Sebastian Vettel quickest in final practice of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has finished quickest in final practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, who is bidding to win his first race of the new campaign, ended the one-hour running a third of a second down on Vettel to finish second to his championship rival.

The 33-year-old British driver has struggled for form in recent rounds and was slower than his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in both sessions at the Baku Street Circuit on Friday.

Bernie Ecclestone, the sport's former overlord, even claimed that Hamilton is not the racer he once was.

But the Englishman was quicker than Bottas, with the Finn only fifth. Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari with Max Verstappen fourth. The top five were separated by less than half-a-second.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, a winner last time out in China, failed to get a clean lap together and was 12th in the order.

The final running before qualifying later on Saturday was temporarily halted after Sergey Sirotkin lost control of his Williams and crashed into the barriers. The Russian emerged unscathed from the incident at turn three but the same could not be said of his car with his Williams team now facing a race against time to ensure he can participate in qualifying.


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