The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

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Azerbaijan '18 - Driver of the Day

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cmlean
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The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:53 pm

This is the place to discuss everything related to the 4th round of the 2018 season in Baku, Azerbaijan between the 27th and 29th of April.

To submit your 10 'n' Pole Picks for Azerbaijan click here, to register in the competition click here

Picks close at the start of Saturday practice.

The event timetable for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Friday
1st Practice 13:00 local time - 09:00 GMT
2nd Practice 17:00 local time - 13:00 GMT

Saturday
Practice 14:00 local time - 10:00 GMT
Qualifying 17:00 local time - 13:00 GMT

Sunday
Race 17:00 local time - 13:00 GMT

cmlean
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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:39 pm

The big question is whether we will have a race of the same excitement as last year?

With Hamilton and Vettel involve in some road rage, the Force India's trying to take each other out, Daniel Ricciardo's dive on the restart and Bottas' last lap pass on Lance Stroll, this years event will have to be exceptional to surpass 2017.

Vettel and Raikkonen would have to have the upper hand at this time of the season. The performance and balance of the Ferrari makes it such a better race car than the current Mercedes.

Speaking of Mercedes, will Hamilton and Bottas overcome the deficit in this years beast in comparison to the Ferrari?

Red Bull, following last season's dramatic victory will again be reliant on things to go their way. Will young Max try to follow his team mates philosophy of taking the sure pass or will he again stick it down the inside and rely on the opposition to clear his path?

And Haas? After throwing away massive points in Australia, they haven't again shown their initial pace. Could it have been luck to have placed themselves into that position and will they rue the pit stop errors and the financial loses because of it at the end of the season?

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:57 pm

FP1 Results

Code: Select all

Pos	Time		Driver		  Team
1	1:44.242	Valtteri Bottas	  Mercedes
2	1:44.277	Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing
3	1:45.075	Sergio Perez	  Force India
4	1:45.200	Lewis Hamilton	  Mercedes
5	1:45.237	Esteban Ocon	  Force India
6	1:45.559	Max Verstappen	  Red Bull Racing
7	1:46.465	Fernando Alonso	  McLaren
8	1:46.480	Sergey Sirotkin	  Williams
9	1:46.492	Pierre Gasly	  Toro Rosso
10	1:46.513	Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari
11	1:46.590	Lance Stroll	  Williams
12	1:46.747	Brendon Hartley	  Toro Rosso
13	1:46.749	Nico Hulkenberg	  Renault
14	1:46.856	Romain Grosjean	  Haas
15	1:46.861	Kimi Räikkönen	  Ferrari
16	1:46.875	Charles Leclerc	  Sauber
17	1:47.073	Marcus Ericsson	  Sauber
18	1:47.434	Kevin Magnussen	  Haas
19	1:47.967	Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
20	1:48.741	Carlos Sainz	  Renault

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:05 pm

FP1 is in the books and what have we learned?

Max expects too much too soon. This time finishing in the barrier mid session after a rear lock up.

The Force India's a quick here again.

The Mercedes and Red Bulls are at the top of the time sheets. Ferrari is on a different program and playing their cards lose to their chest.

Williams seem to be fast for this stage of the weekend. Usually they are going through their program and true pace is shown in FP3.

7th to 16th is separated by 0.4 seconds. The mid field battle is really close.

Brake lock ups caused a couple of teams to cease their FP1 programs.

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:45 am

FP2 Results

Code: Select all

Pos	Time		Driver		  Team
1	1:42.795	Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing
2	1:42.864	Kimi Räikkönen	  Ferrari
3	1:42.911	Max Verstappen	  Red Bull Racing
4	1:43.570	Valtteri Bottas	  Mercedes
5	1:43.603	Lewis Hamilton	  Mercedes
6	1:43.700	Fernando Alonso	  McLaren
7	1:43.814	Esteban Ocon	  Force India
8	1:43.834	Carlos Sainz	  Renault
9	1:43.977	Kevin Magnussen	  Haas
10	1:44.091	Nico Hulkenberg	  Renault
11	1:44.127	Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari
12	1:44.142	Sergio Perez	  Force India
13	1:44.425	Romain Grosjean	  Haas
14	1:44.459	Lance Stroll	  Williams
15	1:44.712	Pierre Gasly	  Toro Rosso
16	1:44.940	Charles Leclerc	  Sauber
17	1:45.007	Sergey Sirotkin	  Williams
18	1:45.051	Brendon Hartley	  Toro Rosso
19	1:45.288	Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
20	1:46.042	Marcus Ericsson	  Sauber

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:53 am

FP2 had the usual brake lock ups causing flat spots so teams will have to be careful not to run out of their preferred option tyre compound.

Marcus Ericsson had a gearbox issue which forced his session into an early conclusion.

Max Verstappen finished the session with some engine gremlin. He brought the car back into the pits but with limits to his maximum revs.

