Engine failure for Fernando Alonso, a crash for Jolyon Palmer, brake troubles for Romain Grosjean and a lack of pace for Sauber.
Fernando Alonso: “We tested a few things in FP1 and FP2, running with different levels of downforce, trying to get some useful information for tomorrow. Stoffel worked on tyres, running on high fuel, both of which will help us make some useful decisions about strategy. The track was tricky today – the Prime and Back-Up tyres lose some heat on the long straights, so when you get onto the brakes they suddenly lock up and you go straight on. We saw many cars going off today, mainly because everyone tries to find their limit on Friday. I think we’ll see fewer offs tomorrow, and even fewer on Sunday. I lost the last half hour of the second session, so I suppose tomorrow we’ll need to do some running on high fuel, to catch up with the programme. We’ll have to start at the back of the grid anyway, so we’ll take things smoothly in qualifying.”
Stoffel Vandoorne: "Today, we chose to concentrate on our long-run pace because we knew we’d be taking grid penalties for the race. Still, I quickly got to grips with the track in FP1, and I think there’s a bit more to come tomorrow. The car feels pretty positive around here, which is good because you need confidence on a street circuit. I also think the preparatory work I did in the sim has paid off pretty well – I felt immediately comfortable with where I had to brake, so it seems like the work was really worth it. The tyres are quite tricky again here; it looks like everyone is struggling to warm them up, with lots of people having lock-ups. It’s tricky – especially in the braking zones, because the tyres cool down on the long straights and then you have to brake very hard into the corners. The car’s really on a knife-edge in terms of extracting a good lap-time."
Kevin Magnussen: "It wasn't too bad today. I think we had a decent day. There's a lot to look at. This track is pretty special and unique, so we'll see if we can improve the car for tomorrow. It's a very fun track to drive. There's a lot to take in and you're finding a lot of speed every lap. It's good to be able to do laps without too many problems on the car. I'm happy with the day."
Romain Grosjean: "A frustrating afternoon – the feeling just wasn't there. There's not really much I can say, to be honest. I just had no feeling in the car. That's obviously something that we need to look at a lot more depth as we've effectively lost a session heading into Saturday. Lots of work to do but, hopefully, we can focus and identify the issues and put it right."
Nico Hulkenberg: “A pretty standard Friday for me except for not getting a fast run on the softest tyres during FP2. It was pretty slippery in FP1, but the track had improved for the evening session. We made some decent progress through the day and I would have been quicker if I’d had a shot at a fast lap on the Supersoft tyres. As always, there are improvements we can make for tomorrow, so that’s where our focus lies.”
Jolyon Palmer: “It was pretty slippery out there and we struggled to get grip from the tyres. The car was feeling better in FP2 but I was caught out at turn eight which ended my day early. We had made progress between FP1 and FP2 and there’s more we can make for tomorrow. Thankfully there’s not too much damage to the car, so we’ll look to get it where we want it to be for qualifying.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “It was a rather challenging Friday for us. It was positive that we were able to try out various car setups, and that we could work through our programme for the day. We knew that the track layout would be a challenge to our pace, however did not anticipate the full extent to which it would impact our performance. We are now working towards making improvements for the rest of the weekend.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It has not been a good day for us here in Baku – it was difficult to begin FP1 on medium tyres, so I did not get off to the best start. I found it interesting to try out different mechanical updates throughout the practice sessions. Analysing the data will allow us to decide how to move forward for the rest of the weekend. I am looking forward to FP3 and qualifying tomorrow.”