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Summary

  1. Verstappen fastest in second practice, before crashing
  2. Palmer crashes, several cars sliding into escape road, Alonso suffers engine failure
  3. Verstappen fastest in first practice, Perez crashes, Vettel spins

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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Work to do

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Time for Lewis Hamilton to don his thinking cap.

Can the Briton turn things around after a messy day of practice? Or is the weekend destined to belong to Red Bull?

Things will become clearer in final practice tomorrow, followed by qualifying. Join us from 10:30 BST. See you then.

Red Bull fastest, Hamilton struggles

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Almost time for us to pack things up for the day. Here's a summary of how Friday practice went:

  • Red Bull looking strong after topping both practice sessions.
  • Work to do for Lewis Hamilton, who was 10th quickest in a scrappy second practice
  • Several drivers end up down the escape road as they struggle with the corners
  • Fernando Alonso's session ended by engine trouble while Jolyon Palmer and Sergio Perez crash

For more analysis, have a read of Andrew Benson's report.

Who will master qualifying?

It's been quite a scrappy affair during today's practice sessions, but will qualifying be the same?

Chose who you think will be on the front row in Baku here, then head back over on Sunday to make you race predictions.

Qualifying predictions
Getty Images/BBC Sport

FP2 - the rest

11) Massa 12) Alonso 13) Sainz 14) Magnussen 15) Hulkenberg 16) Palmer 17) Vandoorne 18) Wehrlein 19) Ericsson 20) Grosjean.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

Lewis Hamilton has a tremendous amount of thinking to do because it was a scruffy session.

I am impressed with Lance Stroll, up there in sixth.

FP2 top 10

1) Verstappen 2) Bottas 3) Ricciardo 4) Raikkonen 5) Vettel 6) Stroll 7) Perez 8) Kvyat 9) Ocon 10) Hamilton

Chequered flag

That's the end of the session. Max Verstappen ends it fastest but also in the wall.

Verstappen crash

"I hit the wall."

Not the first time we've heard that over a team radio today.

Crash!

There's a Red Bull in the barrier at Turn 1. Max Verstappen slid into the barrier side on. He's fine but the car has taken a hefty bit of damage.

Check out just how close Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton came to a collision...

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Sebastian Vettel is back out on a used set of softs.

Max Verstappen is also out on the yellow-walled compound for the final few minutes.

Looks like Valtteri Bottas' running is done for today. He pits with a fair old flat spot on his front left tyre. Lewis Hamilton is also back at base.

Looks like Mercedes' low-key Friday is done and dusted.

"Box for fresher tyres," Sebastian Vettel is told with seven minutes to go.

Bit of racing between Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen down into Turn 1. Raikkonen tries to get down the inside of Hamilton but the latter locks up and the two almost collide.

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Alex Withington: I feel so sorry for the hard working @McLarenF1 employees. They've built a top 3 car but let down by the Honda shambles

Steve D Whittle: I think Fernando should borrow Mario Balotelli's infamous 'why always me' t-shirt.

Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will start at the back of the grid this weekend after engine penalties.

Just the 85 grid positions lost through such penalties so far this season...

Graphic showing the number of grid positions lost through engine-related penalties
BBC Sport

We're into long run territory now and Max Verstappen leads the way with an average lap time of 1:46.9, Valtteri Bottas is averaging 1:47.1 while Lewis Hamilton is doing 1:47.9.

Sebastian Vettel is back in his favourite Baku spot - the escape road.

The only team that things appear to have gone smoothly so far today is Red Bull. Not only are Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo first and third quickest, but they haven't had the same trouble taking corners as their rivals.

Could this be their weekend?

Silence in the McLaren garage as team personnel stand around, hands on their hips. No-one looks shocked or surprised as Fernando Alonso embarks on a now familiar routine - climbing out of his car mid-session.

Get involved #bbcf1

Kayleigh: The only certainties in life are death, taxes and McLaren Honda engine issues.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

I am quite surprised the trouble McLaren are in. I was looking at their performance relative to their first season the other day. In terms of reliability and performance it doesn't look like they have been able to march forward. They have made a gain but everyone else has made a bigger gain.

Oh no. Fernando Alonso is on the radio... and it's not good news.

"Engine, engine," he says as he pulls over to the side of the track.

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Amit Mandalia: I’ve counted 25 race control messages stating drivers going off track in this session.

Tom Clarkson

BBC Radio 5 live commentator

Lewis Hamilton is currently 1.1 seconds shy of the leading time. That is a lot.

Go! Go! Go!

On goes the green light at the end of the pitlane and away we go again.

Daniel Ricciardo creeps down to the pit exit. Looks like the track will be clear soon with 36 minutes left on the clock.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

I don't think this has been a clean session for anyone. Everyone has been down the escape road at some point. Lewis Hamilton is currently 10th, it's too early to say about his performance but I just remember Russia where it didn't hook up for him.

"Hit the wall. Sorry," says Jolyon Palmer.

That's the last thing he needs right now.

Red flag

Red flag and it's for Jolyon Palmer's Renault. He's hit the barrier at Turn 8 - the same barrier Sergio Perez struck in first practice.

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas finally nails a decent time on the super-softs as a 1:43.462 moves him up to second.

Sebastian Vettel AGAIN heads down the escape road at Turn 8 before Felipe Massa duly follows him down there as well. It's like a little car park down there.

It's a brief stint at the top of the timesheet for Ferrari as Red Bull go top once again - Max Verstappen doing a 1:43.362 to two tenths clear. Ferrari have no answer for Red Bull in the first two sectors.

Sebastian Vettel hooks it up and nudges ahead of Kimi Raikkonen into P1, a tenth of a second quicker than his Ferrari team-mate.

Kimi Raikkonen is one of the few drivers not to visit the escape road and he promptly goes quickest of all on the super-softs with 1:43.723. That's only a tenth of a second quicker than Sebastian Vettel on the softs. More to come from those tyres.

Plenty of drivers have once again found themselves popping down the escape road, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel the latest to have to reverse out of there after overshooting a corner.