Max Verstappen continued his impressive start to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend by topping the second Formula 1 practice session in Baku on Friday evening, only to suffer a late crash in the final minute of running.
Verstappen set the pace for Red Bull in FP1 earlier in the day, and continued to lay down an strong pace through the second session as teams completed a mix of qualifying and race simulation runs.
Verstappen turned in a fastest lap time of 1:43.362 to finish one-tenth of a second clear at the head of the field, edging out Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Verstappen’s impressive pace was underpinned by Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who ended up third, just 0.111 seconds off the pace.
However, the team’s day took a late hit when Verstappen slammed side-on into the barrier at Turn 1 when trying to steer his way out of a spin, causing damage to his RB13 car that will leave his mechanics with a busy night of work.
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished fourth and fifth for Ferrari, the latter being involved in a number of on-track incidents as he and many others struggled to find grip.
Besides Verstappen, a number of drivers had off-track excursions and took to the run-off area, with Vettel and Williams’ Felipe Massa both going off at Turn 8 at one stage, causing a traffic jam.
Jolyon Palmer was the only driver to end up in the wall, offering a repeat of Sergio Perez’s FP1 crash by slamming into the barrier at Turn 8, bringing out a red flag.
Palmer’s shunt prevented a number of drivers from completing qualifying simulation runs, including Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who finished the session 10th-fastest.
Lance Stroll put in an impressive display for Williams to finish sixth overall ahead of Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat, with Esteban Ocon taking ninth position.
Besides Palmer, Fernando Alonso was also forced to miss the latter part of the session after suffering an apparent engine failure while out on-track, forcing him to park up at the side of the circuit.