Charles Leclerc heads Ferrari 1-2 in second Azerbaijan GP practice

Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari 1-2 during the second practice session for Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Friday.

It was the only representative session of the day after FP1 was abandoned in the early stages in the wake of George Russell striking a loose drain cover.

The FIA undertook extensive checks following FP1 and gave the all-clear for the circuit to be used once more.

Leclerc, following a brush with the wall at Turn 7, profited from a slipstream from team-mate Sebastian Vettel to move fastest.

Vettel, without a slipstream along the lengthy full throttle zone that encompasses most of sector three, then responded to go quickest.

But Leclerc – also without a tow – improved once more to wind up with a 1:42.872, leaving him 0.324s up on his four-time World Champion team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton emerged as Ferrari’s nearest rival but trailed Leclerc by 0.669s, while Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas placed fifth.

They were split by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who completed his Soft tyre run later in the session compared to the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers; Pierre Gasly was ninth in the sister RB15.

Toro Rosso enjoyed another strong practice showing as Daniil Kvyat recovered from a slow start to the session to place sixth, with Alexander Albon eighth.

But Kvyat brought his session to a premature halt when he slid wide through Turn 7 and hit the wall, causing terminal damage to the front-left of his STR14.

The session was red-flagged while Kvyat’s car was recovered.

Toro Rosso’s duo were split by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr., while the Spaniard’s rookie team-mate Lando Norris rounded out the top 10.

Kevin Magnussen placed 11th for Haas, while Antonio Giovinazzi got the better of Alfa Romeo team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, taking 12th and 14th respectively, either side of Sergio Perez.

Renault had a low-key session with Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg only 15th and 17th, sandwiching Haas’ Romain Grosjean.

A heavy lock-up into Turn 14 left Ricciardo without fresh tyres for the remainder of the session and he consequently remained in the garage.

Lance Stroll caused the first red flag of the session when he hit the barriers at Turn 2.

Stroll attempted to turn into the 90-degree left hander but abandoned his effort too late and instead whacked the barriers with the front-left of the car in a failed attempt to reach the run-off.

Robert Kubica finished over five seconds off the pace at the rear of the field on a miserable day for Williams, with team-mate Russell a non-participant due to the chassis change caused by the FP1 drain cover incident.

Saturday’s third practice session is scheduled for 14:00 local time

Azerbaijan - Practice 2

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Flag   Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:42.872 28
2 Flag   Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:43.196 0.324 28
3 Flag   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:43.541 0.669 31
4 Flag   Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:43.793 0.921 24
5 Flag   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:44.003 1.131 31
6 Flag   Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:44.177 1.305 9
7 Flag   Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:44.183 1.311 27
8 Flag   Alexander Albon Red Bull 1:44.216 1.344 33
9 Flag   Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:44.240 1.368 24
10 Flag   Lando Norris McLaren 1:44.295 1.423 32
11 Flag   Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:44.901 2.029 25
12 Flag   Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:45.366 2.494 31
13 Flag   Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:45.436 2.564 28
14 Flag   Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:45.482 2.610 30
15 Flag   Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:45.483 2.611 15
16 Flag   Romain Grosjean Haas 1:45.618 2.746 31
17 Flag   Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:46.717 3.845 24
18 Flag   Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:47.875 5.003 8
19 Flag   Robert Kubica Williams 1:48.111 5.239 27
20 Flag   George Russell Williams 0