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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc edged team mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.324s to lead the opening day of free practice in Baku.

The Scuderia pair were never really challenged during Friday’s single session, running comfortably in front of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ended the day P4, splitting the Silver Arrows pair.

After this morning’s drama, Baku’s crews diligently checked and sealed the over 300 drain covers spread across the track, allowing the F2 qualifying session to unfold without any issues.

That gave teams the thumbs up for FP2 – their first complete practice session of the day.

Before the action got underway, Pirelli’s representatives noted that the late afternoon session was actually the more representative one compared to FP1 as it was set to take place at the same time as qualifying and the race.

Many were those – like Mercedes – who skipped their installation laps to get straight down to business.

While Hamilton set the first benchmark time, it was quickly bettered by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who put a 1m44.748 on the board.

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