Did Baku chaos flatter Red Bull in practice?

Did Baku chaos flatter Red Bull in practice?

A team that's underperformed all year fastest, yellow flags everywhere, a title contender only 10th - what data from Baku Friday can be trusted as a real indicator of the weekend to come and what was just a product of the mayhem?

Red Bull fastest on one of the most demanding engine tracks on the calendar, Lance Stroll in the top six, Lewis Hamilton down in 10th, the four fastest cars separated by little more than a tenth of a second, drivers going off the track left, right and centre, struggles with the tyres, brakes and to put any kind of meaningful laps together without making mistakes. This was Formula 1 practice at its most chaotic.

The reasons for such unpredictability are complex. Azerbaijan's Baku city circuit is an unusual street track, combining the straightline speed demands of Monza, the aerodynamic efficiency requirements of Spa, the asphalt smoothness and corner profiling of Sochi, but claustrophobic run-off areas and walls with all the forgiveness of Monaco at its most menacing.

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