2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Race 6 of 23 in the 2021 Formula One World Championship
Layout of the Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan
Layout of the Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan
Race details[1]
Date 6 June 2021
Official name Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021
Location Baku City Circuit
Baku, Azerbaijan
Course Street circuit
Course length 6.003 km (3.730 mi)
Distance 51 laps, 306.049 km (190.170 mi)
Weather Sunny
Attendance 0[a]
Pole position
Driver Ferrari
Time 1:41.218
Fastest lap
Driver Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda
Time 1:44.481 on lap 44
Podium
First Red Bull Racing-Honda
Second Aston Martin-Mercedes
Third AlphaTauri-Honda
Lap leaders

The 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, officially known as the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021, was a Formula One motor race held on 6 June 2021 at the Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan. The race, the sixth round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship, marked the fourth running of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and the fifth time the country had hosted a Grand Prix, having also held the 2016 European Grand Prix.

Both championship contenders, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen experienced problems during the 51-lap race - Verstappen retired due to a high-speed tyre blowout, while Hamilton made a severe error at the resultant restart. Their troubles cleared the way for Sergio Pérez, Verstappen's teammate, to win his second Grand Prix, following his victory at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel took second place for his first podium with Aston Martin, while Pierre Gasly claimed third place for AlphaTauri. After the race, tyre supplier Pirelli launched an investigation into the tyre failures which ended the races of Verstappen and Lance Stroll.

Background

A tarmac race course, lined with concrete and metal barriers, passes between a building and a turret.
The course (photographed in 2019) passes through Old Baku.

The drivers and teams were the same as the season entry list with no additional stand-in drivers for the race.[3] Tyre supplier Pirelli brought the C3, C4 and C5 tyre compounds (designated hard, medium and soft respectively) for teams to use at the event.[4]

The race was held at the 6.003 kilometres (3.730 mi) Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, and was contested over 51 laps. Mercedes and Red Bull were considered favourites to win the race.[5]

Having won the previous race at Monaco, Max Verstappen, of Red Bull, entered the round holding a four-point lead in the World Driver's Championship ahead of rival Lewis Hamilton, who was driving for Mercedes. Red Bull also held a one-point lead over Mercedes in the World Constructors' Championship.

Practice

The first practice session started at 12:30 local time (UTC+4) on 4 June, with second practice session starting at 16:00 on the same day, with a third practice session due to start at 13:00 local time on 5 June, with a three sessions lasting one hour.[1] The first session ended with the Red Bull Racing of Max Verstappen fastest ahead of the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. Mercedes had a low key session with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in seventh fastest and tenth fastest respectively.[6] Sergio Pérez was fastest in the second session ahead of Red Bull team mate Verstappen and Sainz. Leclerc finished 4th having caused a virtual safety car after hitting the barrier at turn 15. Nicholas Latifi caused a red flag after his Williams car's engine failed. The Mercedes pair Hamilton and Bottas once again struggled finishing 11th and 15th fastest respectively.[7]

Qualifying

Report

Qualifying started at 16:00 local time on 5 June.[1] Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi (both in Q1), Daniel Ricciardo (Q2), Yuki Tsunoda, and Carlos Sainz Jr. (both Q3) all had accidents resulting in four red flags over the course of qualifying, tying it with the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix as a record for the most red flags in a qualifying session.[8] George Russell changed his entire drivetrain before heading out for a flying lap, the Q1 red flags giving his pit crew extra time in the garage to make for a flying lap.[] Charles Leclerc took pole position for the second consecutive event from Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.[9]

After qualifying Lando Norris said he was left "gutted" after he was handed a three-place grid penalty as well as three-penalty points on his FIA Super Licence for failing to correctly follow the red flag procedures.[10] Charles Leclerc was surprised to be on pole and said he thought his pole lap was "quite shit".[11] Lewis Hamilton hailed his second place on the grid a "monumental effort."[12] Championship leader Max Verstappen was frustrated with third on the grid after what he described as "a stupid qualifying."[13] Fernando Alonso, who qualified ninth, gave outspoken criticism of the fact that drivers who cause red flags are not punished, deeming it "unfair" that drivers who cause red flags are allowed to keep their grid positions.[14] Valtteri Bottas was mystified with his qualifying performance after finishing down in tenth, eight positions behind teammate Hamilton, saying "something is wrong" with his car.[15]

