Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2021

Perez leads Red Bull one-two but no Mercedes in top 10

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix second practice

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Sergio Perez led a one-two for Red Bull in second practice, while the highest-placed Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton was a lowly 11th.

Carlos Sainz Jnr and Charles Leclerc led for much of the session, initially looking the fastest on soft tyre runs. Perez and team mate Max Verstappen did their fastest runs later than most other cars, avoiding traffic problems that had dogged Verstappen during the morning session.

Mercedes struggled throughout the session. Lewis Hamilton said after his first qualifying run that he didn’t “really know where the time is, to be honest.” He finished second practice 11th fastest, behind both AlphaTauris, both Alpine cars and Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo.

Valtteri Bottas seemed to struggle even more, unable to break the top ten times at any point during the session, as was also the case in first practice.

The session was red-flagged a quarter of an hour after it began when Nicholas Latifi stopped on track at turn 15. His car was retrieved cleanly and the session restarted after a seven-minute break but turn 15 claimed several others over the hour-long session.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Baku City Circuit, 2021
Pictures: Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice day one
Bottas and Pierre Gasly were among those who visited the run-off there. Leclerc also lost control through the corner, going straight and hitting the TecPro barrier, leaving his front wing behind. The Ferrari driver was able to return to the pits after a brief yellow flag, however.

Sainz ran into traffic with Nikita Mazepin, both accusing the other of ruining their lap and getting in the way but that was the only inter-car drama of the session.

Mick Schumacher suffered problem early on in proceedings, bringing him back into the pits after fewer than ten laps and only setting 12 across the whole hour.

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix second practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
111Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’42.11521
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’42.2160.10122
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’42.2430.12824
416Charles LeclercFerrari1’42.4360.32122
510Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’42.5340.41926
614Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’42.6930.57824
799Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’42.9410.82625
84Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’43.0180.90324
931Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’43.0200.90523
1022Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’43.1301.01525
1144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’43.1561.04124
127Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’43.2201.10523
133Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’43.2981.18323
1418Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’43.8121.69721
155Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’43.8811.76622
1677Valtteri BottasMercedes1’44.1842.06922
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’44.5572.44224
189Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’45.5633.44823
1947Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’46.0953.98011
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’46.9834.8685

Second practice visual gaps

Sergio Perez – 1’42.115

+0.101 Max Verstappen – 1’42.216

+0.128 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’42.243

+0.321 Charles Leclerc – 1’42.436

+0.419 Pierre Gasly – 1’42.534

+0.578 Fernando Alonso – 1’42.693

+0.826 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’42.941

+0.903 Lando Norris – 1’43.018

+0.905 Esteban Ocon – 1’43.020

+1.015 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’43.130

+1.041 Lewis Hamilton – 1’43.156

+1.105 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’43.220

+1.183 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’43.298

+1.697 Lance Stroll – 1’43.812

+1.766 Sebastian Vettel – 1’43.881

+2.069 Valtteri Bottas – 1’44.184

+2.442 George Russell – 1’44.557

+3.448 Nikita Mazepin – 1’45.563

+3.980 Mick Schumacher – 1’46.095

+4.868 Nicholas Latifi – 1’46.983

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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28 comments on “Perez leads Red Bull one-two but no Mercedes in top 10”

  1. Brilliant – please let this be the result after Sunday’s race – which than obviously means some crazy stuff has happened.

    1. @jelle-van-der-meer, I wouldn’t mind this outcome either.

    2. Agreed! A competitive, fun race that isn’t decided on turn 1 of lap 1 would be awesome! May the racing gods continue the Merc suckage.

      1. Ahaha, indeed, making it clear that I don’t believe mercedes being competitive one bit, especially based on practice result, the only moment I will believe merc lack of pace is the first lap of q3, think even they aren’t gonna sandbag the first lap of q3.

        1. uncompetitive ofc*

  2. Couldn’t follow FP2, it will be shown delayed where I live. Was it a messy session for Mercedes (and McLaren, they seemed fast in FP1) and couldn’t get a lap time in, or were they struggling for pace?

    1. Merc race pace seemed strong enough so should be competitive for Sunday even if they don’t get pole on Saturday.

  3. All mercedes powered cars are at the bottom other than Haas. Duff set of engines?

    1. Yeah, Lando the top Merc engine in 8th!

  4. Seems like Ferrari will do well in qualifying, possibly a second row lockout if all things go well… But will go backwards in the race if they shred their tyres as much as Leclerc is suggesting.

    Fingers crossed the Perez pace is genuine and give Max a but if fun during the race… Though hopefully not too much to give Max a de ja vu of the Ricciardo crash a few years ago!

