Baku is the Capital of Azerbaijan and the largest City in the World below Sea Level. It is a Street Circuit and the 2nd longest track in Formula One. It’s a relatively recent expansion to the schedule having held its first race in 2017, just 2 years ago. Tires will run from C2 Hard to C4 Soft with Mediums adding 1.4 seconds per Lap and Hards 2.3. Most Teams will be running a 1 Stop except for Red Bull which seems prepped for 2.
Mercedes continues its string of good luck. After LeClerc and the Scuderia dominated practice he parked it quite heavily at the end of Q2 and will start no better than 9th if the car is in sufficiently good shape so as not to require a replacement chassis. Gasly of Red Bull will start from the pit after incuring a 5 position penalty for a gearbox replacement and then failing to report for a Steward’s inspection. Giovinazzi, also Maranello powered was penalized 10 spots. Kubica also parked in Qualifying and will start next to last.
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes|
|3||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda|
|5||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||6||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda|
|7||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||8||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari|
|9||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||10||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||12||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||16||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault|
|17||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari|
|19||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||20||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda|
Don’t let the length fool you. The fast Laps are in the low 1:40s but there are not really many places to pass. On the other hand there are a lot of corners that collect cars so Yellows and Reds can easily effect the results. Mercedes is crushing the early Manufacturer’s Standings and the Driver’s Championship is a duel between Hamilton and Bottas.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||68||2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||62|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||39||4||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||37|
|5||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||36||6||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||13|
|7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||12||8||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||8|
|9||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||8||10||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||6|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||6||2||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||5|
|13||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||3||14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||2|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1|
Needless to say Maranello is very disappointed because they thought this was their year. It’s a bit too early to panic but if things continue as they have so far there could be major changes in Management even before the end of the season.