Back to Baku

Back to Baku

Postby meteorite » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:32 pm

Last race in Montreal, Lewis Hamilton ran the table, winning every prize available including new absolute track record. But Montreal is a new city (founded 375 years ago) with a new, wide-open circuit mostly friendly to an open style. But archeological finds suggest that settlement on the Baku site may run back 100 millenia into the Stone Age, with settlement in the Bronze Age, and likely mostly continually since. In that time it has developed a complex of narrow, winding streets which with enough concrete barriers and fencing can be a temporary racecourse. It isn't an easy one, numerous drivers found it most unforgiving, and it takes its toll. Still Hamilton and Team Mercedes arrived on a high, with upgrades on their cars to tweak known weaknesses and expected improvements by competitors.

So in qualifing Valterri Bottas went out and put up a target time for everyone to shoot at in each session. Then he would go out and raise it. In almst, but not every case Hamilton could raise the bar, and managed to be fastest by the end of every session. Kimi Raikkonen, pushing his Ferrari, keept the Meredes drivers honest but could never close the gap, while Sebastian Vetttel, the points leader, found his car cranky and was hard pressed to keep his machine on the second row. He was pushed by Max Verstappen, who complained of the ever-changing track, but whose partner Daniel Ricciardo suffered an on-course failure before his definitive try so fell to tenth. In between both Force Indias and Both Williams took their rows, with Canadian Lance Stroll leading his senior partner.

The non-points cars sorted themselves out as shown . In fact the two McLaren cars took upgrades that cost them penalties of 35 and 40 grid positions respectively, so conserving their tires and machinery as far as possible set laps times sufficient to meet the required minimum then retiired to their garage. JolyonPalmer's Renault caught fire in final practice and could not be re[aired in time to take part in qualification.

Baku is a course of narrow roads, tight quirky cornes, notorious winds, and variable shading as the sun drops in the sky, just to make the drivdrs' task more difficult. Every finisher tomorrow will have fully earned his placing and more.


2017 FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING

23 25 Jun 2017 Baku City Circuit, Baku
Starting grid

Qualifying
Practice 3
Practice 2
Practice 1

Pos No Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.983 1:41.275 1:40.593 20
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:43.026 1:41.502 1:41.027 23
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:42.678 1:42.090 1:41.693 23
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:42.952 1:41.911 1:41.841 23
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:42.544 1:41.961 1:41.879 22
6 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:43.162 1:42.467 1:42.111 21
7 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:43.051 1:42.751 1:42.186 21
8 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:43.613 1:42.284 1:42.753 21
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:43.165 1:42.735 1:42.798 22
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:42.857 1:42.215 1:43.414 20
11 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:42.927 1:43.186 19
12 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:43.489 1:43.347 20
13 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:44.029 1:43.796 18
14 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:43.930 1:44.267 12
15 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:44.317 1:44.603 18
16 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:44.334 9
17 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:44.468 10
18 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:44.795 10
19 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:45.030 8

Q1 107% Time - 1:49.121 Note - Palmer did not participate following a car fire in FP3 so races at stewards' discretion
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Re: Back to Baku

Postby meteorite » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:54 pm

The race proved to be every bit as exacting as predicted. Through the first esses at the start to the thrilling drag race down the long straight to the finish line (winner's margin on that: about 1/10th of a second) events can only be described as chaotic. The podium flags represented Australia, Finland and Canada. Spectators after described the event as "chaotic", an understatement.

Seven starters were listed DNF (did not finish) and two of those credited with finishing were actually withdrawn from retirement and repaired enough to return when the race was red-flagged for a major clearance of collision debris. Vettel apparently deliberately ran into Hamilton in an attack of road rage, provoked by Vettel's perception that Hamilton, leading the group, had "brake-checked" him, which Hamilton flatly denied. During the red flag stopped period drivers may leave their cars, which means removing the horseshoe shaped cockpit rim that is F1's evolution of the HANS (head and neck support) device. When the green flag flew and the drivers returned to racing, Hamilton's was either not latched down properly or came loose. Regulations required him to pit and fix it. The time this cost him brought him out just behind Vettel, who had just served a penalty - 10-second within a drive-thru - for "causing a collision" as the stewards phrased it. The delays also put the pair so far back they could not manage podium finishes.

When the dust cleared the finishers were classed like this:


2017 FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX - RACE RESULT

23 25 Jun 2017 Baku City Circuit, Baku

Race result

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 51 2:03:55.573 25
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 51 +3.904s 18
3 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 51 +4.009s 15
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 51 +5.976s 12
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 51 +6.188s 10
6 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 51 +30.298s 8
7 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 51 +41.753s 6
8 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 51 +49.400s 4
9 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 51 +59.551s 2
10 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 51 +89.093s 1
11 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 51 +91.794s 0
12 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 51 +92.160s 0
13 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 50 +1 lap 0
14 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 46 DNF 0
NC 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 39 DNF 0
NC 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 25 DNF 0
NC 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 24 DNF 0
NC 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 12 DNF 0
NC 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 9 DNF 0
NC 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 7 DNF 0
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