As Perez, who is bidding to become the first driver to win twice on Baku’s tight streets, saw off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by just 0.070 seconds to clinch top spot, Hamilton continued to struggle in his unruly Mercedes machine.
In the closing stages, Verstappen, who leads Leclerc by nine points, was on a lap primed to take him to the top of the charts only to be thwarted by the traffic.
Red Bull and Ferrari remain the teams to beat with Lando Norris fifth, 1.2 sec back. Norris’ struggling McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was an encouraging sixth.
The final action before qualifying was delayed by 15 minutes after the barriers at the opening corner were repaired following a crash in the earlier Formula Two sprint race.
source: Irish Examiner