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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Daniel Ricciardo fastest from Kimi Raikkonen in second Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice

Red Bull Racing driver completes good start to weekend as championship leader Sebastian Vettel only 11th in his Ferrari

Daniel Ricciardo was fastest in practice in Azerbaijan. Dan Istitene / Getty Images
Daniel Ricciardo was fastest in practice in Azerbaijan. Dan Istitene / Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo was fastest in second practice for the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix as he maintained his strong early season form.

The Red Bull Racing driver, who won in China two weeks ago, was quickest with a lap of 1 minute, 42.795 seconds.

Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari was 0.069 seconds slower in second ahead of the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who bounced back well from crashing out in first practice.

Valtteri Bottas, who had set the quickest time in first practice in his Mercedes-GP ahead of Ricciardo, was fourth, ahead of world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton.

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Hamilton has yet to win this season and the omens are not looking good for the Briton, who has never won in Baku either.

Despite an unconvincing start to the campaign Hamilton will be encouraged by the fact that world championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who he trails by nine points, was only 11th in his Ferrari.

Vettel, the four-time world champion, was 1.3 seconds off the pace of Ricciardo.

Fernando Alonso was sixth in the McLaren, with Force India's Esteban Ocon and the Renault of Carlos Sainz completing the top eight.

Final practice is on Saturday at 2pm, with qualifying at 5pm. Sunday's race, the fourth round of the season, begins at 4.10pm.