    1. Adding best sectors, their lap times are even. VER best in s1 & s2. Perez is 3 tenths faster in s3. Looks like Perez driving with less downforce or got a nicer tow on S3. VER’s lap on fresh softs was interupted due Lec crash. There were yellow flags in his 2nd attempt.

    2. @cgturbo
      Perhaps Ferrari’s low drag rear wing, which they ran during FP2, hurts them during longer runs and causes the drivers to slide more, because of a general lack of grip.
      But Leclerc’s medium run was very odd. He started out fastest with a 1:46.6, then 47.9 and lost even more time after that. Even when he pitted and came out again it didn’t get any better, in fact it got far worse. During his final two laps he lost 3(!!!) seconds to the RBs in S1 alone! There must have been something horribly wrong with either his car or the tyre, because you don’t loose that much time after just a couple of laps and on a harder compound as well.

  5. RB look seriously quick on their long runs, comfortably fastest with almost no degredation on the softs. I don’t see any other car getting close to them in the race.
    Mercedes are a lot faster than they want us to think they are, but I doubt they can match RB.
    Ferrari look seriously quick over a single lap and at the start of the long run stint, but had massive tyre problems (especially Leclerc) afterwards. If they can find a solution for these problems, they will be in the mix as well.

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      4th June 2021, 14:26

      +1

      Ferrari and Mercedes seem to struggle with deg but Ferrari having quite a bit more pace extracted on the friday. Surely Mercedes will find some (but Red Bull might have even more in the tank, Verstappen complained about the front despite going like a rocket).

      What’s more: Red Bull took the safe approach on friday with the non-flex wing and it doesn’t seem to harm them that much. At least not looking at the gap between them and the rest. Imagine the gap if they also got that 0.6 seconds Hamilton claimed the bendy-wing brought.

      1. Steven Van Langendonck
        4th June 2021, 14:37

        BTW did you see the flexing front wing of Mercedes?
        At a certain moment they showed footage of a Mercedes (I think Bottas) just over the front wing.
        You could easily see it flex down on the straight and coming back up during braking. If they file a complaint after the race this footage might turn up, I think.

      2. Regarding high deg: Ferrari yes, Mercedes no
        Mercedes had pretty consistent long runs on the mediums, just a couple of tenths slower than the RBs during their final few laps. They don’t seem to have any problems with degredation.
        Ferrari on the other hand had massive problems with graining during Leclerc’s stint on the mediums. The tyre was done after 1.5 laps, which is very weird. They need to find a solution, because if they don’t, they might even drop out of the points on Sunday.

  6. All Mercedes powered cars got new engines this weekend and are suddenly down on pace. Are we witnessing a Mercedes downfall like the Ferrari engine saga a few years ago? Did the FIA found out something pre-Monaco GP?

    1. Probably afraid for a renewed oil burning saga or just cautious with the new engine.
      Fp3 will tell.

    2. Johnny H.,
      I don’t know about this weekend in particular but normally F1 team would play with hardware allocation fitting old components in Friday practise and the new ones in Saturday. We know that all Ferrari and Mercedes powered cars will use new engines this weekend but that doesn’t requires them to fit them starting from Friday practise sessions.

  7. If this really will be the order on Sunday it’s important for Lewis to keep it cool and not make to many mistakes.
    Only then he will be able to keep in contention. But the pressure is rising each race.
    Interesting times in F1.

    1. Don’t think hamilton’s issue are mistakes, however it’s interesting to see him in traffic in the small chance it happens, cause it’s ofc easier from the front to have very few mistakes, harder when you’re in the pack.

      1. The reason he lost the advantage in the championship is his multitude of errors. Only by luck (imola) he still is in contention.
        His car damage during q3 in Monaco was again his. Own mistake.
        He makes lots of mistakes under pressure it seems.

    2. Davethechicken
      4th June 2021, 19:43

      I think Hamiltons issue is the red bull is much faster, at every track so far..

  8. Any news on the ranking while they were doing the long runs?

    1. RB fastest with mid to high 1:46s on softs, Mercedes behind them with low 1:47s on mediums.
      Ferrari have an equally fast car on raw pace, but seem to have too much degredation over a longer race stint.
      Behind them it’s hard to tell, because they seem pretty equally matched. But I’d say McLaren (if Ferrari have tyre problems than McLaren are even in front of them on race pace), behind them a close fight between Alpha Tauri, Aston Martin, Alpine and possibly Alfa Romeo.

  9. Both practices were quite intriguing, let’s see what happens.

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