For once, GP2 Series cars were the first ones to head off on the urban track of Baku, Azerbaijan. Between Monaco and Macau, this track also benefits from an impressive straight line of a bit less than two kilometers long. Norman Nato was the fastest in practice ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Sergey Sirotkin.
DAMS were the first ones to head out for those forty minutes of session. As expected, the first yellow flag came out early as Sergio Canamasas stopped his car the wrong way down on one of the seldom run-off areas. Virtual safety car was deployed to allow the marshals to help the Spanish driver to go back on track. At that moment, Sergey Sirotkin was the only won who set a significant laptime with a 2:06.938 before Canamasas dip under the 2 minutes laptime for the first time in the session.
Many drivers were on the limit, testing the run off areas in the fastest part of the circuit. With thirty minutes on the clock, Rafaelle Marciello was the fastest with a 1:57.464 just before the safety car was deployed again to move a fire truck off the way in a run-off area. After this interruption, 2015 Pau Grand Prix winner, Antonio Giovinazzi was the fastest overall ahead of Oliver Rowland. Another winner at Pau, Marciello, had a bit more troubles on track while he stayed stuck in the run off area of turn 16. While he was struggling in the beginning of the session, Pierre Gasly managed to get everything right to sneak behind his teammate in Prema.
With six minutes to go, Nobuharu Matsushita couldn’t brake enough at turn 3 and Gustav Malja found himself stuck in the run off area of turn 15 as well, deploying another safety car until the chequered flag.
Norman Nato was the first overall with a 1:55.394, 3 tenths ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and 6 tenths ahead of Sergey Sirotkin. Pierre Gasly, Oliver Rowland, Lucas Ghiotto, Jordan King, Arthur Pic, Rafaelle Marciello and Sergio Canamasas complete the top 10.