Verstappen crashes out of final practice in Baku

Mark Scott
Max Verstappen Baku crash

Max Verstappen Baku crash

Max Verstappen suffered a setback ahead of qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after crashing out in final practice in Baku.

All was looking rosy in the Red Bull camp after Friday practice as Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez took turns at the top of the respective FP1 and FP2 timesheets, all while nearest rivals Mercedes were massively off the pace.

But, Saturday’s running did not get off to the best of starts for the World Championship leaders as Verstappen ended his session prematurely, crashing out at Turn 15.

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Viewers on Friday would have seen Charles Leclerc have the same crash into the barrier but, unlike Leclerc, Verstappen was unable to get his car back to the pit lane for a new front wing and a check over.

After being unable to reverse properly out from the barrier and get back underway, Verstappen was forced to switch off and hop out of the car, with a medical car taking him back to the Red Bull garage.

There was still over half of the session remaining with the Dutchman experienced his lock-up and crash, costing him crucial track time ahead of what looks like being another battle for pole position for him.

The session restarted with 25 minutes left on the clock after the recovery vehicle picked up Verstappen’s stricken RB16.

Verstappen wasn’t the only driver to see his session come to an end early. With just over five minutes left, Williams suffered a second mechanical issue relating to their new Mercedes engine after George Russell lost all power heading down the long straight.

A pool of oil began to emerge from the FW43 as Russell parked up at the Turn 1 escape road…

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