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:25 pm

FP3 Results

Code: Select all

Pos	Time		Driver		  Team
1	1:43.091	Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari
2	1:43.452	Lewis Hamilton	  Mercedes
3	1:43.493	Kimi Räikkönen	  Ferrari
4	1:43.519	Max Verstappen	  Red Bull Racing
5	1:43.569	Valtteri Bottas	  Mercedes
6	1:43.936	Sergio Perez	  Force India
7	1:43.958	Kevin Magnussen	  Haas
8	1:44.123	Lance Stroll	  Williams
9	1:44.220	Esteban Ocon	  Force India
10	1:44.534	Sergey Sirotkin	  Williams
11	1:44.763	Fernando Alonso	  McLaren
12	1:44.861	Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing
13	1:44.905	Pierre Gasly	  Toro Rosso
14	1:45.218	Charles Leclerc	  Sauber
15	1:45.261	Romain Grosjean	  Haas
16	1:45.432	Carlos Sainz	  Renault
17	1:45.456	Nico Hulkenberg	  Renault
18	1:45.505	Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
19	1:45.910	Marcus Ericsson	  Sauber
20	1:46.186	Brendon Hartley	  Toro Rosso

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:33 pm

Qualifying

Code: Select all

Pos	Time		Driver		  Team
1	1:41.498	Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari
2	1:41.677	Lewis Hamilton	  Mercedes
3	1:41.837	Valtteri Bottas	  Mercedes
4	1:41.911	Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing 
5	1:41.994	Max Verstappen	  Red Bull Racing
6	1:42.490	Kimi Räikkönen	  Ferrari
7	1:42.523	Esteban Ocon	  Force India
8	1:42.547	Sergio Perez	  Force India
9	1:43.066	Nico Hulkenberg	  Renault
10	1:43.351	Carlos Sainz	  Renault
__________________________________________________________________			
11	1:43.585	Lance Stroll	  Williams
12	1:43.886	Sergey Sirotkin	  Williams
13	1:44.019	Fernando Alonso	  McLaren
14	1:44.074	Charles Leclerc	  Sauber
15	1:44.759	Kevin Magnussen	  Haas
__________________________________________________________________				
16	1:44.489	Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
17	1:44.496	Pierre Gasly	  Toro Rosso
18	1:45.541	Marcus Ericsson	  Sauber
19	1:57.354	Brendon Hartley	  Toro Rosso
20	No Time		Romain Grosjean	  Haas

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:43 pm

Q1 and we witnessed what could have been the biggest accident in F1 history.

Brendon Hartley's front tyre punctured and, while circulating back towards the pits, was almost cleaned up by his team mate Pierre Gasly.
Gasly jinked to the right at 300+kph to avoid Hartley while Hartley also jinked right. Gasly cleared the other Toro Rosso with millimeters to spare but ended up in the runoff of turn 15.
Reflexes and good luck are all that averted a monumental accident.

Grosjean's Haas had a suspected gearbox failure and the car remained behind the barriers for the duration of qualifying.

Hulkenberg will incur a 5 place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Both Hartley and Grosjean will start at the stewards discretion after Hartley's lap was outside the 107% and Grosjean didn't complete a timed lap.

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:22 am

Grid

Code: Select all

Pos	Driver		  Team
1	Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari
2	Lewis Hamilton	  Mercedes
3	Valtteri Bottas	  Mercedes
4	Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing
5	Max Verstappen	  Red Bull Racing
6	Kimi Räikkönen	  Ferrari
7	Esteban Ocon	  Force India
8	Sergio Perez	  Force India
9	Carlos Sainz	  Renault
10	Lance Stroll	  Williams
11	Sergey Sirotkin	  Williams
12	Fernando Alonso	  McLaren
13	Charles Leclerc	  Sauber
14	Nico Hulkenberg	  Renault
15	Kevin Magnussen	  Haas
16	Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
17	Pierre Gasly	  Toro Rosso
18	Marcus Ericsson	  Sauber
19	Brendon Hartley	  Toro Rosso
20	Romain Grosjean	  Haas

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:26 am

Race Result

Code: Select all

Pos	Driver		  Team
1	Lewis Hamilton	  Mercedes
2	Kimi Räikkönen	  Ferrari
3	Sergio Perez	  Force India
4	Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari
5	Carlos Sainz	  Renault
6	Charles Leclerc	  Sauber
7	Fernando Alonso	  McLaren
8	Lance Stroll	  Williams
9	Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
10	Brendon Hartley	  Toro Rosso
11	Marcus Ericsson	  Sauber
12	Pierre Gasly	  Toro Rosso
13	Kevin Magnussen	  Haas
DNF	Valtteri Bottas	  Mercedes
DNF	Romain Grosjean	  Haas
DNF	Max Verstappen	  Red Bull Racing
DNF	Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing
DNF	Nico Hulkenberg	  Renault
DNF	Esteban Ocon	  Force India
DNF	Sergey Sirotkin	  Williams

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Re: The 2018 Azerbaijan GP Thread

Post by cmlean » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:48 am

Well. What can we say?

Boys will be boys? The Red Bulls butted heads many times in the race and it just seemed a matter to time before it ended in heartbreak. Yes, it was just fair and each driver gave the other just the minimum amount of space but it was always going to end in tears.

The sheer length of the straight gave the drivers the opportunity to pass and then have to defend against being passed back coming into the braking zone. Combined with the narrowness around the castle, the circuit creates a good blend for all drivers to show their worth.

Unluckiest driver has to be Valtteri Bottas. The strategy played by Mercedes had the race in his pocket and for one piece of debris on the main straight, it should have been his.

I can see that Seb had to take the opportunity on the restart however it might have been a little rash. The straight would have /could have been the best option on the next lap, even without DRS, but he tried to do a Ricciardo, locked the inside front, and paid the penalty for the last 3 laps.

And only 2 teams didn't score points. Red Bull through their own doing and Haas.

My Driver of the day would have to go to Charles Leclerc bringing his Sauber home in 6th but honorable mention would also go to Sergio Perez for his 3rd place.

So, in summary. Bring on Barcelona!

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