• REPORT: Back to Work in Baku

Valtteri and Lewis racked up the laps during a productive first day of on-track action at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

What Happened?

-  Baku was bathed in warm sunshine for the opening 90-minute practice session of the weekend - the first opportunity for drivers to get into the rhythm around the twisty street track.

-  Valtteri got his weekend off to a positive start by setting the pace in FP1 with a 1:44.242 on the UltraSoft tyre, completing 26 laps in total.

-  Lewis was demoted to fourth place late in the session, with a 1:45.200 on UltraSofts being the best of his 24 laps.

-  Temperatures dropped slightly for FP2, with sunshine and blue skies being replaced by overcast conditions.

-  Valtteri led our charge in the second session, finishing P4 on the leaderboard with a 1:43.570 on UltraSofts. He managed 25 laps.

-  Lewis was just 0.033 seconds behind his team-mate in P5, putting in a 1:43.603 (also on UltraSofts). The Brit completed 31 laps in total.

-  Drivers completed qualifying simulations early on, before switching focus to longer runs in the second half of FP2.

What Did We Learn?

The opening day of track action at the Baku City Circuit is always challenging, with low grip levels and a tricky street layout to master.

While we got through all of our planned running and clocked up a healthy number of laps, Red Bull and Ferrari look strong in Azerbaijan. It's going to be another close weekend!

"It was a day of learning at this very unusual track," explained Technical Director James Allison, after the conclusion of Friday's running.

"But even though we've made progress, we've got a lot more to do tonight in order to be able to take the fight to a very fast Red Bull.

"We have plenty of directions to head in; I'm looking forward to the remainder of the weekend, which we're sure is going to be a competitive one."

What Did the Drivers Think?

Valtteri: "FP1 was better than FP2 because I think we were missing a bit of pace in the second session compared to Ferrari and Red Bull.

"It was quite difficult to get a lap together, even my best lap today was a bit a messy. It's not an easy car to drive at the moment, we have some work to do with the balance.

"But if we get everything right, the car is quick. We have plenty of things to look at tonight so that we make the right changes for tomorrow and Sunday.

"The fact that we're here in Baku earlier than in previous years definitely affects the tyres, but the biggest concern is the wind.

"It's supposed to be very windy tomorrow and on Sunday which makes a lot of a difference on a street circuit."

Lewis: "It's been a smooth day. We got through everything we needed without many mistakes and we gathered lots of information.

"It started out quite warm but cooled down in the afternoon, which made it interesting to try and understand the tyres in both conditions.

"Overall, we weren't quick enough today, both Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be ahead of us at the moment.

"So, we've got some work to do. I'm going to be knocking on the doors of all the engineers overnight, so that we can hopefully make the right changes."