Trial and error for Vettel on Friday in Baku
Sebastian Vettel certainly had his fair share of on-track incidents in Friday’s free practice sessions ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
At times, Vettel’s day resembled those of his motor racing idol Michael Schumacher. The seven-time champion often used Friday to find the limit – by intentionally going over it.
That pretty much summed up Vettel’s day in Baku. It saw him running-off, performing spin turns and rediscovering the delights of reverse gear on a Formula 1 car.
“I believe I was not the only one to go down the escape roads,” Vettel commented wryly.
“We tried something in the afternoon. But I think it is difficult to find the rhythm here as the track is not easy,” he pointed out. “However, tomorrow is another day. I think we are close.”
Vettel was third fastest in the morning, half a second behind the two Red Bulls. He slipped to fifth place in FP2 but halved the deficit to Max Verstappen’s best time of the session.
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“Red Bull is very fast and today it was not just for one lap but throughout both sessions,” Vettel acknowledged. “However, I was pretty happy with our overall job.
“The straight here is very long, so you have to make sure you are quick enough there. Maybe we may still want to try a couple of things even tomorrow.”
Vettel’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen improved from a somewhat disappointing ninth place in FP1 to finish the day in fourth, just ahead of Vettel.
“The most challenging part of the day was to make the tyres work, to get them hot enough,” Raikkonen explained.
“Obviously when they are not performing 100 per cent it’s a bit tricky out there,” he added.
“The car feels okay, but we still have to work on that. If you manage to do that, then everything is a lot easier.”
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