The first day of 2017 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was full of surprises, crashes and emotions. The main emotion for Max Verstappen is still unclear though: the Dutch driver was the quickest man at Baku City Circuit but the speed couldn’t bring him luck. At the end of the day Verstappen crashed his car heavily at the first corner of the racetrack.
Red Bull Racing set the pace from the very beginning. Max Verstappen and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo beat all their opponents on the first free practice session in the morning. The championship leader Sebastian Vettel was half a second behind them on the third place, Lewis Hamilton was fifth.
The highlight of the session was the spectacular crash of Sergio Perez at the eighth corner. The Force India driver has crashed his car right at the entrance to Old City. Before this failure Perez has set the fourth time of free practice.
The second session brought even more trouble. Lots of drivers were making mistakes and touching barriers. At some point Kimi Raikkonen almost collided with Lewis Hamilton but at the last second the Mercedes driver managed to escape from the incident. Jolyon Palmer was the author of the most spectacular crash of the afternoon session – the Brit ended his day in the wall next to Old City.
Verstappen was quickest again – but this time he joined Perez and Palmer in the list of drivers who smashed their cars. Valtteri Bottas set the second time, Daniel Ricciardo was third.
Between two Formula 1 practice session there was a qualification of Formula 2 – junior series with young drivers aiming to reach Formula 1 someday. Ferrari Driving Academy protégé Charles Leclerc has won the pole position ahead of Nobuharu Matsushita and Nicholas Latifi.
The day’s crescendo arrived in the evening with the concert of Tarkan. The famous musician has light up the stage for the Formula 1 fans and sung his best known songs at the spectators’ zone of Baku City Circuit.