Once again, the F1 field, the venue on the Baku City Circuit on the shores of the Caspian Sea, which has been on the Formula One race schedule since 2016, competed on a street track. The six-kilometer course, designed by Hermann Tilke, is characterized by a counterclockwise line.
The asphalt strip is extremely dynamic in terms of characteristics, one of the fastest top speed tracks in the race calendar. Still, its curves are tricky, at an angle of 90 degrees in some places, making it an extremely enjoyable but huge challenge for pilots and engineers alike.
Azerbaijan poses a completely different challenge to troops than Monaco. Because of the many straight lines, it is important for engineers to keep the final speed in mind, but the middle section of the track is really tricky, with tight turns and breaks, so track-specific settings are required.
– said the engineer of our team, Sándor Kling.
Friday was dominated by Charles Leclerc, his monaco managed to save this form to Saturday’s timekeeper as well, so he could start the lead for the fourth time in a row this season. After Sergio Pérez’s victory in Monte-Carlo, he was able to start again from a distinguished position. The Mexican was ahead of Max Verstappen in second place, waiting for the red lights to go out, and after his victory in Baku last year, he was a huge anticipator of a repeat race win.
Pirelli provided the softest tire distribution for the weekend, with the C3-C4-C5 blends starring at the Azeri Grand Prix and ideally a standout predicted. There was no chance of rain, so a possible safety car section and tire handling hid the main potential before the race.
The air temperature was 26 degrees and the asphalt temperature reached 48 degrees at the start. Perez took a brilliant start, overtaking the Monaco pilot from the edge in the first corner. Perez managed to hang out, and Verstappen was slow to arrive at the not-so-good-paced Leclerc.
In the fifth round, the defending champion was already in the overtaking position compared to his monaco, the goal was to win the second place, and then, not secretly, the race victory with a possible team instruction. Leclerc was under constant pressure. But then Ferrari had its first blow:
In the ninth lap in Carlos 4, Carlos Sainz pulled down, the Spaniard had to give up the Azeri race due to a braking problem.
Ferrari responded immediately to the VSC stage and called Leclerc for a wheel change. The Red Bulls stayed out, though almost the entire field took advantage of the free wheel change. The VSC stage ended in lap 11, making Pérez and Verstappen the biggest losers in this incident.
Gallery: Formula 1 Azeri Grand PrixPhoto: Joe Portlock – Formula 1 / Getty Images Hungary
Sebastian Vettel is in the overtime position in the 15th round compared to Esteban Ocon, but after a very deep distance he ended up in the fall, but the German was able to return to the field with the loss of a position.
On lap 15, a substitution took place between the two Red Bulls, with Verstappen taking the lead, while Leclerc consistently completed the fastest laps.
Pérez came into the box on lap 17, but he stayed there for quite a few seconds in that wheel change, so Leclerc’s chances of taking the lead back in Baku increased. Verstappen has also been replaced, it is not smooth, so Leclerc smoothly regained the lead in lap 19. Then came the last nail into Ferrari’s coffin:
On lap 21, Charles Leclerc’s engine smoked, and both Ferraris reset. Technical failures could cause the Reds to lose their world title. Red Bull got a huge joke with this in terms of scoring.
Hamilton hunted down Alonso at halftime, finishing fifth in the seven-time world champion. Russell was in third place at the time. Both Mercedes drivers suffered severe physical pain, a backache from the car. Hamilton also voiced his pain on team radio during the race.
Meanwhile, two more Ferrari motorcyclists, the two Haas, were forced to give up the race. The rate of technical failures in Ferrari-powered cars is desperate. The VSC stage after Magnussen’s retreat once again allowed time-wasting wheel changes, allowing the two Red Bulls to live right away.
From here, Verstappen dominated the race, driving undisturbed in the lead, and Pérez followed the Dutchman as a good quarterback. Russell drove out of sight but in third place. And ahead of Hamilton Gasly, the commissioner came in fourth. This did not change until the end of the race, so Max Verstappen won his 25th race in Azerbaijan.
With a double win, Red Bull had an 80-point advantage over Ferrari over the constructors, with Verstappen individually gaining 21 units over second-place Perez.
There is no stopping the season of F1 2022 to continue next week with the Canadian Grand Prix.
This article is published by Index, a professional collaborator of same made by.
(Cover image: HAMAD I MOHAMMED / POOL / AFP)