Free Practice 2
F1 2021
Round 6

Bulls Lead The Way In Baku

az Baku Street Circuit

Our return to Baku got off to a very strong start as Red Bull Racing recorded a one-two and all four Honda-powered cars ended Friday practice in the top ten.

Bulls Lead The Way In Baku

After a year off the calendar last year, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is back and provides a unique test as a street circuit with an extremely long straight where top speed and aerodynamic efficiency is crucial. In the opening session, Max was fastest and Sergio ended up fourth after early aero testing.

Pierre was sixth in the opening session for Scuderia AlphaTauri - a little over a half a second slower than Max - while Yuki got to grips with a brand new circuit and ended up 14th after a few off-track moments as he explored the limits.



FP2 saw progress across the board, with Sergio setting the pace and leading a Red Bull one-two, edging out Max by just 0.1s. Pierre was one position higher than in the morning session as he ended up fifth - this time 0.4s off top spot - and Yuki improved to also secure a top ten lap time in tenth, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

 

Some encouraging long runs rounded off a productive opening day, but we’ll now work to hone the set-ups and modes for qualifying and the race.




Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
On the first day of action for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the track surface on this street circuit was very dirty, made worse by the very strong winds yesterday. However, the conditions improved as more cars ran on track. Today, we saw several cars missing their braking and having to use the escape roads at the 90 degree corners and that led to the sessions being interrupted several times. Nevertheless, all four of our drivers got in some quite decent runs and got through the day without any major problems. In FP2, all four of them were in the top ten, so that’s a good start to the weekend for us. It is difficult to find the right set-up at this track and so we can expect our rivals to make progress for tomorrow and there is also room for improvement on the chassis and PU side for both our teams. We will now analyse all the data gathered today to see what we can do to be in the best possible shape for qualifying and the race. 

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing Honda
I’m happy with today and I think we’ve definitely made some good progress. We did a very good analysis after Monaco and today felt like I am understanding the car more and how I need to drive it. I think this is probably the best Friday of the season for me, it’s the most complete in terms of data and how comfortable I feel with the car. Hopefully we can get a good, clean lap in qualifying tomorrow which is when it matters, but we’ll still work hard tonight to improve and try to find some more lap time.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing Honda
Performance wise I think we had a great start to the weekend here in Baku. It was quite windy out there today which wasn’t easy for any of us, but it definitely makes things more interesting. In FP1 the car felt pretty decent, I was quite comfortable and then for FP2 we made a few changes to see if it was better but I don’t think it was, so we’ll look into that overnight and see what direction we will go for qualifying. So far I think we look pretty strong as a Team and I’m very happy with that so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
It’s been a very good Friday for us, a really positive P6 this morning and P5 this afternoon, at the moment I’m feeling very good in the car. I’m able to be quite aggressive and push the limits, I went over too far once or twice but that’s how we find the line and extract the maximum from the car. I’m pretty pleased so far, especially because we did the lap without any slip streams so potentially there’s more pace available to us tomorrow.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
It’s fairly similar to Monaco here, you have to build up the pace and also confidence in the braking zones, as most of the corners need strong braking. I went into the run-off areas a few times but it was good practice for me to find the limit and luckily I didn’t go into the wall! I think the progress from FP1 to FP2 was good, I struggled a bit in the morning, so it was a good step up in FP2. There are a few areas I still need to work on, but the pace is definitely there this weekend, we just need to put it altogether tomorrow.


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