- Claire Williams was not a happy boss after the damage caused by a drain cover cost “some hundred thousand pounds”, just as they are trying to take the pressure out of the manufacturing team. The damage on George Russell’s floor meant that he will need a new chassis and, therefore, couldn’t take part in FP2. Luckily, Baku was the first race in which Williams had a spare chassis in this season.

- As all drain covers had to be checked – and, according to Renault, there were over 300 of them in the 6km long track – the session was cancelled, much to Lewis Hamilton’s delight, as he left an army of photographers, cameramen and fans waiting outside of Mercedes’ motorhome waiting and preferred to watch Game of Thrones.

- The Netflix crew missed a tense moment in the pen this Friday. Dutch TV reporter Jack Plooij was interrupted by Cyril Abiteboul when he said the Frenchman had declared during winter that Red Bull had made the wrong decision about their engines. “Don’t start the interview with a lie!”, he said. “If you do that I will walk away.” The Renault’s PR calmed things down and the interview went on.

- Speaking of Netflix, even though they had been filming in the paddock since the beginning of the season, the contract for the second season was only signed last week. And apparently Mercedes and Ferrari are still out, but the producers are happy with the feedback they had by emphasising the midfield: “We changed the way people watch the races”.

- As always in Baku, Bernie Ecclestone was in the paddock with wife Fabiana. The couple had a long chat with Christian Horner before the ex-F1 supremo was stopped by security to enter the FOM motorhome. But the 88-year-old had none of it and literally pushed his way through. Moments later was received by Toto Wolff in his motorhome.

- Daniil Kvyat was the birthday man this Friday but will end up having to buy gifts for his mechanics after crashing in FP2. “I might get them a beer later”, he said. The Russian wasn’t too fussed about losing track time and said he had realised how “useless” free practices were. “After two laps I felt I could go home.”

- Kvyat is not getting any gifts from his teammate, though. Alex Albon said he only realised it was Daniil’s birthday after seeing a Facebook alert, but he had already met the Russian. “But I had some time to kill just before FP1 and went to his side of the garage to say happy birthday.”

- On the front runners, Ferrari dominated but felt Mercedes just didn’t put everything together in their qualifying simulation run, as they had a much better pace in their race simulations. Interestingly, though, Leclerc’s fastest lap was the second of his run, something that Pirelli believes can also happen in qualifying if the teams that are suffering with graining can control that. Another thing that can spice things up in qualifying is the chance of getting a tow, something that can give up to 0.5s in Baku.

- Friday’s FP1 session in Baku was the first to be abandoned since wet weather washed out second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix in 2017.

- Kevin Magnussen did not dwell much on his run-in with Lewis Hamilton towards the end of FP2 in Baku. “There was a yellow flag on that lap, and we’ve been told to abort our laps if there is a yellow, and then it was also the end of the session,” Magnussen explained. “So I don't know why he was rushing so much.” The Haas driver added he did not feel any contact with Hamilton despite TV footage showing some sparks after a touch between their cars.

- Magnussen will race with an all-black helmet with three As on it this weekend in Baku, paying tribute to the three children of ASOS billionaire and sponsor Anders Holch Povlsen – Astrid, Agnes and Alfred – who died in the Sri Lanka bombings on Easter Sunday.

- George Russell’s car will undergo scrutineering tomorrow morning in Baku ahead of FP3 following a change in chassis.

- The FIA confirmed power unit element changes for Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi (both Control Electronics), Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly (engine, turbocharger, MGU-K and MGU-H) and Toro Rosso pair Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon (engine). Giovinazzi is the only driver to receive a penalty for the change, dropping 10 places on the grid.

- Albon, Kvyat and McLaren’s Lando Norris have all taken a new gearbox for this race in Baku. All three do so within the regulations, avoiding any penalty.

- Gasly was sent to see the stewards after failing to stop for the weighbridge at the end of FP2 on Friday, resulting in him starting the race from the pit lane on Sunday. It comes as the latest setback for Gasly after a tricky start to the year with Red Bull.

Additional reporting by Luke Smith.

 

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