Qualifying classification

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Final
grid
Q1 Q2 Q3
1 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:42.241 1:41.659 1:41.218 1
2 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.545 1:41.634 1:41.450 2
3 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda 1:41.760 1:41.625 1:41.563 3
4 10 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1:42.288 1:41.932 1:41.565 4
5 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1:42.121 1:41.740 1:41.576 5
6 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.167 1:41.813 1:41.747 91
7 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing-Honda 1:41.968 1:41.630 1:41.917 6
8 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1:42.521 1:41.654 1:42.211 7
9 14 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1:42.934 1:42.195 1:42.327 8
10 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:42.701 1:42.106 1:42.659 10
11 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1:42.460 1:42.224 N/A 11
12 31 France Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1:42.426 1:42.273 N/A 12
13 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.304 1:42.558 N/A 13
14 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 1:42.923 1:42.587 N/A 14
15 63 United Kingdom George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1:42.728 1:42.758 N/A 15
16 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1:43.128 N/A N/A 16
17 47 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1:44.158 N/A N/A 17
18 9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin[b] Haas-Ferrari 1:44.238 N/A N/A 18
107% time: 1:48.653
-- 18 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes No time N/A N/A 192
-- 99 No time N/A N/A 202
Sources:[17][18]
Notes
  • ^1 - Lando Norris received a three-place grid penalty for failing to comply with red flags in Q1.[19]
  • ^2 - Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi both failed to set a time during qualifying and were permitted to race at the stewards' discretion.[18] Stroll was placed ahead of Giovinazzi because during qualifying he left the pit lane earlier.

Race

Report

The race started at 16:00 local time on 6 June and was contested over 51 laps.[20] The start did not produce many overtakes, as Leclerc retained first place of Hamilton and Verstappen. The main change in the order was Sergio Pérez overtaking Carlos Sainz Jr. and Pierre Gasly to move from sixth to fourth place. Behind them, Fernando Alonso climbed to seventh place and Sebastian Vettel to ninth, having started eighth and eleventh respectively. At the end of lap three, Hamilton passed Leclerc on the start/finish straight to take the lead, making the top ten order Hamilton, Leclerc, Verstappen, Pérez, Gasly, Sainz, Alonso, Yuki Tsunoda, Vettel, and Valtteri Bottas. Esteban Ocon retired at the end of the lap 3 with a turbocharger failure. Three laps later, Verstappen passed Leclerc for second place. Pérez also overtook Leclerc on the following lap, dropping Leclerc to fourth place.

On lap 8, Alonso became the first driver to make a pit stop for fresh tyres. Leclerc followed suit one lap later. On lap 11, Sainz outbraked himself into the turn 8 chicane dropping him from 6th to 15th, finding himself having to reverse out of a very narrow run off onto the racing line.

Hamilton was the first driver from the top three to make a pit stop. In an otherwise tidy stop, his exit from the pit box was delayed due to Gasly driving the pit lane behind him, costing him about two seconds. The following lap, Verstappen made his stop, giving Pérez a temporary lead. Pérez then stopped the lap after, but the wheelgun of the rear-right mechanic failed; the spare was used and the stop was completed. Following the stops, both Red Bulls jumped Hamilton, dropping him to fourth place, with Vettel, yet to make a pit stop, temporarily in the lead. Vettel stayed out for another four laps, maintaining speed before finally coming to the pit lane and exiting the pits in seventh place, over-cutting Tsunoda with his new tyres, seven laps fresher than the tyres of Gasly, Hamilton and all the runners in front of him.

