Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez set the fastest time in the second practice session of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the sixth round of the 2021 F1 season, with Red Bull Racing ahead of Ferrari, while Mercedes continued to struggle with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas outside the top ten .
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The second test session was held at Baku City Circuit, which lacks grip since it is a street circuit where grip improves over time and as more cars cross the track.
This lack of grip has led to several drivers making mistakes, the most notable of which is Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who missed the last round due to a qualifying crash that kept his car in trouble before the race.
Leclerc, on his fast lap on the soft tyres, in qualifying sims, braked late into Turn 15 and hit the metal barriers.
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But Leclerc was able to continue driving his damaged car back to the pits and have the team fix the car, as Almonegasci continued his simulated racing experiments with a large amount of fuel.
In the lead, the Red Bull team was the best, with Sergio Perez setting the fastest time on the soft tyres, with 1:42.115 d, 0.101 seconds ahead of his teammate Max Verstappen, who He was the fastest in the first test But he struggled with raising the yellow flags on his first fast lap on the soft tyres.
As for Ferrari, which was expecting to fall behind Mercedes and Red Bull, and be satisfied with the McLaren competition, in Baku, Carlos Sainz topped the first part of the test with the use of medium-hard tires, then the Spaniard improved his timing and scored 1:42.243 minutes and that was enough to secure the position The third, 0.128 seconds behind the lead, while Leclerc was satisfied with fourth place.
But for the Mercedes team, its problems and great suffering with regard to the rapid increase in tire temperatures continued, as neither Lewis Hamilton nor Valtteri Bottas were able to ensure that the tires were in the ideal temperature range during the pilot laps, and this led to a decline in the pace of the world champions with the amount of Little fuel.
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Hamilton was satisfied with a time of 1:43.156, slower than Perez, and 11th, while his colleague Valtteri Bottas was only 16th and 2.069 seconds slower than Perez’s fastest time.
However, there were some positive signs for Mercedes in the racing simulation. The start timings for the Mercedes duo were poor, but improved significantly after a few laps, which confirms that Mercedes’ problem is not raising the tire temperatures too quickly.
Pierre Gasly finished fifth for the Alpha Tauri team, while his teammate Yuki Tsunoda came in 10th, and the Alpine duo were also in the top ten, with Fernando Alonso setting the sixth fastest time and his teammate Esteban Ocon in ninth.
Antonio Giovinazzi was the only representative of Alfa Romeo in the top ten, in seventh place, ahead of his McLaren rival Lando Norris, and every Alfa Romeo driver beat a McLaren driver, with Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo 12 and 13, respectively.
The Aston Martin duo was not in the top ten, with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel ranked 14th and 15th, respectively, while George Russell came in 17th for Williams, ahead of Haas duo Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher, while Nicholas Latifi came in last and raised the red flags. Briefly, a quarter of an hour after the start of testing, his Williams car broke down and stopped on the track.