Daniel Ricciardo laid down an impressive pace during second practice for this weekend’s Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix as he led Red Bull to the top of the field on Friday afternoon.

2017 Baku winner Ricciardo finished just 0.035 seconds shy of pace-setter Valtteri Bottas in the opening practice session, and was able to go one place better in FP2 to edge out Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Ricciardo’s time of 1:42.795 saw him finish just 0.069s ahead of Raikkonen, while Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen took third after a delayed start to the session as the team completed repairs on the RB14 car following his FP1 crash.

Verstappen had a brief glance of the wall at Turn 14 as well as running off at Turn 7 as he pushed to the limit, but escaped unscathed, instead underpinning Ricciardo’s impressive pace in the Red Bull.

Mercedes was unable to keep up with Ricciardo at the front as Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and fifth respectively, lapping more than three-quarters of a second off the pace.

There were greater struggles for Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari, who failed to get in a clean lap on the Ultrasoft tyre, leaving him a lowly 11th, 1.3s off Ricciardo’s P1 time.

Fernando Alonso headed the midfield fight for McLaren, finishing sixth ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon. Renault drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Nico Hulkenberg took P8 and P10 respectively, split by Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in ninth place.

Sergio Perez wound up 12th for Force India ahead of Romain Grosjean and Lance Stroll, with the latter struggling throughout the session, calling his Williams FW41 car “undriveable” at one stage.

Pierre Gasly finished as the lead Toro Rosso in 15th ahead of Charles Leclerc and Sergey Sirotkin, with teammate Brendon Hartley taking 18th. Stoffel Vandoorne struggled to 19th for McLaren, finishing ahead only of Marcus Ericsson, who was sidelined by an issue that limited him to just nine laps.



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