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Perez fastest in second Azerbaijan practice as Hamilton struggles

Sergio Perez was fastest in the second practice at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Friday as Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes struggled on the streets of Baku.

Perez clocked 1min 42.115sec, just 0.101sec ahead of his Red Bull teammate, championship leader Max Verstappen.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third with teammate Charles Leclerc was fourth despite a brush with a barrier.

Hamilton was down in 11th, more than a second slower than Verstappen.

The reigning world champion urged his team to “do whatever we need to do, I’m not going to go any faster. I don’t know where all the time is.”

His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas performed even worse, finishing 16th.

Azerbaijan, making its first appearance since 2019, presented drivers with a slippery and gusty circuit and Mercedes were unable to get significant results from the soft tyres.

Hamilton trails Verstappen by four points in the overall standings.

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