Red Bull Racing had the perfect Friday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with both drivers locking out first and second but not in the usual order.
It was Mexican Sergio Pérez who took the honours on Friday, topping the timesheets with a 1:42.115, enough to beat his teammate Max Verstappen by a tenth of a second. It is the quickest Pérez has gotten up to speed at a race weekend so far this season, with the driver visibly looking more comfortable despite the gusty conditions.
After starting the weekend so strongly, Pérez will surely be looking to carry his speed into qualifying where he stands every chance of his first Red Bull pole position.
“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.”
“We look pretty strong as a team” – Verstappen
It was second best for championship leader Max Verstappen in the Red Bull garage and on circuit, as Red Bull appear to have the strongest package this weekend in Baku. The Dutchman finished in the top two for both free practice sessions on Friday, taking first in free practice one.
After the second free practice Verstappen mentioned that he made changes for the session, however they were to no avail leaving his team with some thinking to do overnight. Nevertheless Verstappen is in an imperious position heading into qualifying, but perhaps with the pressure of being beaten by his teammate!
“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.”