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F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix QUALIFYING LIVE: Verstappen CRASHES, Gasly quickest so far, Hamilton third-fastest

LEW ON FREAKY FRIDAY

Lewis Hamilton risks losing more ground in the Formula One title race to Max Verstappen after a bad day in Baku, writes BEN HUNT.

The world champion was knocked off the top of the championship after Verstappen’s win in Monaco, a result that also saw Mercedes surrender their place at the top of the team’s championship for the first time since 2013.

Now four points behind his Red Bull rival, Hamilton expected another tough race in Azerbaijan this weekend, but nothing could have prepared him for the misery he faced yesterday.

While Verstappen topped first practice and his teammate, Sergio Perez was quickest in the afternoon, Hamilton was in 11th place.

Hamilton groaned: “It felt like I was driving well. There were not many mistakes, we were just slow.

“There is no more time in the car and we are a chunk down and everyone is scratching their heads and looking into the data to try and figure out why.

“I was on the limit but the car is limited. There was no more grip, so we will work at it. It is not easy to be out of the top ten on pace, I don’t really know why we are where we are.

“Pace-wise we have not gone forwards since Monaco. If anything, it looks like we have gone backwards.”

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