Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Azerbaijan Grand Prix: The anomaly event F1 needs?

Has the Baku race already been given too much pressure to entertain? Or can it deliver another oddball Grand Prix?

Azerbaijan Grand Prix: The anomaly event F1 needs?

With the majority of Formula One races in recent years featuring some combination of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull drivers on the podium, the sport has lacked surprise  visitors to the rostrum.

The only driver from outside the top three teams to register a podium finish in 2018 was then-Force India racer Sergio Perez, who took third at a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Prior to that, the previous two occasions where a non-Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull driver secured a top three finish were the Baku races of 2017 and 2016. 

Perez was once again flying the flag for the midfield teams in 2016 with a third place, and Lance Stroll repeated the feat for Williams in 2017, taking his first Formula One podium.

Whilst Formula One is working away in the background to try and solve it's own issues of how to bring the field closer together and improve racing, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has become one of the more anticipated events of the year. 

Added to the usual risk associated with street circuits, the track layout is very much a 'tale of two halves', combining one of the tightest, twistiest sections on the calendar with one of the fastest. Sector three is almost-entirely flat out, featuring most of the mighty 2.2km-long run to the start-finish line.

The required balance in setup only helps to promote overtaking in the two DRS-assisted straights. Such is the greatness of the slipstream effect, it's one of the crazier venues for a safety car restart. Big braking zones into turns one and three add further invites for overtaking.

After the Chinese Grand Prix was unable to live up to last year's event, can the race in Baku fill the gap left by 'F1 1000'?

What are your predictions for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

shares
comments
Giovinazzi set for grid penalty in Azerbaijan

Previous article

Giovinazzi set for grid penalty in Azerbaijan

Next article

Williams has no "clear solution" to car differences

Williams has no "clear solution" to car differences
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Murphy
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021