F1 – Azerbaijan GP – Qualifying
Time now to change to F1 with the Azerbaijan GP qualifying session. The Baku Street Circuit returns for his second year to the F1 calendar and the streets of the most famous castle of the season gave us an exciting qualifying session.
The first session of qualifying happened as always, with not so many surprises. The mistakes before reaching the castle section was something normal here in Baku this season, being Sainz and Massa the ones who had to use the reverse gear on their car meanwhile Hamilton, Verstappen and Raikkonen were on top of the session. The McLaren drivers will face a 70 position grid penalty (40 for Alonso and 35 for Vandoorne), having to start the race from Canada’s grid. Chequered flag and Hamilton finished on top, at the knockout zone we had Alonso, Grosjean, Ericsson, Vandoorne and Palmer.
It’s time to get serious and much closer to the walls for the Q2 battle. Felipe Massa had a couple of mistakes but he didn’t hit the wall. Again both Mercedes were on top, improving their times and putting some distance with the rivals, but we saw how Verstappen made a lap between both silver arrows. Chequered flag and Kvyat, Sainz, Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Wehrlein. Both Mercedes finished on top with Hamilton on 1st position again.
Final battle for the pole position, Mercedes was the favorite for the pole position, but the surprise was that Bottas was on provisional pole, even after touching the wall before making the castle section while Hamilton made a mistake on the last turn before the long straight. Daniel Ricciardo caused a red flag after hitting the wall. When the session was restarted, Verstappen was the first driver to start his lap with both Mercedes just behind him. Most of the drivers improved their times, but it was Hamilton the one who could make the fastest lap at Baku.
Pole position for Lewis Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas 2nd, Raikkonen 3rd. The top 10 was completed with Vettel, Verstappen, Perez, Ocon, Stroll, Massa and Ricciardo.
Tomorrow Lewis will try to take the 1st position of the chamiponship but the Red Bull is coming really good this time. Everything can happen at Baku and a good top speed will be important for the race.