Verstappen Leads the Pack in Turbulent Practice Session – Gasly’s Alpine caught fire
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen showcased his dominance, narrowly outpacing Charles Leclerc. As Formula 1 roared back to life after its spring hiatus, teams and drivers faced unexpected challenges and thrilling moments in Baku, setting the stage for an exhilarating weekend of racing.
Throughout a disrupted single practice session in Azerbaijan, World Champion Max Verstappen took the lead over Charles Leclerc, while Alpine faced a significant setback.
Following the spring break due to the cancellation and non-replacement of the Chinese round, Formula 1 resumed with only one practice session in Baku, preceding the qualifying round and the new Saturday Sprint Shootout.
In 2022, Verstappen emerged victorious in Azerbaijan and during the final moments of this session, he clocked a time of 1:42.315s on Soft tires, outpacing Ferrari’s Leclerc by a mere 0.037s.
Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz, teammates of Verstappen and Leclerc respectively, secured third and fourth positions.
Lando Norris of McLaren placed an optimistic fifth in the enhanced MCL60, while AlphaTauri’s rookie, Nyck de Vries, made an impressive sixth-place finish.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll took seventh place, with Fernando Alonso following in eighth.
Alonso faced a DRS problem during the session and switched to Medium tires for his final push, while most competitors opted for Softs.
Alpine had a difficult session with limited running on their upgraded A523. Gasly experienced hydraulic pressure loss in the first sector and tried to bring the smoking A523 back to the pit lane. However, he halted at Turn 11 as the fire intensified, and marshals eventually attended to the smoking car. The practice was red-flagged, with the recovery process taking up nearly a quarter of the session’s total time.
The difficulties for Alpine persisted, with Esteban Ocon sitting out the remainder of the session as an investigation into a problem at his car’s rear end took place.
At the same time as Gasly’s failure, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen encountered a fuel pressure loss problem, leaving him with limited running time as well.
Mercedes experienced a subdued session, with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell reporting brake issues during the initial phase of the run. They avoided using Soft tires and ultimately finished in 11th and 17th positions, respectively.
Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant faced challenges during the session as well. Tsunoda grazed the exit wall at Turn 3, causing him to spin and damaging his right-rear wheel; however, he managed to return to the pit lane at a slow pace for repairs. Sargeant encountered a front wing problem while braking for Turn 1 but was also able to bring his car back to the pit lane for examination.
Outcomes from the Friday practice session at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the fourth round of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship.
Position Driver Nationality Team Time 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m42.315s 2 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1m42.352s 3 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Bull Racing 1m42.454s 4 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1m42.899s 5 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m43.125s 6 Nyck de Vries NED Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m43.414s 7 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team 1m43.455s 8 Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team 1m43.560s 9 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing 1m43.628s 10 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1m43.748s 11 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m43.798s 12 Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m43.980s 13 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1m44.010s 14 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m44.137s 15 Nico Hulkenberg GER MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m44.323s 16 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Racing 1m44.900s 17 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m45.082s 18 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m45.955s 19 Pierre Gasly FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m46.321s 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m47.498s
Azerbaijan F1 2023 Fp Azerbaijan F1 2023 Fp Azerbaijan F1 2023 Fp
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