Max Verstappen proved his Friday morning performance was no fluke as his Red Bull again topped the time sheets in second practice of Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
However it wasn’t all plain sailing for the young Dutchman as he crashed at Turn 1 with just 30 seconds remaining of a session that had otherwise been faultless.
He was one of many drivers caught out as the track temperatures plummeted from what they had been in the morning, with some spending as much time down escape roads as they did on the track.
Ferrari and Mercedes particularly struggled as Sebastian Vettel could only put his Ferrari fifth on the leaderboard while Lewis Hamilton ended the session 10th, although Valtteri Bottas gave Verstappen a good run for his money in second place.
Having set a fastest lap of 1m44.410s earlier in the day, 19-year-old Verstappen immediately went quicker during the first run on the soft tyres with a time of 1m43.988s.
As was the case in first free practice, team-mate Daniel Ricciardo trailed him at the end of that run, although he had halved the gap to 0.2s, while the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon found themselves third and fourth respectively.
Verstappen then set a blistering 1m43.362s on the super soft tyres while – after plenty of build-up laps – Bottas eventually got his up to temperature to finish 0.1s behind, with Ricciardo a fraction behind the Finn.
Hamilton didn’t fare so well though as he failed to set a clean lap on the faster tyres before Jolyon Palmer crashed at Turn 8, eliciting a red flag with half an hour to go and ending the fast running for the day.
Things were only marginally better for championship rival Vettel as he found himself off the road a number of times, was outpaced by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and ended up 0.257s behind Verstappen in fifth.
Meanwhile, Lance Stroll once again impressed as he finished in sixth, closely followed by Perez, Daniil Kvyat and Ocon, while team-mate Massa was 11th.
Fernando Alonso had a good run to 12th – finding himself in the top ten during the early stages – but he was once again forced to park up early as yet another Honda engine failed him with 25 minutes of the session remaining.