F1 – Azerbaijan GP – Qualifying
Hello MiniFans! We are back in Baku for the fourth round of the season! It has already been the chaotic weekend, but we are used to that, here in Azerbaijan. You probably all saw the accident with Russell and the dislodged manhole cover. Also Stroll, who slammed the rear of his car into the wall on this narrow street circuit, didn’t have the best start of the weekend. Let’s see what qualifying brought us!
In the opening fase of Q1, we saw Stroll hitting the wall once again and consequently damaging his front wing and rear tires. Also Hamilton had some problems with the difficult track and ran into the escape lane of turn three, while we saw Ricciardo having a big lock up. One thing is for sure, Baku isn’t the most easy track on the F1 calendar!
It was notable that Gasly was still taking part in qualifying, although he has to start from the pit lane tomorrow. This measure was taken after he missed a weightbridge summon. Kubica shook things up right after the chequered flag was being waved. In his last lap, he crashed into the wall at the narrowest point of the track at the castle. Other drivers were in the elimination zone were, on behalf of this crash, not able to finish their last flying lap anymore. At the end of Q1, we had to leave Stroll, Grosjean, Hulkenburg, Russell and Kubica behind.
Q2 started later due to the crash of Kubica and with about eight minutes to go, we saw Leclerc crashing at the exact same spot! The drivers got back on track after another half an hour and with four minutes to go, Hulkenberg nearly crashed at the same point again! Luckily, it was only the back of his car and that way, he could continue. All the drivers that felt sure enough about their place in Q3, stayed in the box since the last red flag to avoid any damage on this tricky track. Leclerc, Sainz, Ricciardo, Albon and Magnussen were the drivers who didn’t make it to Q3.
Q3 started with a flying lap of Verstappen which was quickly beaten by Bottas and Hamilton. Vettel came up in P2 till Verstappen drove a second lap and beat Vettel’s time. Everyone, besides Verstappen, Perez and Kvyat came on track during the last two minutes. The final stint for the pole position could finally start after a delay of fifty minutes.
Valtteri Bottas took the pole position with a track record of 1:40.495, with Hamilton starting from P2 and Vettel and Verstappen on the second row. P5 is for Perez, followed by Kvyat, Norris, Giovinazzi and Raikkonen.