"Who knows what the future holds?"
Earlier this year, the F1 Commission approved a three-point plan for 2018 in a bid to stop teams from exploiting the area of oil burn. We are here at this circuit where the track is 50 degrees when you have the super-soft and soft, and neither of them work. "I'm enjoying the fight we're having with Ferrari and admiring them for their strong competition".
Vettel and Ferrari, traditionally strong in the hottest conditions, will hope to bounce back on a circuit where Hamilton's previous Mercedes team-mate retired 2016 champion German Nico Rosberg took pole and won a year ago.
"We've clearly still got lots of work to do ahead of qualifying, but (team mate) Valtteri (Bottas)'s time in FP2 looked promising, so there is obviously pace in the auto, which is encouraging".
Ferrari have won 227 races, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 68 and Red Bull 52. But a point to note is that the Brit did not have the best of times here previous year. These features favor the "Scuderia" on the 6 km long Baku circuit which winds through the streets of the medieval old town on the Caspian Sea and allows the cars to reach the highest peak speed of the season At 370 km / h.
Q: How important was the win at the last race in Canada then? Ferrari is chasing its first drivers' title since Raikkonen in 2007 and its first constructors' title since 2008.
Vettel recovered well in Canada to take fourth after taking damage on the opening lap and was second in Baku a year ago but expects better this weekend.
Vettel and Hamilton both have 12 scoring finishes in a row. Ferrari can console himself by saying that Vettel has managed to move up the 18th and last place, which shows that Vettel is back in top form. Carlos Sainz was limited to 13 laps in his Toro Rosso and finished the session 16th ahead of Fernando Alonso, Jolyon Palmer and the two Saubers.
Although still widely considered the equal of Hamilton - and slightly ahead of Vettel - on pure ability, Alonso has not won since the Spanish GP in May 2013. To its credit, Pirelli has admitted it over-engineered the tires, and as a result, won't use the hardest compound for the remainder of the season. "I was not starting very well the first races". An embarrassing, but realistic possibility, for beleaguered Honda.