AZERBAIJANI GP

 

Qualifying     Grid      Race    

 

Round 8 - Baku. 23 to 25 June

 

All times UK

Day

Session

Times

Sky

Channel 4

Fri 23rd

FP1

1000 to 1130

0945 to 1150

0955 to 1135

 

FP2

1400 to 1530

1345 to 1555

1355 to 1535

Sat 24th

FP3

1100 to 1200

1045 to 1210

1055 to 1225

 

Qual

1400 to 1500-ish

1300 to 1540

1255 to 1530

Sun 25th 

Race

1400 to 1530-ish

1230 to 1710

1300 to 1700

 

TYRES:

 

Ultra Soft

Super Soft

Soft

Medium

Hard

Intermediate

Wet

Drivers MUST keep at least one set of the softest tyre for Q3.  (This set will be returned to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 10.  Remaining drivers will not have used them in Q3 so will not hand anything back.)

Drivers MUST use at least two different compounds during the race.

 

Individual driver’s tyre choices:

 

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Soft

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Super Soft

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Ultra Soft

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

1

4

8

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

1

4

8

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

1

4

8

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

1

4

8

Lance Stroll (Williams)

1

4

8

Felipe Massa (Williams)

2

3

8

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

2

3

8

Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2

3

8

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)

1

4

8

Jolyon Palmer (Renault)

1

4

8

Esteban Ocon (Force India)

1

3

9

Sergio Perez (Force India)

1

3

9

Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)

1

3

9

Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)

1

3

9

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

1

2

10

Fernando Alonso (McLaren)

1

2

10

Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

2

3

8

Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)

1

3

9

Romain Grosjean (Haas)

1

4

8

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

1

4

8

 

FP1:

Perez got up to 4th before crashing out at the very tight turn 8 when he seemed to take too much speed into the left-hand bit, bounced a bit over the kerb and side-swiped the wall on the right-hand bit, removing his right rear wheel along with lots more damage.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

1m44.410s 

2

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Vettel

Ferrari

 

4

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

5

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

6

Bottas

Mercedes

 

7

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

8

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

9

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

10

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

11

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

12

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

13

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

14

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

15

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

16

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

17

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

18

Palmer

Renault

 

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

1m49.937s 

 

FP2:

Palmer did the same as Perez at turn 8 but the red flag messed up quite a few laps.  Then after setting the best time of the session Verstappen put it in the wall at turn 1.  Although Hamilton did not complete a proper qualifying run, I wouldn’t write him off when it comes to bouncing back tomorrow with a good grid position.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

1m43.362s 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

 

3

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

4

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

5

Vettel

Ferrari

 

6

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

7

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

8

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

9

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

10

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

11

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

12

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

13

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

14

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

15

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

16

Palmer

Renault

 

17

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

18

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

 

19

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

1m47.722s 

 

FP3:

·      Vettel’s lowly 12th was due to a hydraulic problem.

·      Verstappen also had a hydraulic problem.

·      Palmer only got 4 laps done before a fire caused him to stop on track.

·      Despite Honda talking of improvements for this race, they still did not deliver.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Bottas

Mercedes

1m42.742s 

2

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

3

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

4

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

5

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

6

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

7

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

8

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

9

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

10

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

11

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

12

Vettel

Ferrari

 

13

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

14

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

15

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

16

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

17

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

18

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

1m45.722s

20

Palmer

Renault

1m53.040s 

 

Q1,2,&3:

Palmer’s car was not ready to run after the FP3 fire.

Ricciardo parked his Red Bull heavily against the wall when he lost the back half way through the session and brought out the red flags while they cleared up.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

1m40.593s 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

 

3

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

4

Vettel

Ferrari

 

5

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

6

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

7

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

8

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

9

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

10

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

11

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

12

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

13

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

14

Hulkenberg

Renault

15

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

 

16

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

17

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

18

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

19

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

1m45.030s

20

Palmer

Renault

No time.

