Things we learned from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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By Balazs Szabo on

The difficult and daunting Baku Road Circuit didn’t fail to impress final weekend with delivering a sensational, nail-biting Azerbaijan Grand Prix which noticed Crimson Bull’s Sergio Perez come out on prime with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the 2 most important protagonists of the championship leaving the observe with empty baggage. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó evaluation the fifth Baku F1 race.

No repeat winner – The fifth version of the Baku F1 race noticed Sergio Perez clinch his second profession victory, which means that there’s nonetheless no repeat winner in Azerbaijan. The primary race, staged beneath the title of the European Grand Prix, was gained by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, adopted by the victories of Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. The race was not held in 2020 as a result of pandemic, however the avenue observe welcomed the sector once more this 12 months with Perez securing his first triumph together with his new staff.

Tied on wins – Mercedes and Crimson Bull are actually tied when it comes to race wins on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Actually, the Brackley-based outfit has the higher hand because it gained the inaugural race again in 2016 courtesy of Nico Rosberg, nevertheless it was then held because the European Grand Prix.

DAS alternative – Final 12 months, Mercedes drivers have been in a position to heat up their entrance tyres in sure important conditions with the assistance of the Twin Axis Steering (DAS) system which enabled the drivers to change the toe of the automobile whereas on observe by sliding the steering wheel backwards and forwards.

The system was outlawed for 2021, however Mercedes seemingly got here up with one other trick which was known as ‘brake magic’ by Lewis Hamilton when his restart went unsuitable at Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The system is believed to be a setting which will help warmth the brakes by altering, amongst different issues, the brake bias settings. With the ‘brake magic’ off, the brake stability was 51.0 per cent whereas the show confirmed a brake stability of 86.5 per cent with the system switched on, which defined why Hamilton was unable to show in after the restart.

The Baku grasp – This was Perez’s 2nd profession win and his third podium in Baku. The Mexican has 11 podium finishes to his title, of which he has scored three at Baku which is greater than he has taken at another circuit.

The vital first – Sebastian Vettel recorded his first podium end since final 12 months’s Turkish Grand Prix and his first for his new staff, Aston Martin. It was, nonetheless, a fair greater milestone for the Gaydon-based outfit because it scored its first ever F1 podium. The staff participated in a complete of 5 races in 1959 and 1960, nevertheless it failed to attain any factors again then.

Lengthy wait – Whereas Crimson Bull dominated the game between 2010 and 2013, the vitality drink company-owned outfit has failed to essentially excel within the sport’s hybrid period. The Austrian outfit has, nonetheless, raised its efficiency degree for 2021 and was set to clinch a one-two end at Baku, however Verstappen’s tyre blowout disadvantaged the staff of clinching a one-two end. Nonetheless, it was an uncommon end result for the staff because it was the first Crimson Bull win for anybody aside from Max Verstappen since Daniel Ricciardo gained the 2018 Monaco GP.

Unfavourable file – For Mercedes, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was one other catastrophe after its dismal outcomes from the earlier Monaco race. The staff’s 55-race run of factors finishes ended on Sunday, tied for the 4th-longest streak all-time. For Lewis Hamilton, the Baku race resulted in tears attributable to his mistake on the restart, which additionally noticed its 54-race scoring streak finish.

No level for quickest lap – Verstappen skilled a rollercoaster of feelings in Baku. The 23-year-old and staff mate Sergio Perez seemed poised to take first and second place for his or her staff, however catastrophe struck three laps earlier than the chequered flag. The Dutchman’s left rear tire punctured, inflicting him to hit the wall and forcing him to retire.

Verstappen topped his sensible efficiency earlier than his crash with the DHL Quickest Lap. 1:44.481 on onerous tires in lap 44 – a time not even any of the drivers with smooth tires may beat. Sadly, the Dutchman leaves Baku with zero factors, as his tire blowout knocked him out of the High 10, thus making him ineligible for the additional level.

Quick on and off the observe – Crimson Bull have been blindingly quick not solely on the observe, however they delivered a superb efficiency off the observe as properly. The Milton Keynes-based outfit carried out one other speedy tyre change, as soon as once more coming in at beneath 2 seconds and securing their fourth DHL Quickest Pit Cease of the 2021 season.

Unchanged – The battle within the Drivers‘ Championship continued at Baku with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton preventing for very important championship factors. With Crimson Bull having the higher hand on the difficult avenue circuit, the Dutchman was on target to open up his earlier four-point result in a attainable fourteen-point hole, however his late drama prevented him from growing the margin. Hamilton was then introduced with the possibility of getting the championship lead again, though the Briton made an important mistake on the re-start and left Baku with zero factors.

The highest of the standings, subsequently, is unchanged with Verstappen having fun with a four-point lead over Hamilton. Sergio Perez jumped to the third place, adopted by Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc. Bottas finds himself solely in P6 because of the Imola, Monaco and Baku race the place he failed to attain any factors.

Kimi Räikkönen completed in P10 in Azerbaijan which helped him rating his first schampionship level in 2021. This leaves solely the 2 Williams and Haas drivers with no single unit this 12 months.

Ferrari improved to 3rd – With Mercedes failing so as to add to its level tally at Baku, Crimson Bull elevated its result in 26 factors within the standings. Ferrari lastly overtook McLaren with the British outfit slipping again to fourth. The Italian staff demonstrated a a lot better tempo at Monaco and Baku, within the final two rounds of the championship, however Charles Leclerc’s misfortunes within the Principality and Carlos Sainz’s mistake final weekend made it harder than anticipated for the Scuderia to make the transfer on McLaren within the Constructors‘ Championship.

Elsewehre, AlphaTauri and Aston Martin scored huge factors within the final two races, leaving the Alpine F1 staff with some homework for the approaching occasions.


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