:46.513+2.271s18
1118Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:46.590+2.348s26
1228Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:46.747+2.505s32
1327Nico HulkenbergRenault1:46.749+2.507s11
148Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:46.856+2.614s23
157Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:46.861+2.619s10
1616Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari1:46.875+2.633s21
179Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:47.073+2.831s21
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:47.434+3.192s18
192Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Renault1:47.967+3.725s21
2055Carlos SainzRenault1:48.741+4.499s11