 

GRID:

This is the grid this morning…

·      Alonso: 40-place penalty for changing everything (virtually)   This joke is no longer funny!!!

·      Vandoorne: 30-place penalty for changes as well.

·      Sainz: 3-places for causing a collision in the previous race.

Pos

Driver

Car

Pts

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

20

 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

19

 

3

Raikkonen

Ferrari

18

 

4

Vettel

Ferrari

17

 

5

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

16

6

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

15

7

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

14

8

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

13

9

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

12

10

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

11

11

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

10

12

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

9

13

Hulkenberg

Renault

8

14

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

7

15

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

6

Penalty 

16

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

5

 

17

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

4

 

18

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

3

Penalty

19

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

2

Penalty

20

Palmer

Renault

1

No Time

 

RACE:

·      What a race!  This Baku circuit is ridiculously narrow in places, but get through the single file sections and it does offer some excitement. There seemed to be something going on all the time. The TV director did a good job covering the action.

·      After the start there’s not much of a straight before the first corner so the cars are trying to get through there two abreast at best. Going in seemed OK – it was the coming out that caused the problems. The first incident was at turn one when Kvyat ran wide and rejoining he forced Sainz to avoid, the doing of which caused him to lose control and spin – fortunately avoiding the barriers, but leaving him last.

·      At turn two Bottas was on the inside and Raikkonen went for the outside line.  Bottas bounced off the kerb and into Raikkonen.  The result of which was Bottas with right rear tyre destroyed and Raikkonen a fairly substantial meeting with the wall, which, it seems, he survived.  Bottas got to the pits and had his wheel changed, but by then he was a lap behind. Raikkonen, meanwhile reports the rear end doesn’t feel very good!

·      Ricciardo made an early pitstop to change tyres, rejoined in 17th place and set about climbing through the field.

·      It was around here that Palmer, who had already reported a misfire on his way to the grid, retired with a dead engine.A couple of laps later another Renault-powered car, Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, had a battery failure and stopped on track. The nature of this circuit meant that they only way to remove his car was to bring out the Safety Car to regulate the traffic flow.  Before the powers-that-be had that arranged Verstappen, who had been giving Perez a run for his money in an excellent 3rd place, started to slow. His engine, a Renault, was losing power.  “Here we go again he said.

·      A number of cars used the safety car period to pit and change tyres.  Stroll and Hulkenberg remained the only two who hadn’t pitted. Hamilton was quite vocal about the lack of speed from the safety car and his concern over the resulting lack of temperature in the tyres.  Bottas was allowed to unlap himself before the safety car came in.  There was still a number of bits of debris on the track, which did not put the marshals in a very good light in my view.

·      Lap 16 and the safety car comes in the race is back on.  Hamilton gets away well.  Almost immediately even more debris, this time large lumps of aerodynamics bodywork from Raikkonen’s car brings the safety car out again. It was during this SCX period that we had the incident with Hamilton and Vettel. The rules are quite simple.  The car leading the pack behind the safety car controls the speed of the pack once the safety car is on it’s way to the pitlane.  He is not allowed to repeatedly apply brakes and throttle but he can slow down and accelerate within reason. In this case Hamilton slowed for the last bend and maintained his pace through the corner. Probably anticipating Hamilton’s immediate acceleration Vettel increased speed coming out of the corner and hit the back of Hamilton’s car.  It wasn’t a big hit but it caused some damage.  It also made Vettel very angry – he probably felt a bit of a fool as well.  He gesticulated to Hamilton then pulled alongside gesticulating even more, and then deliberately turned into the Mercedes causing the vehicles to bang front wheels before dropping back in line.

·      Back racing and this time it was the two Force India cars who made contact and caused yet another safety car period. My notes say that “Ocon hit Perez”, but it wasn’t  as simple as that. There had been a bit of wheel banging before the corner and a bit more after,  The result was Ocon with a right rear puncture and Perez with damage to his front wing – and more debris. Raikkonen caught some of the debris and picked up a right rear puncture. Why he drove back to the pits at such a high speed that he effectively destroyed the back of his car is anyone’s guess. Mine is simple ‘bloodymindedness’.  Anyway he followed Perez into the pits and they both got out. 

