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2021 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Will Hamilton regain the championship lead at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix?


  • Total voters
    455
  • Poll closed .
Formula One is back in Baku for its fifth visit to the Azeri capital city.

The sport did not get the chance to race around the streets of Baku as expected last season. However, we are back by the Caspian sea as the race for the 2021 title begins to intensify.

The track is unusual in its nature, being a high speed street circuit. A fast lap around Baku requires a great deal of confidence through sectors one and two, which feature plenty of walls and heavy braking zones with limited runoff areas. The notorious castle section, an uphill stretch around the Old City features a track width of just over seven metres, and is set to become even faster this year. The inside kerb on entry to the castle section has been removed, so we should see the cars pass through the trickiest part of the lap quicker than ever before.

What makes the circuit particularly challenging, is that the last two kilometres of the lap are taken flat out. This of course forces teams to run less downforce than they otherwise would, making the cars even more of a handful through the twisty second sector. Conditions should remain dry, although the temperature is expected to be a fair bit hotter than on F1's last visit to the circuit.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will head into this weekend as favourites, having won all five races this season between them. Sergio Perez has always gone well at Baku however, having taken podiums here for Force India in 2016 and 2018. McLaren could pose an outside threat too, having shown the strongest straight line speed of all the teams this year. Norris will no doubt hope to continue his good form from Monaco, and make the most of the two kilometre sprint to turn one come race day.

This weekend sees additional pressure applied to world champion, Lewis Hamilton, with rival Max Verstappen leading the drivers standings for the first time in his career. The Briton rued lost points in Monaco, describing Sunday as a "really, really poor performance from the team." He will no doubt bounce back this weekend, as he has done so often in the past. Do you think it'll be enough to regain the championship lead? Let us know in this weekend's poll, and tell us what you're looking forward to about Baku!
About author
Charlie Lockwood
23. Motorsport and Sim Racing enthusiast.

Comments

Bram, quick, you can still change your vote and nobody will notice it ;)

Looking forward to both the F 1 and F2 race. Full weekend!
And as always battles, I want to see battles on the track. No matter who wins as long as they had to fight for it (besides a wrong pit stop strategy)
Enjoy the Baku weekend!
 
Really don't like that track. I wish it was axed from the calendar.
it's interesting, I actually quite like the third sector. It's different and always provides great action. Sector 2 is worth it for the castle section. For me the first sector ruins the circuit and makes it difficult to like. Too many 90 degree corners detract from it's character and make for such an anticlimactic turn one.

Swap turn one for a hairpin and cut out two of the 90 degree corners and I think it would be quite a cool place to go racing.
 
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I don't like these forced temporary street circuits at all.
Mercedes in it's usual underdog position. Trying to put extra pressure on Red Bull.
Lets hope Bottas will park his car better this time, because he was 3 millimeter off last time, that why his wheel got stuck (according to Toto).
Toto Wolff is a backstabber in my eyes now. Trying to blame Bottas for everything that goes wrong.
His car was perfectly aligned, no need to blame your driver, other than to put him down.
Can imagine these things take away the passion and focus, where 10ths of seconds make a difference.
So i hope Bottas will shine this time (and don't mess things up).
 

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I don't like these forced temporary street circuits at all.
Mercedes in it's usual underdog position. Trying to put extra pressure on Red Bull.
Lets hope Bottas will park his car better this time, because he was 3 millimeter off last time, that why his wheel got stuck (according to Toto).
Toto Wolff is a backstabber in my eyes now. Trying to blame Bottas for everything that goes wrong.
His car was perfectly aligned, no need to blame your driver, other than to put him down.
Can imagine these things take away the passion and focus, where 10ths of seconds make a difference.
So i hope Bottas will shine this time (and don't mess things up).
I watched a 3rd party video with zero ToTo involvement, he showed how Botas pulled up and how the crew had to move. It was one of the tire changers not giving the gun-guy enough room and that is why the gun was at an angle which sheared off the inner threads.
 
