2019 F1 Championship - Round 4 - Azerbaijan Grand Prix

happy_eagle

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After a very lacklustre 1000th GP, we head to Baku for the 3rd instance of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. If its anything like the last two F1 races at Baku, there should be a bit more going on during this one. Last year we had the dual RBR collision, Grojsean throwing it into the barrier on his own, and a Bottas from P1 puncture near the end. The year before that it was Daniel with a Steven Bradbury like effort after a red flag, and a Hamilton/Vettel collision under the safety car.

Race details:
FP2: 11PM Friday, FP3: 8PM Saturday
Qualifying: 11PM EST Saturday
Race: 10PM EST Sunday



Here is your annual reminder of just how narrow parts of the Baku track can be



Amazingly Turn 8 has been fairly incident free in previous GPs.


FP1 was cancelled this morning after Russell ran into a drain cover that was not properly bolted down, and then the truck rescuing his car ran into a bridge. Daniel summed it up well on twitter a short time ago


Onto the race itself, its hard to see Mercedes not extending the advantage here. I would like to know what on earth is going on with Ferrari. In Winter testing they were the benchmark by a country mile (even if Mercedes were sandbagging), and they backed it up in Bahrain (and threw away the race win as well). Ferrari do have a straight line speed advantage over Mercedes, and the entire third sector is pretty much a straight at full throttle.

I want to see a big race from Bottas. In both China and Bahrain on race day he returned to the Bottas of old who dropped away quickly and significantly from the pace of Hamilton. For the sake of the spectacle I hope we can see Australian GP Bottas out there on both Saturday and Sunday, because I feel like he is the only real challenger to Lewis right now, and we are still at that stage in the season where the championship is open so team orders shouldn't be in play.


I'm not going to make a prediction for the race result, but I can say with confidence that strategy and safety cars will play an important factor. This is the type of race where Daniel could steal a podium by simply staying out of trouble or taking advantage of a pit stop under a safety car. Sergio Perez has been on the podium twice.
 

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Black_White

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#3
I read that Russell can’t compete in FP2 as he caused the red flag.
Really?
Surely there is some dispensation when the track itself is the culprit, not the driver/team.
Reckon they’d find that loophole if it was Lewis or Seb’s car.
 

imadodgyumpire

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I want to see a big race from Bottas. In both China and Bahrain on race day he returned to the Bottas of old who dropped away quickly and significantly from the pace of Hamilton. For the sake of the spectacle I hope we can see Australian GP Bottas out there on both Saturday and Sunday, because I feel like he is the only real challenger to Lewis right now, and we are still at that stage in the season where the championship is open so team orders shouldn't be in play .
I would disagree with this opinion/interpretation if you're criticising him.

In Bahrain, he struggled with his car. He might not have had the damage Hamilton had in Melbourne, but his lack of pace had nothing to do with his intent. He struggled and made errors, but he still finished 2nd. Had the form of last year continued, he'd have finished off the podium.

In China, the pole position was telling. Hamilton has this reputation of being a fast lap king, but Bottas' time was too much for him on his last run. This is when Hamilton typically bangs in a memorable lap he is lauded for.

Hamilton got him off the line and held that advantage throughout the race. But that has been typical of MB since the hybrid turbos have come in. Whichever car has track position seems to have a big advantage (Idk why?). It was the reverse of Melbourne. Whether you win by 5, 10, 20secs, you just bag the poits and move on.

If we're carrying on from last year Hamilton would be leading by 20+ points already, but it's only 6. Bottas' worst races this year have been equal to his best from last year. If that continues, it changes the psychology for Hamilton as well.

I don't expect this race to be a MB 1-2. But if Bottas is 3-1 down in the head to head with Hamilton this weekend, I don't think it'll be because he's returned to his 2018 form.
 

happy_eagle

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I would disagree with this opinion/interpretation if you're criticising him.

In Bahrain, he struggled with his car. He might not have had the damage Hamilton had in Melbourne, but his lack of pace had nothing to do with his intent. He struggled and made errors, but he still finished 2nd. Had the form of last year continued, he'd have finished off the podium.

In China, the pole position was telling. Hamilton has this reputation of being a fast lap king, but Bottas' time was too much for him on his last run. This is when Hamilton typically bangs in a memorable lap he is lauded for.

Hamilton got him off the line and held that advantage throughout the race. But that has been typical of MB since the hybrid turbos have come in. Whichever car has track position seems to have a big advantage (Idk why?). It was the reverse of Melbourne. Whether you win by 5, 10, 20secs, you just bag the poits and move on.

If we're carrying on from last year Hamilton would be leading by 20+ points already, but it's only 6. Bottas' worst races this year have been equal to his best from last year. If that continues, it changes the psychology for Hamilton as well.

I don't expect this race to be a MB 1-2. But if Bottas is 3-1 down in the head to head with Hamilton this weekend, I don't think it'll be because he's returned to his 2018 form.
Hope you are right
 

YippeeYiYeo

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#8
George Russell destroys his car over a drainhole cover
Sky Sports estimated 500,000 pounds damage :oops: Thats unbelievable. A drainhole cover burnt down the equivalent of my house twice over. And then the loading truck carrying Russells car back to the pits hit the Rolex Bridge sign and hydraulic oil spilt all over Russells car lol. What a disaster.
 

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Forward Press

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#22
ADR lucky to scrape through, I imagine he'd be happy just getting a point or two tomorrow.

That also makes two Williams totalled this weekend and it's not even Sunday yet. They are in their death spiral I think - either customer team or bust.
 
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