The second free practice session of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix opened with a pleasant sun and still a lot of wind to bother a bit the drivers.
Compared to FP1, dominated by Sergio Perez, with Leclerc and then Verstappen behind him, there have been several set-up changes for Red Bull and Ferrari to adapt to the track and to try to influence the world fight. Both F1-75s have fitted a new (more flatter) rear wing, that was already available in Miami but still never used in a race weekend, and new mirrors.
These are not the only updates brought by the teams fighting for the world championship: Red Bull has decided to bring a new MGU-H on both cars.
Alpine has also introduced some visible updates, first of all the new Aston Martin style sidepods.
The new updates seemed useful for Ferrari with Leclerc finishing the afternoon in first position. Behind him Perez and Vestappen, fith Sainz.
FP2 report – local time:
18:00 - Green flag and Carlos Sainz is immediately out to do some starting tests with medium tyres.
18:04 - Fastest time for Lewis Hamilton in 1.46.29s that doesn’t last for long, as Carlos Sainz sets the best lap time in 1’45’’118.
18:10 - Charles Leclerc manages to complete a lap after aborting one and sets the best lap time in 1’43’’806 with medium tyres. McLaren is the only team with hard tyres on track. Alonso moves into second place with his Alpine, behind Leclerc by 1 tenth.
18:14 - Max Verstappen is finally on track and completes his lap, putting his Red Bull in sixth place between Tsunoda and Gasly.
18:24 - Verstappen is now second, behind Leclerc by only 30 thousandths. However, the Dutchman lost three tenths in the third sector compared to the Monegasque, who used an excellent slipstream on the long main straight.
18:30 - Ferrari starts its quali simulation with soft tyres and Leclerc sets again the best time in 1’43’’224.
18.39 - Perez loses the car at the first turn and Leclerc at the 7th, yellow flag but no damage for both cars thanks to the wide run-off areas.
18:49 - Almost ten minutes to go and Gasly is the first to go out and start his race pace simulation. Alpine seems very fast on the one lap, but loses speed in its race pace simulation.
18.57 - Leclerc complains of an qengine problem via radio, but reassurances arrive from the Ferrari pit wall. The Monegasque can continue to push, while Perez and Verstappen reach Ferrari's race pace.
19:00 - End of FP2 with a yellow flag caused by Sainz taking to the escape road. No damage on his Ferrari.