Max Verstappen is seeking a first ever Azerbaijan Grand Prix race win this weekend – and will hope to put himself on pole position in Baku this afternoon. The Red Bull driver, the Drivers’ Championship leader by nine points, chases a fifth win from eight races so far in 2022 but will face competition from his team-mate Sergio Perez as well as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
But Verstappen’s rival last season Lewis Hamilton is well off the pace in the Mercedes and will not be in contention for a win this weekend. The Silver Arrows are struggling with porpoising yet again.
Leclerc was 0.2seconds faster than the Red Bulls in FP2 on Friday after Perez had gone quickest in the first practice session earlier in the day. The Mexican also went fastest in P3 and has some history at this race. He won in Azerbaijan last year and was on the podium here in 2018 with Force India.
Verstappen has never won in Baku and suffered a major tyre blow-out last year while leading the race. He is looking to right those wrongs but Leclerc and Ferrari are also looking for their first victories in the country, which has only entertained racing since 2017 with Daniel Ricciardo, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas the only other victors.
Qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix gets underway at 3pm UK time. Express Sport brings you live updates below.