There's no way rbr can win this race without anything weird happening. Mercedes has the pace to put both their cars in the top 3 positions, has better tyre degradation that allows them the chance to do either the undercut or the overcut, and even if all fails they still have better top speed and a very long straight to pass the rbr cars like sitting ducks. And then perez that can't qualify within 3 tenths of max giving mercedes the option to play the strategy that they like the most witout any worries.
 
it's interesting, I actually quite like the third sector. It's different and always provides great action. Sector 2 is worth it for the castle section. For me the first sector ruins the circuit and makes it difficult to like. Too many 90 degree corners detract from it's character and make for such an anticlimactic turn one.

Swap turn one for a hairpin and cut out two of the 90 degree corners and I think it would be quite a cool place to go racing.
What I don't like: the extra-long straights, they feel sort of pointless to me. I would cut in half the section from turn 20 to turn 4. I agree with your suggestions. The hairpin at turn 1 is pretty good idea.

The only section that I find exciting (by trying it in the Codemasters game) is the quick section of turns 13-14-15. It's basically flat out until turn 16. That's pretty neat.

And the track is just too long, like Singapore.
 
There's no way rbr can win this race without anything weird happening. Mercedes has the pace to put both their cars in the top 3 positions, has better tyre degradation that allows them the chance to do either the undercut or the overcut, and even if all fails they still have better top speed and a very long straight to pass the rbr cars like sitting ducks. And then perez that can't qualify within 3 tenths of max giving mercedes the option to play the strategy that they like the most witout any worries.
Merc guys said a few weeks ago that the bendy wing would work well at Baku. Historically Bottas did better than Hamilton there, as it tends to be the case generally on low grip tracks. So there is no reason to be pessimistic for RedBull.
 
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Rear wings all looked more stiff in FP1.
Fia decided to put two yellow stickers on each rear wing (not a joke) to test/observe the flex and obviously if it is within the margins.

PS Just read that it seems that Mazepin has to serve military services which could imply he has to quit F1 for a year (not sure if true?) Will Fittipaldi make his first race laps in F1 soonish?
 
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F1 and 24hr Nurburgring.. seems like a good weekend :)
I know what I'll watch then.... ;) 24 Hrs has been a better race for the last few years.
Fia decided to put two yellow stickers on each rear wing (not a joke) to test/observe the flex and obviously if it is within the margins.

PS Just read that it seems that Mazepin has to serve military services which could imply he has to quit F1 for a year (not sure if true?) Will Fittipaldi make his first race laps in F1 soonish?
Well the Russians do still have conscription for most of their army, they have a hard core of professional soldiers who are the main Forces with the biggest punch and the most modern equipment while the rest of the military is mainly second line formations with a lot older equipment and not as good training.
A lot of the reorganization in recent years was to the ineffectiveness of the older organization.

The russian Governement is rather "stringent" on enforcing that conscription, and dodging the draft is a crime punished by up to two years in prison. I'm quite sure that if Papa Mazepin would be chummy-chummy with "Uncle Vlad", he could maybe possibly dodge it.
Hish high visibility does complicate matters though, as the optics would be really bad if he got away with it.

Speaking of military and optics, I do not think that F1 holding this GP this year is a good look, following last years events involving Azerbaijan and the behaviour of it's leader since.

Your Values Liberty Media? What Values?
 
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Early indications: Merc cant get heat in the tyres again.

Prediction : Red Bull win (especially if the illegal wing stays), slow Merc weekend.
the illegal rear wing is really for the Merc fan boys... the cars have been approved by all teams at the beginning of this season. Hasn't Formula 1 always been pushing the boundaries of the rules, nothing special. Last year it was Merc himself with the dassss.. oh and the pink Merc


Don't let Mercedes forget their own front wing ;)
and it's certainly not proven at all that the RB wing is illega
 
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