·      It was decided that the safety car was not enough for the amount of debris on the track and the red flags came out.  Red flag rules state that the cars must queue in the pitlane and can be worked on there by the teams.  Perez and Raikkonen’s cars had been put in their pits before the red flag so were worked on there.  By the time the cars were driving out of the pitlane for the safety car restart, bit the Force India and the Ferrari were able to rejoin!

·      Remarkably, Ricciardo has climbed to 5th for the restart and in no time at all was up to 3rd having made passed Massa on the straight and launched up the inside of Stroll into turn one.

·      Its still only lap 24 when Hulkenberg, running sixth having gained a place passing Magnussen and Massa, hit the wall and destroyed his right front corner.  Massa only manages one lap more before retiring with a broken rear damper. Bottas is up to 9th and Alonso is in 6th.

·      It would seem that when Hamilton got back in the car before the restart the headrest was not properly fitted, or that there was a malfunction and it started to work loose. The aerodynamic pressure around the cockpit is quite strong and the headrest must always be in place, so Hamilton’s failed attempts to refix it on the fly, so to speak, meant he had to come into the pits to have it fixed properly, or replaced altogether.  As Hamilton is told to pit, Ferrari is told Vettel has a 10-second stop/go penalty for driving into Hamilton during the safety car period.  This is held by many to be quite lenient –and I’m inclined to agree.  Hamilton pits and rejoins in 9th. Vettel pits and rejoins in 7th, just ahead of Hamilton, who had passed Sainz for 8th.

·      And now Raikkonen and Perez are awarded drive-through penalties for having their cars worked on in the garage during the red flag period.  This drops them both to the back. Not long after, Perez reported that his seat was broken and he had to retire.

·      Vettel and Hamilton fight their way through the field catching Bottas. Thoughts that the Fin might help Hamilton by slowing Vettel as was attempted before were scotched when Bottas got with in second of Ocon in 4th.   Meanwhile, Ricciardo had inherited Vettel’s lead and was far enough ahead of Stroll not to be concerned.  Stroll was continuing steadily and being careful not to throw away a fairly certain podium finish.  Alonso drops back – no surprise there. Despite Hamilton looking a threat to Vettel it was never really on. Bottas got up to 3rd and set about closing on Stroll. After a combination of an average exit from the last corner by Stroll and an exceptional one by Bottas he got him within yards of the finish line to snatch 2nd. Still Stroll is still the youngest rookie ever to be on the F1 podium.

·      A few laps from the flag Raikkonen retired the Ferrari. The ‘official’ Ferrari reason is “water pressure”, but it looked a pretty beaten up car where the damage had been done by the flailing rear tyre and I suspect that Raikkonen had had enough beetling about at the back. And it mean they can make certain changes for the next race without penalty.

·      Alonso managed to hold on to 9th for McLaren’s first points of the season, but it was small consolation and the love affair between them and Honda is well and truly over.

Pos

Driver

Car

Laps

Pts

 

1

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

51

20

 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

51

19

 

3

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

51

18

 

4

Vettel

Ferrari

51

17

 

5

Hamilton

Mercedes

51

16

 

6

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

51

15

 

7

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

51

14

 

8

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

51

13

 

9

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

51

12

 

10

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

51

11

 

11

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

51

10

 

12

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

51

9

 

13

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

50

8

 

14

Raikkonen

Ferrari

46

7

Retired

15

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

39

6

Broken seat

16

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

25

5

Rear damper

17

Hulkenberg

Renault

24

4

Accident

18

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

12

3

Engine

19

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

9

2

Battery

20

Palmer

Renault

7

1

Engine

 

 

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© Ian Bushnell, 2017