Red Bull Racing endured a tough start to their European Grand Prix at the Baku street circuit on Friday morning as Daniel Ricciardo made contact with the barriers in and left the team with a lot of work to do to get the car prepared for the second session. The Australian completed 17 laps in FP1 recording the 13th fastest time with a 01:49.778s while in the second session this afternoon he completed 32 laps and ended the session in 10th place with a fastest time of 01:46.293s.
Speaking following the session the Australian commented by saying:
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. 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. There is some time on the straight to think, which is nice as the corners are technical and you really need to concentrate. Being a street circuit if you want to be quick you need to find the limit and get close to the walls. 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.
Max Verstappen ended the opening session this morning in 16th place having setting a fastest lap of 01:50.485s completing 7 laps while in the second session he completed 35 laps on his way to ending the day in 7th place with a fastest time of 01:46.068s and speaking following the session the Dutchman commented by saying:
It was a shame we didn’t really get to do a lot in FP1. If you don’t do that many laps in the first free practice you miss a little bit of car setup and from a driver’s point of view you want more laps so you can get comfortable. The second practice session was not perfect for us – we definitely have some work to do but I’m not shocked, it’s ok, we still need to find a bit, but we have some very clever engineers up there to solve the problem. In general the track itself is quite fun to drive, although some kerbs were coming off so we need to have a discussion (with the FIA) about that, and the exit of the pit lane is also not ideal so maybe they can open it up a little bit. The track is quite slippery and you arrive from very high speeds and the braking is also not so easy, and in some areas it’s very tight so you have to be focused. You need to be careful in the runoff areas because it can be easy to get stuck in them. We knew we wouldn’t be the strongest on the straights, especially with such a long straight here, so we have to find a bit of a compromise in setup and make the best of it.