What’s up at Mercedes?
Mercedes seemed to be holding back in practice and neither Hamilton nor Russell finished in the top ten. Nico Hülkenberg finished his training in 15th place behind Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri.
Verstappen just ahead in training
In the only practice session of the weekend, Max Verstappen prevailed in a session riddled with many problems and interruptions. The Dutchman was 0.037 seconds faster than Charles Leclerc on the soft tire. Sergio Pérez followed in third place ahead of Carlos Sainz. Overall, the drivers and teams had just under 45 minutes to test after there were red flags after a Gasly failure. Pierre Gasly had to deal with a fire in his car after a hydraulic leak and finally had to park the car so that the marshals could extinguish it. At the same time, Magnussen had to retire.
Verstappen leads World Cup
This season there is a clear favorite for the world title in Max Verstappen. The Dutchman currently leads the World Cup with 69 points ahead of team-mate Sergio Pérez, who has 54 points. Fernando Alonso follows in third place with 45 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton (38 pts) and Carlos Sainz (20 pts).
New procedure on the sprint weekend
Shortly before the weekend in Baku there was another change in the course of the weekend. From now on, the sprint will no longer determine the starting grid for Sunday, but will be counted as a separate race with its own qualifying session. The so-called sprint shootout on Saturday morning will be held instead of the 2nd practice session. So today’s qualifying determines the starting grid for Sunday.
Things get really serious for the first time at the sprint weekend in Baku at 3:00 p.m. and qualifying for the Grand Prix on Sunday is on.