8/51 Leclerc and Verstappen remain the key battle, while Hamilton has left Gasly. Ferrari’s word to Leclerc is that Perez is struggling with front-wheel drive.
7/51 Verstappen so far does not approach Leclerc and approaches one of these closed walls around this rather closed track. When they pass the castles in a chicanery, it looks like a fork in a small rural town, the kind that needs to be sounded when you turn the corner.
6/51 Hamilton, sixth, approaches Pierre Gasly. Verstappen is approaching Leclerc, who is now also closing in on Pérez. His team tells Verstappen to use the forward button, which may be part of the problem in his failure so far to beat Leclerc.
5/51 Verstappen has DRS while Leclerc attacks on the straight, but the monk stays ahead. Why are these two always in these races? Pérez has time and space to get ahead.
4/51 Perez escapes in front, while in the 11th and 12th Ricciardo and Norris face off, the two members of the team. Meanwhile, Sainz walks away from Verstappen and there is a Leclerc sandwich in front of him.
3/51 Nicholas Daniel Latifi, the only driver who has not scored a point this season and a nemesis of Lewis Hamilton, receives a 15-second penalty because his engineer did not clean the track properly at the start.
2/51 Verstappen goes 15 km / h faster than the Ferraris on the straight, and this indicates the difference in terms of race. It is possible that Leclerc closed and allowed Pérez to pass, but at least he closed the door on Verstappen.
1/51 And we leave, the green flag waves, and Perez immediately steals the advantage from Leclerc who has closed, and then Verstappen holds Sainz, who has a few peaks. Perez tries to accelerate, what a way out for the second subsidiary of Red Bull. Great driving piece from last year’s winner, opening a difference of 1.3 seconds. The Red Bulls clearly have the pace.
The lap of the parade begins, with drivers warming up / cooling their tires. Tire strategy will play a role in today’s heat in Tierra del Fuego. It has been reported that there are 48 degrees in the pit lane. Ugh, what a cream.
Not long ago, the grille was cleared as drivers prepared to attack the lights.
Nico Rosberg was banned from media work in this year’s race for refusing to have a vaccine against Covid.
Walking on the grill, where George Russell admits that Mercedes does not have a bit of speed and regrets that his car crashes into the ground. Perez being second on the grid: “If I understand, I do.” Verstappen: “It’s a little warmer, hopefully we have a good tire cover.” Toto Wolff on the porpoise: “We really have to find a solution to this. It’s really compressing the spine.” He even suggests that Lewis Hamilton not complete the course, but says that “this is not just a Mercedes thing.”
Updated at 11.50 BST
It is 27 degrees in Baku, which is hot but hotter, while the Azeri national anthem is playing.
Gary Naylor has been admiring the scenery.
Remember that last year’s Azeri GP was very dramatic.
Sergio Pérez of Red Bull won the race, a magnificent ball for his second F1 victory, but was overshadowed by the drama in which the two protagonists of the title, Hamilton and Max Verstappen, did not score a point. Verstappen suffered a tire failure at the end of the race, which cost him a likely victory, and Hamilton made a very unusual mistake in dropping from second to 15th on the penultimate lap. Both incidents will lead to serious investigations.
Lewis Hamilton continues to fight, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t keep fighting for what he believes.
FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem caused controversy this week when he was quoted as saying that in the days of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost they only climbed and drove, while modern drivers use F1 as a platform, doing reference to Hamilton’s size. four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Britain’s Lando Norris talk about human rights, LGBQT + support and mental health.
The F1 schism with the FIA deepens after controversial decisions in Monaco. Read more
On Friday in Azerbaijan, Hamilton stressed that he had no intention of taking a step back and urged more drivers to participate. “Formula 1 remains an important platform for using our voices,” he said.
“For each of us here to do more, to talk more, to provoke more conversations. Creating a more inclusive environment is very important and focusing on creating better diversity within your organization and within sport. “But it is moving at a slow pace. I encourage all drivers to be more honest and talk about what matters to them.”
Tony Dodgins reported the classification yesterday.
Leclerc also makes dynamite around the challenging 3.7 miles and is the first man to occupy more than one pole position on the track. A feature of the season has been Ferrari’s superiority in a single lap, but Red Bull’s advantage in the fit of the race, with a stronger straight line speed and a more benign use of tires that often allow Verstappen review Leclerc.
However, Leclerc, who only suffered from Ferrari’s questionable racing strategy in Monaco, remains optimistic. “The pole vault felt really good,” he said. “I am just excited about the race. The management of the tires is very important here and when we made an improvement of the car in Spain we took a step forward, which we could not see in Monaco. I’m excited about the race. “
Ranking of the 2022 F1 Drivers’ Championship ahead of Baku
- 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 125
- 2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 116
- 3 Sergio Perez Red Bull 110
- 4 George Russell Mercedes 84
- 5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 83
- 6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 50
- 7 Lando Norris McLaren 48
- 8 Valtteri Boots Alfa Romeo 40
- 9 Esteban Ocon Alpine 30
- Kevin Magnussen Haas 15
- = 11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 11
- = 11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 11
- 13 Fernando Alonso Alpine 10
- 14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 6
- 15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 5
- 16 Alex Albon Williams 3
- 17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 2
- 18 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 1
Final positions after qualifying:
- 1 Charles Leclerc (Dl.) Ferrari 1min 41,359s
- 2 Sergio Pérez (Mex) Red Bull 1: 41,641
- 3 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1: 41.706
- 4 Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spa) Ferrari 1: 41.814
- 5 George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1: 42.712
- 6 Pierre Gasly (Fr) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1: 42.845
- 7 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1: 42.924
- 8 Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1: 43.056
- 9 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin 1: 43.091
- 10 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1: 43.173
- 11 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1: 43.398
- 12 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1: 43.574
- 13 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1: 43.585
- 14 Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Alfa Romeo Racing 1: 43.790
- 15 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1: 44.444
- 16 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1: 44.643
- 17 Alexander Albon (Tha) Williams 1: 44,719
- 18 Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1: 45.367
- 19 Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1: 45.371
- 20 Mick Schumacher (Ger) Haas F1 1: 45.775
Charles Leclerc on the stick, a family story, can now turn it into a victory. He reaches the top of the grid for the sixth time this season, having turned just two of them into victories. Sergio Pérez, the last-time winner in Monaco, when Leclerc cursed his team for his pit strategy, is in second place and Max Verstappen in third, while Ferrari and Red Bull continue to lead the grid. The race for the title is ready, although Ferrari cannot turn its superiority into a single lap over the long form. Red Bell continues to be stronger in straight line speed. Behind them, making George Russell faster than Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes is a continuous subplot, but it’s likely the action, the juice is up front. Behind them, the narrow and often picturesque streets of Baku are likely to present a few scenarios that the protagonists will have to negotiate.
The lights come on at 12pm UK time. Join me.