Daniel Ricciardo became the first driver to crash and bring out the red flags around the Baku Street Circuit on Friday, with the Red Bull Racing driver hit the Tecpro barriers at turn fifteen.
The Australian damaged the rear of his car, losing a tyre and his rear wing as he carried too much speed through the corner, with Ricciardo ending his session there and then as a result.
Despite the crash, Ricciardo was able to get out on track straight away for the second session around the Azerbaijan circuit, and he praised his team highly for repairing his car and enabling him to do so.
“I think the circuit is pretty cool, it’s definitely as tight as it looks and has a lot of corners unlike any others on the calendar,” said Ricciardo. “There are a few interesting lines past the castle which adds to the toughness.
“It’s pretty unique and as I showed this morning some of the corners are pretty challenging and not that easy. I didn’t brake too late, I actually came off the brakes too quick and tried to carry too much speed across the corner, even at the apex I didn’t think there was a problem but then the rear kicked out and did quite a lot of damage.
“On a positive note the guys did a really awesome job to get me out there for second practice so a big thanks to them for allowing me to use the entire session.”
Ricciardo finished thirteenth in the opening session following his crash, and then tenth in the second, but revealed the team had been struggling with grip issues around the new-for-2016 Baku circuit.
“Being a street circuit if you want to be quick you need to find the limit and get close to the walls,” said Ricciardo. “In general we are chasing some grip and not really where we want to be.
“As we have found at new tracks before, getting the tyres to dig in isn’t easy, so when we improve that we will find some lap time.”