Hamilton ahead of Rosberg in Baku as rivals struggle

Hamilton ahead of Rosberg in Baku as rivals struggle

Published Jun. 17, 2016 1:25 p.m. ET

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the top time in Friday's practice at the European Grand Prix, ahead of teammate and Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg, who had an engine problem.

Despite unfamiliarity with the bumpy, windy and low-grip Baku street circuit, Mercedes' dominance was undiminished.

The strong challenges that Red Bull and Ferrari had put up in Monaco and Montreal, respectively, were glaringly absent. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo snapped off a wheel colliding with a barrier and teammate Max Verstappen suffered a clutch-related oil leak. The team's best time was 1.8 seconds off Hamilton, while Ferrari was further back.

Drivers continuously ran off as they tested the limits on the new circuit, while loose curbs damaged tires and required frantic adjustments.