The team were hoping for a front-row lockout after strong showings from both Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the first two practice sessions, but for now it seems like Perez may have to solely shoulder the burden for Qualifying.
The Baku race is a major opportunity for Verstappen to extend his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Driver’s Championship, but his lead could evaporate should the car not be ready to go for Qualifying.
At one point during the practice session, Hamilton was languishing as low as 17th fastest, but recovered to finish with the third fastest time.
The same can’t be said for his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished 13th fastest.
The Finn has struggled to find form this year, and with his contract ending at the end of the season, he will need to show more to prove he is worthy of retaining his seat.
Late in the session, a virtual safety car was called after Williams driver George Russell was left stranded on the track after his car died.