We have another Mercedes 1-2 with Valtteri Bottas on pole followed by Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel. Charles Leclerc qualification was stopped short due to a crash into barriers in Q2 causing a 30 min delay due to Red flag.
If Friday free practices were anything to go by, there was a lot of drama expected in the Qualifying session along with a Ferrari dominance. The session saw 2 Red Flags to add to the drama but Ferrari flattered once again to deceive.
This is going to be a decisive weekend for Ferrari and they needed both their at the top. But Mercedes again showed their real pace at the end and managed another front row lockout. If Mercedes manage to hold their position till the end of the race, they will be very hard to catch from now on. Let’s hope Ferrari finish strong for the sake of the F1.
Alfa Romeo managed to get both cars in Q3 and finished P8 and P9. But Antonio will be taking 10 place grid penalty for using new parts. Pierre Gasly managed to put up a fine show in Q1. He didn’t participate further since he has to start from pit-lane due to a weighbridge infarction. He is starting to look comfortable in the car and that is nice to see.
Renault again had a dismal outing, with Ricciardo going out in Q2 while Hulkenberg crashed out in Q1. Williams did not have a good outing with Kubica crashing in Q1 bringing out a red flag. McLaren also managed to put both cars in Q3 and look slightly better than they were in China.
The start of the race is crucial as always and Vettel will be looking to make up places at top. While the mid-field will look to avoid tripping over each other in first few 90 degree turns. Leclerc, Gasly will be looking to get off the mark fast and make up places as quickly as they can. Baku promises to provide an interesting race as always. We hope to get a few safety cars to mix up the strategies and create drama. Fingers crossed.
For some fun facts about Azerbaijan Grand Prix- Qualifying, read this.
For previous race reports, please go here.