Red Bull drivers were fastest in both of today's hour-long free practice sessions, with Max Verstappen topping FP1 and Sergio Perez even faster in FP2: both times on the softest tyre in Pirelli's Formula 1 range. This weekend, the P Zero Red soft (C5) tyres debuts in F1 Baku for the first time.
Perez's best FP2 performance (1m42.115s) was more than half a second faster than the best FP2 time from the previous year's race. The tyre nomination was a little more difficult at that time.
The weather was unusually warm all day, with ambient temperatures of over 30 degrees and track temperatures peaked at 50 degrees in the afternoon, despite the fact that the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was conducted more than a month later than in 2019. (16 degrees more than FP2 in 2019).
The teams focused mostly on the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft, with P Zero White hard running limited.
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According to simulation data, the difference in performance between the hard and medium tyres is roughly 0.6 seconds per lap, while the difference between the medium and soft tyres is roughly 0.8 seconds per lap.
Mario Isola, F1 tyre chief stated that "As expected, we started the day with a slick surface and a fast-paced track evolution. It was a scorching day For F1 in Baku with asphalt temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius, but it doesn't tell the entire story about the condition of the tyres because there's so much sunshine and shade on this city circuit that the track temperature can vary greatly in actuality, resulting in varying grip levels.
He added, "The primary tasks today included a hard free practise that was also influenced by both yellow and red flags, as well as balancing the grip between the front and back axles and determining which compound – soft or medium – would be the best choice to start the race with. This isn't an easy track to master, and the surface is still changing, so the teams will have much to think about before qualifying, with only a little graining on the softer compounds so far because to the high temperatures."
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