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Perez fronts Red Bull one-two, Hamilton demoralised, Leclerc hits barrier

Perez fronts Red Bull one-two, Hamilton demoralised, Leclerc hits barrier

F1 News

Perez fronts Red Bull one-two, Hamilton demoralised, Leclerc hits barrier

Perez fronts Red Bull one-two, Hamilton demoralised, Leclerc hits barrier

Sergio Perez underlined his growing confidence at Red Bull by finishing quickest in a second practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in which Lewis Hamilton again expressed frustration.

On the low-fuel, soft-tyre runs around the Baku City Circuit, Perez finished quickest by 0.101secs ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen with a lap of one minute 42.115s, although it was the Dutchman who was fastest in the first two sectors.

Verstappen did complain, however, about his RB16B being "night and day" different, primarily due to a lack of balance at the front, compared to what he had experienced in FP1 at the end of which he was quickest.

Red Bull, though, were also later quickest on the longer runs during the second half of the session.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, fresh from his confidence-boosting second place in Monaco, was third on the timesheet, finishing 0.128s behind Perez.

Team-mate Charles Leclerc, second fastest behind Verstappen in FP1, blotted his FP2 copybook by running into a TecPro barrier at turn 15 after a lock-up, and after setting the fastest first sector at that time.

The shunt forced Leclerc back to the pits for a new front wing and led to a short VSC period while it was recovered, leaving the Monégasque a third of a second adrift in fourth.

As for Mercedes, as occurred around Monaco, it was another practice session to leave the reigning champions facing a long debrief as to its latest issues.

At one stage, a clearly demoralised Hamilton said over the radio: "I'm not going to go any faster. I don't know where the time is."

Hamilton finished the session a second adrift in 11th place, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas a further second down in 16th.

Ahead of Hamilton in the top 10 beyond the Red Bull and Ferrari pair were AlphaTauri duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda in fifth and 10th, separated by six-tenths of a second.

Sandwiched in between were Alpine team-mates Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon in sixth and ninth, with just over three-tenths of a second the difference, while Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and McLaren's Lando Norris were seventh and eighth quickest.

Giovinazzi concluded the session with the fastest sector three time.

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo, who had performed strongly in first practice, was down in 13th, 1.183s adrift, with Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel over half-a-second back in 14th and 15th.

Nicholas Latifi brought up the rear in his Williams, bringing out the red flags 12-and-a-half minutes into the session after his engine died on the short straight after turn 15.

Williams reported the engine simply overheated and went into shutdown protection mode.

The team's cars house a new Mercedes power unit this weekend. The works team, along with Ferrari, have introduced fresh systems to all its cars and those of its customers for the race in Baku>.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix second practice times

1 Sergio Perez [Red Bull] 1:42.115

2 Max Verstappen [Red Bull] +0.101s

3 Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] +0.128s

4 Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] +0.321s

5 Pierre Gasly [AlphaTauri] +0.419s

6 Fernando Alonso [Alpine] +0.578s

7 Antonio Giovinazzi [Alfa Romeo] +0.826s

8 Lando Norris [McLaren] +0.903s

9 Esteban Ocon [Alpine] +0.905s

10 Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] +1.015s

11 Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] +1.041s

12 Kimi Raikkonen [Alfa Romeo] +1.105s

13 Daniel Ricciardo [McLaren] +1.183s

14 Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] +1.697s

15 Sebastian Vettel [Aston Martin] +1.766s

16 Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes] +2.069s

17 George Russell [Williams] +2.442s

18 Nikita Mazepin [Haas] +3.448s

19 Mick Schumacher [Haas] +3.980s

20 Nicholas Latifi {Williams] +4.868s

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