Ambient and track temperatures were obviously lower in the late afternoon FP2 session than they were in FP1 on the Baku street circuit today. Allied to a smooth and slippery asphalt surface, this provided the biggest challenge during free practice. As drivers looked for the limits, there were a few brushes with the wall, as well as visits to the escape road.
As always, grip is expected to improve as more rubber is laid down on the track over the rest of the weekend. The current gap between the soft and supersoft compounds of about a second is likely to come down as well tomorrow.
Mario Isola: "As expected on any temporary circuit, it was a particularly slippery start in Baku with a very green track and smooth surface. The layout of this track is a test of traction in particular, with the rear tyres doing all of the work. On top of that, there are only short corners in Baku, which means that the fronts are less stressed, and they also cool down a bit on the long straights between those corners. Consequently, finding the right set-up to ensure the correct balance between front and rear tyre temperature is essential to a strong performance here - as we saw in Russia, Monaco and Canada as well - and this is what a lot of the work concentrated on today. When analysing today's data, we have to bear in mind as well that the track will evolve further as the weekend goes on."
Check out our Friday gallery from Baku, here.