Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2016

Hamilton quickest as Ricciardo is first to crash in Baku

2016 European Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton led the field in the first Formula One practice session at the new Baku City Circuit.

Lap times improved quickly throughout much of the session on the recently-laid surface. Hamilton set his best time on a set of super-soft tyres, then spoiled a succession of laps with minor errors at turn one and turn three.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2016
In pictures: Baku practice
Nico Rosberg ended up three-tenths of a second off his team mate while Valtteri Bottas showed well for William on the soft tyre compound, finishing up six-tenths of a second down on Hamilton.

Turn 15 proved a particular trouble spot for the drivers and with 20 minutes to go it was the scene of the most major incident of the session when Daniel Ricciardo became the first driver to hit the barrier. The Red Bull got off-line in the middle of turn 15 and wiped its right-rear suspension off on the wall. The red flag was thrown as the now three-wheeled Red Bull came to a stop.

Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Nasr had already had near-misses at the same corner, the Sauber driver locking his brakes and cutting across the inside kerbs to avoid hitting the same barrier. After the session resumed Carlos Sainz Jnr also ran wide there and made the slightest of contact with the barrier, damaging his front wing.

It was a tough session for Red Bull as Max Verstappen only managed seven laps before smoke began to appear from the rear of his car, sending him into the pits.

Fernando Alonso was an encouraging fourth for McLaren on soft tyres while Sebastian Vettel took fifth with his final lap, also on softs.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’46.43523
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’46.8120.37732
377Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’47.0960.66134
414Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’47.9891.55421
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’48.6272.19226
611Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’48.9222.48717
722Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’49.0192.58421
819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’49.1252.69022
955Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’49.2672.83216
1027Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’49.3012.86627
118Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’49.6113.17620
127Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’49.6353.20016
133Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’49.7783.34317
1421Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’50.1673.73225
159Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’50.4734.03818
1633Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’50.4854.0507
1726Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’50.5514.11619
1830Jolyon PalmerRenault1’50.9104.47525
1920Kevin MagnussenRenault1’50.9394.50427
2094Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’51.2194.78424
2112Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’51.7715.33611
2288Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’51.9255.49028

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’46.435

+0.377 Nico Rosberg – 1’46.812

+0.661 Valtteri Bottas – 1’47.096

+1.554 Fernando Alonso – 1’47.989

+2.192 Sebastian Vettel – 1’48.627

+2.487 Sergio Perez – 1’48.922

+2.584 Jenson Button – 1’49.019

+2.690 Felipe Massa – 1’49.125

+2.832 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’49.267

+2.866 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’49.301

+3.176 Romain Grosjean – 1’49.611

+3.200 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’49.635

+3.343 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’49.778

+3.732 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’50.167

+4.038 Marcus Ericsson – 1’50.473

+4.050 Max Verstappen – 1’50.485

+4.116 Daniil Kvyat – 1’50.551

+4.475 Jolyon Palmer – 1’50.910

+4.504 Kevin Magnussen – 1’50.939

+4.784 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’51.219

+5.336 Felipe Nasr – 1’51.771

+5.490 Rio Haryanto – 1’51.925

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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43 comments on “Hamilton quickest as Ricciardo is first to crash in Baku”

  1. I have to say that I quite like this track so far.

    Seems very bumpy in places & very fast for a street circuit. Turn 13 is a bit tighter than it looked on the track maps so its not easy flat & the 18/19 section at the end of the lap is flat but still a pretty fun section & there’s a bump on the entry to 18 that caused some to go a little wide & have to lift slightly.

    It also looks like its fairly challenging for the drivers which is nice.

  2. what about top speeds?

    1. Most were hitting 340-350kph on the run down to turn 1.

  3. This weekend is going to be lot interesting. How much track improves is the question for all the teams as they dont have any particular data Also in next session i want to see how much visibility effects here. With all the trees it might be some what difficult

  4. whatever else is wrong with this race/track, it does look pretty spectacular. it could become an iconic race just from the visual aspect. if there was no DRS i think it would be an exciting track too (but i guess we’ll just see lots of motorway passes early in the race and then big gaps opening up a la russia).

    1. Ala every track in f1

  5. ColdFly F1 (@)
    17th June 2016, 11:52

    Interesting to see the McLarens and Sainz up there.

    Not sure if they can keep those positions when all go for quali practice; there must be another 4sec which Mercedes can find.

  6. Guys, can please someone explain to me why on earth is the speed trap halfway trough the long straight and not just before braking for turn one???
    A lot of people saying F1 isn’t that fast anymore (It’s not the case)! Well show them a top speed of 370 km/h on the bloody screen!!! Not 310 km/h on this ridiculously long straight!

    1. I know it’s not a low downforce track but still… 310 km/h???

    2. @fanatikosf1 I think it’s because of the 2 fast corners leading onto the straight, Maybe they were expecting them to be a bit more of a challenge so wanted to see the exit speeds.

      Its the same at Spa where the speed trap is at the top of Eau Rouge rather than towards the end of the straight before Les Combes.

