Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice: Ferraris fastest on stop-start day in Baku

When the drivers were finally allowed to let loose, Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel impressed in Azerbaijan GP practice.

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari posted a fastest lap of one minute and 42.872 seconds during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice session.   -  Getty Images

Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel ran fastest ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on an eventful Friday in Baku.

The Scuderia came out on top in FP2, having seen the first practice session of the week cut short after little more than 10 minutes after George Russell of Williams drove over a loose manhole.

READ | Azerbaijan GP: First practice cancelled due to manhole cover failure

That incident caused irreparable damage to Williams' car and kept him out of the rest of the day's racing.

But Leclerc, who appeared to have inadvertently earlier loosened the manhole, turned in another impressive display when the action got back under way. The Monegasque driver posted a fastest lap of one minute and 42.872 seconds, with Vettel 0.324 seconds back. Lewis Hamilton was third fastest.

On a stop-start day, the red flag was soon back out in the second session, as Lance Stroll's drive was ended by a collision with the barriers.

Both Valtteri Bottas, who wobbled at Turn 2, and Hamilton, whose wheels locked up, had endured early trouble by that point, but the Mercedes men were quickly back in the mix.

READ | F1: Lewis Hamilton wary of rivals’ street smarts in Baku

Daniil Kvyat was the latest driver to face a problem when his suspension gave way, while Hamilton ended the session apparently frustrated at a minor collision with Kevin Magnussen.

Yet the Ferraris kept their pace to set the tone nicely ahead of an intriguing weekend.