F1: Red Bull take top two spots in Azerbaijan practice

Canadian Lance Stroll, who scored his first F1 points for Williams at his home event earlier in June, was sixth ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez, who crashed in the morning session, Russian Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso, Frenchman Esteban Ocon in the second Force India and, unexpectedly, three-time champion Briton Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes.

"It was very weird, to be honest", said Verstappen of the crash. "I locked up and was still trying to make the corner but I tried to play it safe and take the exit road".

That came just before Perez brought out the red flags with just under 20 minutes of the session remaining, wrecking the right hand side of his Force India at the ultra-tight castle section after having several bites of turning into the vehicle, and most likely jeopardizing his running in a few hours' time.

With 30 seconds remaining, Verstappen lost control of the rear of his vehicle and slid into the barriers.

Max Verstappen completed a clean sweep of Friday's Formula 1 practice sessions in Azerbaijan after topping the timesheets in FP2 at the Baku City Circuit.

Practice times are not necessarily an indication of a team's strength as cars may have different fuel loads and tyres as the teams prepare their set-ups for Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race. He finished the session last, 4.4s off the pace. Two drivers - Sergio Perez and Jolyon Palmer - did their cars a power of no good. In an all-too-familiar sight, Alonso slowed with smoke emerging from the rear of his McLaren, with the Spaniard radioing in with the simple message of "engine".

McLaren is the only team yet to score a point, and continues to be blighted by its unreliable Honda engine, prompting growing speculation that management is out of patience and considering a deal with Mercedes as its engine supplier.

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"I think it was very close today", Vettel.

When it got underway, track temperatures were at a blistering 54 degrees C (129 degrees F).

Force India driver Sergio Perez, who crashed on Turn 8 in the first practice, nearly ploughed straight back into the same barrier in the second.

After setting the fastest time of the day, a 1:43.362, the Dutchman out-braked himself into Turn 1 in the last minute of the session, spinning into the barrier and hitting hard.

Perez harmed only his pride in the incident after he carried too much speed through the ultra-tight Turn 7 with the front right of his vehicle thudding the barrier on entry to the corner.

While nearly every driver could recall a moment they had to take to the run-off area, Romain Grosjean was the main culprit as he complained of brake problems that saw the Haas driver take to the escape road time and again.

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