    3. Because the speed trap is not meant to measure top speed, it is meant to measure a benchmark speed well after a corner exit… top speed can be seen in telemetry but is governed mostly by gear ratio so not as important/educational. Downforce is a factor in the speedtrap but not top speed(here atleast)

  7. The Blade Runner (@)
    17th June 2016, 12:06

    This is that point of the weekend where I see the McLaren FP1 times and a little part of me thinks (hopes, dreams even) that they have found “something” and can now claw their way back to Mercedes.

    It’s the hope that kills you!

    1. Miguel Bento
      17th June 2016, 12:12

      How I understand you… You’re not alone!

      1. Or, it’s the hope that keeps you/them alive, for without at least hope, what have they got?

    2. same feeling over here !

    3. I bloody well hope this isn’t the highlight of my weekend.

    4. we are legion

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        17th June 2016, 14:50

        Thanks guys. I have the rocket-red coloured Prozac on-hand just in case!

        1. Guys, we are not alone. I promised myself to wear my rocket red t-shirt on mondays following a McLaren victory…
          I want to show off my colours and be proud again. Until then, I’ll support them !

    5. McLaren look good initially, but will probably struggle in the race like Montreal, having to save fuel or tyres or both………….

    6. Before I clicked into this article, a little voice in my head said I’d see Alonso in fifth. Not because Mc has found anything, but because he’d figure the track out faster than most. That voice wasn’t far off!

  8. Ricciardo is feeling the pressure, ever so slightly.

  9. Anyone has seen the F1 2016 Codemaster hot lap from RIC ? During his commentary he says about T15: “You can win a lot of time if you take this corner right.” Maybe should have mentioned: “You can write off the back of your car if you take it wrong… ” :-)

    1. He also said “someone will crash, hopefully not me”. Although he was talking about the castle section.

  10. Dont like to say this but Riccardio seems to be pushing the limit as he is very much under pressure to come back from his debacle and upstage Max. He is acting cocky and his likeability quotient is coming down.

    It was never expected that Baku will be a strong track for RBR and RIC has probably wrecked his chances for the weekend.

    Ferrari have to battle Williams this time round with Force India in the hunt so seems set for interesting race. McLaren seems a joker in the pack – lets see what they can do in the race.

    1. I don’t know…look at the headline…’Ricciardo is first’…

      1. Ric is the first of many clashes with the walls this weekend. It would be fun to have a bet on how many (or few) will finish. it will catch the best drivers out.

        We hear regulation of not leaving the track but they are all cutting across the tight chicane.

    2. digitalrurouni
      17th June 2016, 13:10

      Do agree with the cocky part especially on Twitter. But it could be him psyching himself up. That said did I read Hamilton didn’t even do a recce? He just went from simulator to car and that’s it!!!

      1. He said he hasn’t done many laps in the simulator either. According to Hamilton, Merc’s simulator isn’t the best (I’m assuming he’s comparing it to McLaren, who were widely reputed to have the best sim) so he rarely ever drives it as he doesn’t find it representative.

        1. He said he did something like 8 laps on he sim, and he doesn’t do recce since 2010. So… nice skills there with an “unknown track”.

    3. Daniel Ricciardo seems flustered. He knows, he is safe for the moment, but will he continue to be the lead driver in RBR next season, given the strong performance from his teenager teammate (so far)? The irony in it is that this is obviously not new in RBR…the story of the Aussie and the Prodigy.

    4. I would’ve thought the fact it wont be a strong track for RB did more to kill their chances……not Dan’s crash…..cars are rebuildable.

  11. juampa_valve_rde
    17th June 2016, 13:38

    Mother of GOD! Nano and Jenson are top ten on a power track!?

    1. Hold your horses…its just practice.

    2. To me, it says a lot more about Fernando and Jenson’s experience at quickly adapting to a new track than it does about any improvement from McHonda. I hope that I’m wrong!

      1. I agree, and Alonso had not even done any simulator work!

  12. 90% of tyres were ‘damaged’ during fp1.

    1. @gt-racer I love everyone of your posts.

      Do your friends in other teams believe if Michelin or Bridgestone was the supplier that there would have been so many damaged tyres?

      1. @s2g-unit, possibly yes – before this race began, some of the teams were discussing the track configuration and mentioned that some sections could create similar loading conditions to the ones which caused the sidewalls of Michelin’s tyres to rupture during the 2005 Indianapolis GP.

        1. Impossible. Not enough grip in the new pavement. Not enough speed in the turns to create the downforce needed to load the tires that hard. No long sustained high speed turns to create excessive heat inside the tire sidewalls.

          1. I wouldn’t say it is impossible given the failures in Indianapolis are now not thought to have been related to thermal build up within the tyre sidewall or caused directly by high lateral loading in that corner. Rather, the indication is that it was due to the interaction of the tyre with secondary spikes in loading caused by ridges present through that corner.

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