F1 settles down for the new European Grand Prix in 2016 at the heart of the city of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. Lewis Hamilton was the fastest of the session ahead of Nico Robserg and Valtteri Bottas.

In his quick part, the circuit might remind one of Monza and inside the old town, the circuit reminds of Macau in the which many drivers raced in Formula 3. Most drivers only head out for one lap in the early stages of the session.

Nico Rosberg was the first one to set fast times, dipping under the two minutes laptime straight away. Drivers headed out for a first stint, running a lot of fast tyres while Lewis Hamilton went faster than his teammate by about one second.

Esteban Gutierrez was the first one to go out at the turn 15, discovering the very narrow run-off area which makes drivers lose a certain amount of time to be able to go back on track. Kevin Magnussen also provokes a yellow flag, stuck in the run off area of turn 3 after thirty minutes. Valtteri Bottas went P1 with a 1:47.707 before all the drivers stopped to give back the tyres to Pirelli.

Like in the first stint, Mercedes cars are the first ones to go back on track with super-soft tyres this time. Rosberg and Hamilton beat Bottas’ time although the Finn kept the advantage in the speed trap. Hamilton, by braking in the dust near the walls, often went off at turn 3 although he kept the lead of the session with 30 minutes to go ahead of Rosberg and Bottas. Fernando Alonso, with a very low downforced car, managed to get on P4.

Max Verstappen, despite his optimism, could not go back on track after his oil failure in the beginning of the session. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo hit the wall after turn 15 and provoked the first red flag of the week-end with twenty minutes to go. After ten minutes of interruption, the session started again for thirteen minutes. Carlos Sainz went out at the same place than Ricciardo earlier with less consequences and just a damaged front wing.

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in this session with a 1:46.435 laptime, three tenths ahead of Nico Robserg and six tenths ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Alonso, Vettel, Perez, Button, Massa, Sainz and Hulkenberg complete the top 10 with almost a three second gap to Hamilton.