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Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2022

Updated: Nov 22, 2022


Stroll caused both a yellow and red flag in Q1 catching the inside front on the barriers, which then caused a rush over the line for 5 cars at the end of the session, so they could fit a final flying lap in. This saw him eliminated in Q1, joining him were both Haas’s and both Williams’s. Q2 saw another Aston Martin going into the barriers although unlike his teammate this did not stop Vettel reaching Q3. Q2 saw both McLarens, both Alfa Romeos and Ocon taking P11-P15 for the race.

Gasly set the initial pace in the race for pole in Q3, but the battle was inevitably between the Ferraris and Red Bulls. Sainz was on provisional pole, although teammate Leclerc managed to pip him to make him the first driver to have 2 poles in Baku. Perez outqualified teammate Verstappen, with the Red Bulls taking P2 and P3, with Sainz finishing up the 2nd row in P4.


Race Day

Lights out and away they went, Perez had a dream start as Leclerc locked up and snuck through the inside of the Ferrari at turn 1 to claim the lead. Lap 9 saw more heartbreak for both Sainz and Ferrari as he went off in turn 1 due to a hydraulic issue. A few used the virtual safety car to pit for hard tyres, Mercedes double stacked their drivers Leclerc, Vettel and Gasly all stopped. Lap 15 saw Verstappen overtake teammate Perez, who had been told on team radio “no fighting” for position.

By lap 19 both Verstappen and Perez had pitted, and Leclerc had taken the opportunity to regain the lead he lost in the opening turn of the race. Unfortunately for Ferrari just one lap later Leclerc suffered from an engine failure causing a double DNF, and more heartbreak for Leclerc. More bad news for Ferrari ad Zhou and Magnusson both had to retire from the race, both running Ferrari powered cars.

Tsunoda had been having a great race, up in 6th when his rear wing split and instead of retiring the car, AlphaTauri simply taped it up and told him not to use DRS for the remaining 12 laps! Hamilton also drove well, especially when you consider the physical toll the Mercedes was taking on him, mentioning back pain over the team radio and the evident discomfort when he got out the car. He finished 4th after having a great battle with Gasly, who claimed 5th, for most of the race.

It was another 1-2 for Red Bull with Verstappen winning the race and Perez in 2nd. Russell, or Mr Consistency as he should now be known, made up the last spot on the podium and continued is top 5 run. The McLarens took 8th and 9th with Ricciardo in front after the team told Norris not to overtake because of an earlier strategy call.

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