Valtteri Bottas has led an all-Finnish lockout of the timesheets in Saturday’s practice session for the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix, finishing the one-hour session fastest ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen.

The session, meanwhile sprang concerns for championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Friday pacesetter Max Verstappen, who both struck technical trouble.

Vettel’s problems reared their head on the German’s first run, prompting his team to call him into the pits. After a lengthy spell in the garage, he went back out before being told to box his car once more.

The Ferrari team confirmed that Vettel’s car had suffered a “loss in the hydraulic pressure circuit” and they restricted his running to allow enough time to prepare for the afternoon’s all-important qualifying session.

Meanwhile Verstappen, who finished fastest in both of Friday’s practice sessions, before a crash in FP2, again ended his session early. The Dutch driver reported an engine problem over the pit-to-car team radio before grinding to a halt at Turn 16.

Up at the front of the field, Bottas proved to be the session’s pacesetter on both the Soft and Super Soft tyres, lowering the circuit’s unofficial lap record on the latter compound with a time of 1:42.742.

Just under one-tenth of a second slower came Räikkönen, with the 2007 champion sandwiched by Bottas and teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Amid Verstappen’s dramas, Daniel Ricciardo showed the strength of Red Bull Racing’s RB13 chassis by lapping fourth-fastest, ahead of an impressive Esteban Ocon in the Force India. Despite his stoppage, Verstappen was seventh-quickest.

The Williams team continued its solid Baku form by getting both cars into the top ten. Felipe Massa lapped fractionally quicker than rookie teammate Lance Stroll, who is enjoying a new turn of confidence after his first points’ finish at the preceding Canadian Grand Prix. The Canadian finished ninth-fastest behind Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.

Sergio Pérez took the second Force India tenth-fastest, ahead of the troubled Vettel, who was sandwiched between Nico Hülkenberg’s Renault and Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso.

Hülkenberg’s teammate Jolyon Palmer encountered more dramas, with the Englishman’s car catching fire early in the session. The former GP2 Series champion looks unlikely to be able to particpate in qualifying, which gets underway at 17:00 local time (GMT +4).

Driver Team / Entry Time Tyre Laps
1. Valtteri Bottas fi Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:42.742 Pirelli Super Soft 21
2. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:42.837 Pirelli Super Soft 14
3. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:43.158 Pirelli Super Soft 23
4. Daniel Ricciardo au Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:43.287 Pirelli Super Soft 24
5. Esteban Ocon fr Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:43.344 Pirelli Super Soft 21
6. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:43.614 Pirelli Super Soft 16
7. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:43.738 Pirelli Super Soft 18
8. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 1:43.908 Pirelli Super Soft 21
9. Lance Stroll ca Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:44.040 Pirelli Super Soft 17
10. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:44.138 Pirelli Super Soft 22
11. Nico Hulkenberg de Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:44.312 Pirelli Super Soft 16
12. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:44.344 Pirelli Super Soft 7
13. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 1:44.401 Pirelli Super Soft 23
14. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:44.741 Pirelli Super Soft 18
15. Kevin Magnussen dk Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:44.926 Pirelli Super Soft 20
16. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:45.143 Pirelli Super Soft 17
17. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:45.491 Pirelli Super Soft 20
18. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:45.645 Pirelli Super Soft 21
19. Pascal Wehrlein de Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:45.722 Pirelli Super Soft 19
20. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:53.040 M 4

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.