Azerbaijan GP: Sebastian Vettel top in final practice

Azerbaijan GP: Sebastian Vettel top in final practice

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Listen to qualifying on 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website at 14:00 BSTFerrari’s Sebastian Vettel set an imposing pace as he headed Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in final practice at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The German was 0.361 seconds clear of Hamilton, who trails him by nine points in the championship after three races.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman leapt to fourth in a last dash after a crash by Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin had brought out the red flag and left time for one flying lap.
The Russian novice piled into the wall on the exit of Turn Three after misjudging his entry speed and understeering wide with less than 10 minutes to go in the session.
The mistake left all the drivers struggling to complete their preparation for qualifying and Red Bull were particularly affected after leaving their runs late.
Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ended the session down in 12th place after not improving on the hectic final lap.
Ferrari and Mercedes, by contrast, did their running earlier and Vettel looks in good shape for a third pole position in a row after dominating the session.

Kimi, his wife Minttu and his forearm baby tattoo arrive in BakuThe four-time world champion was struggling to find his rhythm with the car on Friday but some changes overnight transformed his pace.
At one stage early in the session Vettel was 0.7secs clear of the field but Hamilton edged closer as the hour progressed.
The Briton was behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas for much of the session and was on the radio asking his engineers for advice on how to improve his pace.
He was told he was losing out by using third gear rather than fourth in Turn 16, the last corner on to the straight, and after changing his approach he snuck ahead of the Finn, who ended up fifth, by 0.117secs.
Despite Sirotkin’s crash, Williams looked in better shape than at any time on what has been a disappointing start to the season.
Sirotkin finished the session classified 10th, ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, while team-mate Lance Stroll was eighth, only 1.032secs off the pace.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was sixth ahead of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, with the second Force India of Esteban Ocon sandwiched between the two Williams cars.

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