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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

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
tl;dr...:sleep:
as soon as that "fanboy" tripe comes out - go bother someone else.
 
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^Thanks - a verbatim repeat of Horner's statement today there. Will have to wait and see what the investigation brings then.

Red Bull have suddenly found starship enterprise performance from somewhere.
Good for the sport maybe, and nothing new indeed - Ferrari had a problem in 2018 that was swept under the carpet.
Time will tell.
well we'll know tomorrow because it's just practice. no doubt there will be plenty of circuits where Merc will be strong. Otherwise you will not win in Spain. Redbull is a top team with good technical people or did you think Merc always keeps winning
 
This is just speculation. We will see from the French GP if the enforcement of flexibility rules reshuffles the field.
 
Some extra 'fun' facts in the category of 'the Sun' tabloid(source: FP3 live Ziggo Sport reporters)

- Max Verstappen (like almost all other racers) use new shoes each race. Max has footsize 41,5 but they brought him 44...He could borrow should from Checo but they were too small and his feet hurt. Now he has to race this weekend with his F2 teammate's shoes. Flying in his own shoes form the UK to Baku is not possible.

- Lewis' new personal manager is the former Justin Bieber manager.
 
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FP3 showed a massive slipstream effect, bringing Hamilton from abouth 12th to 3rd. So we're likely to see a lot of manoeuvering and team work to get a slipstream in quali.
 
Should we start calling the red flag the Ferrari flag? Second Qualy in a row where they secure pole this way. Too much understeer from so many cars this week putting them into walls.

Gasly really surprised me with that P4 lap, seems like he might be competitive if he keeps his nose clean. Very mixed up grid in terms of constructors for first 8 positions, should be an interesting race tomorrow!
 
All of a sudden both Red Bull cars, both Ferrari cars, and both Alpha Tauri cars are all of a sudden quick at the same time. Every team who is using these flexible wings is showing big improvements with grip and speed. Hopefully after this race either the wings will be seen as breaking the rules, or every other team (Mercedes, McLaren, Alpine, and others, will also adopt the wings as well.
 
All of a sudden both Red Bull cars, both Ferrari cars, and both Alpha Tauri cars are all of a sudden quick at the same time. Every team who is using these flexible wings is showing big improvements with grip and speed. Hopefully after this race either the wings will be seen as breaking the rules, or every other team (Mercedes, McLaren, Alpine, and others, will also adopt the wings as well.
Yesterday they showed a 1:1 RBR and Mercedes rear and front wing flex comparison. The Mercedes wing has even more flex (especially the front wing). Probably it is something different then the wings. Could be the upgraded Mercedes engines (for all the teams) that have to run in a safer mode?

--

Great mixed starting grid!
 
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I like tracks with no margin for error :ninja: Qualification was a mess :roflmao: but good to see a driver not being Hamilton on pole :thumbsup:
I expect the race to be boring as always though
 
"As always"? There has been only 3 GPs in Baku so far. One of them was boring, the other two looked like Super Mario. With 5 cars out of 20 crashed in the wall in quali, I would bet on another crazy race with drivers hitting snakes and ladders. Anyone of the top 7 can win it.
 
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