Daniel Ricciardo and Renault have so far yet to convince they will carry on from their China result.​
Daniel Ricciardo and Renault have so far yet to convince they will carry on from their China result.​

Ricciardo struggling with Renault changes

Daniel Ricciardo just missed out on a top 10 place in the final practice session before qualifying on Saturday night (AEST) despite Renault undergoing some late changes to their car.

It appears Renault are yet to get the balance of their car correct having added extra downforce to their cars to help on the corners but lost straight-line speed as a result.

They changed this midway through the session but late times saw Ricciardo miss out on the top 10, finishing 11th, while Nico Hulkenberg was all the way down in P16.

Renault's results will worry the team given their midfield rivals, such as Toro Rosso who had both cars inside the top 10, and Haas who were looking good with Kevin Magnussen.

Elsewhere, Ferrari hold a significant advantage over their rivals heading into qualifying after Charles Leclerc set a soaring pace in final practice.

Leclerc, who also dominated Friday's running, posted the fastest lap of the weekend so far - a 1:41.604 - to lead another Scuderia one-two, finishing two-tenths of a second ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Neither Mercedes driver hooked up a complete lap during their qualifying simulations on soft tyres, and Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton could only manage fourth and fifth, an eye-catching one and a half seconds behind Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc was the quickest in FP3 ahead of qualifying.
Charles Leclerc was the quickest in FP3 ahead of qualifying.

"I can't get the feeling Mercedes are that far away," said Sky F1 commentator Paul Di Resta. "But Ferrari, and especially Leclerc, are in control at the moment."

Instead it was Red Bull who emerged as the Italian team's closest competition, with Max Verstappen third and looking a real threat to Mercedes as he benefited from a tow from Pierre Gasly - who will start the race in the pit-lane - on the long Baku straight.

Verstappen was, however, still 1.2s behind Leclerc, who was flying around the Baku streets - where he won in F2 and secured his first F1 points last season.

- With Sky Sports.

 

 

 

Qualifying times from the GP Azerbaijan:

 

QUALIFYING SESSION 2

 

1. Max Verstappen (NED/RBR) 1min 41.388sec

2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/MER) +0.112

3. Lewis Hamilton (ENG/MER)0.192

4. Sergio Perez (MEX/RAC) 0.482

5. Sebastian Vettel (GER/FER) 0.501

6. Charles Leclerc (MON/FER) 0.607

7. Kimi Raikkonen(FIN/ALF) 0.694

8. Lando Norris (GBR/MCL) 0.696

9. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/STR) 0.833

10. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/ALF) 0.993

11.Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/MCL) 1.010

12. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/REN) 1.089

13. Alexander Albon (THA/STR) 1.106

14. Kevin Magnussen(DEN/HAA) 1.311

15. Pierre Gasly (FRA/RBR)

 

 

Second practice:

 

1 Charles Leclerc (MON/FER) 1min 42.872sec

2. Sebastian Vettel (GER/FER) +0.324

3. Lewis Hamilton (ENG/MER)0.669

4. Max Verstappen (NED/RBR) 0.921

5. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/MER) 1.131

6. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/STR) 1.305

7. Carlos SainzJr (ESP/MCL) 1.311

8. Alexander Albon (THA/STR) 1.344

9. Pierre Gasly (FRA/RBR) 1.368

10. Lando Norris (GBR/MCL) 1.423

11.Kevin Magnussen (DEN/HAA) 2.029

12. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/ALF) 2.494

13. Sergio Perez (MEX/RAC) 2.564

14. Kimi Raikkonen(FIN/ALF) 2.610

15. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/REN) 2.611

16. Romain Grosjean (FRA/HAA) 2.746

17. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/REN) 3.845

18. Lance Stroll (CAN/RAC) 5.003

19. Robert Kubica (POL/WIL) 5.239

20. George Russell (GBR/WIL) No time

 

First practice abandoned