Jakarta (ANTARA) – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc moved his Red Bull rival Sergio Perez off the top of the free practice session of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Friday.
The Monaco driver, who overshadowed Perez in the first practice session, scored the best lap of the opening day with a record of one minute 43.224 seconds in the second practice session to beat the Mexican by a margin of 0.248 seconds.
Leaders Max Verstappen 0.356 seconds adrift in third place for Red Bull.
The Dutchman has a nine-point lead over second-placed Leclerc after seven races of the 22 scheduled for this season.
Perez, champion in Monaco two weeks ago and looking to become the first driver to repeat victory in Baku, is 15 points off his Red Bull team-mates.
Fernando Alonso became the fourth fastest for the Alpine team, ahead of compatriot Carlos Sainz from Spain who is entrenched in fifth place for Ferrari.
The two-time world champion showed promising pace in both training sessions, having finished fifth in the morning.
AlphaTauri team duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda occupy P6 and P8, flanking Mercedes driver George Russell.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton slumped to P12, or 1,650 seconds off the session leader, in the second Mercedes.
Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris round out the top ten for the Alpine and McLaren teams.
Baku is known for its unforgiving layouts, the fewest drivers make a mistake he can send their car into the guardrail of the highway circuit66
These races on the Caspian coast often feature chaotic and tight races as they are held on highway circuits that combine long straights for great overtaking opportunities, such as when Verstappen lost his chance to win because of a tire burst five laps before finishing last year (6/6)
However, Friday’s training session went relatively without drama.
Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi cause a virtual period safety car in FP1. Some riders also kiss the guardrail or wide into the area runoff while testing the limits of their car.
The cars of some of the drivers also appeared to be experiencing the “porpoising” effect again, bouncing as they speeded along the main straight.
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