The order settled over the next fifteen laps with Hamilton unsuccessfully trying to pass Pérez for second place. On lap 30, Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, who was the sole driver to have started the race on the hardest tyre compound and not to have made a pit stop yet, suffered a left-rear tyre failure when exiting turn 20 onto the main straight, causing him to lose control and crash into the left-hand barriers, resulting in his retirement and the safety car being deployed for a few laps. Stroll's stricken car had ended up on the pit lane entry and the pit lane was closed until it had been cleared. When the pit lane opened, the field had been brought together behind the safety car and none of the front runners elected to make a pit stop. The only ones who took a fresh set of tyres during the safety car period were Fernando Alonso, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell and Nikita Mazepin.

The safety car period ended after four laps and normal racing resumed on the start of lap 36. The top three remained unchanged with Vettel passing Leclerc on the resumption of racing for fifth place. At the end of the lap Vettel passed Gasly to climb into fourth place. The top five order settled for the next eight laps with Hamilton unable to keep up with Pérez through the corners, whilst closing the gap again down the straights.

Verstappen then set the race's fastest lap of 1:44.805 on lap 44. Two laps later, his Red Bull RB16B suffered a left-rear tyre failure on the main straight causing him to spin and crash into the barriers, coming to rest about 50m short of the finishing line. He retired from the race as a result and the safety car was deployed for a second time. This meant that Pérez was in the lead with Hamilton in second. The race director ordered the cars to pass through the pit lane to bypass the accident scene. Williams' Nicholas Latifi was told to "stay out" by his engineer, which he interpreted as an instruction not to enter the pit lane. In fact, the cars were required to drive through the pit lane, and "stay out" had merely been an instruction not to stop for tyres while doing so. This failure to follow the race director's instructions cost him a post-race penalty of 30 seconds being added to his race time (which was converted from a 10 second stop-and-go penalty). A number of messages were exchanged between Masi and the teams during the red flag period; most notably, McLaren's Paul James complained that Tsunoda did not slow down sufficiently for the initial double-yellows, to which Masi replied that none of the drivers had sufficiently slowed and that all of them would be addressed post-race. Two laps after Verstappen's accident, the race was red-flagged and suspended. On the formation lap to the grid for the restart, George Russell's Williams ground to a halt in the pit lane and retired with gearbox issues.

After a delay of 34 minutes, the race was restarted on lap 50 with a standing start, using the race order at the moment of the suspension of the race. Pérez had a slow start from the lead and Hamilton tried to pass on the inside of turn 1, but had inadvertently selected the wrong brake mode[21] and was unable to brake sufficiently, causing him to lock up at high speed and forcing him onto the escape road; Hamilton dropped to last as a result. A scrap ensued between Gasly and Leclerc, with the former prevailing having exchanged positions twice down the main straight on the penultimate lap. Pérez then led the race to the end, ahead of Vettel and Gasly, with Leclerc, Norris, Alonso, Tsunoda, Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Räikkönen completing the top ten. Mick Schumacher had been passed by his teammate Mazepin at the restart but regained his position just before crossing the finish line to end the race.

Pérez won his second Formula One race, his first win for Red Bull and the first Red Bull race win by a driver other than Max Verstappen since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, which was won by Daniel Ricciardo.[22] Vettel's podium was his first for Aston Martin. Räikkönen took his first point of the season in tenth place. Both Mercedes drivers failed to score points despite finishing the race for the first time since the 2012 United States Grand Prix.[23] [24] In Hamilton's worst finish for over twelve years, it also marked the first time since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix that he finished a race outside the points.[25]

Post-race

With the tyre failures on the rear for both Stroll and Verstappen, Pirelli lodged an investigation over the durability of the selected tyre compounds, their initial findings suggesting the tyre problems were linked to debris.[26] Race director Masi is expected to reiterate the importance of yellow flag conditions to drivers prior to the French Grand Prix after the complaints lodged by McLaren during the race. Drivers, including Leclerc, said they would query the decision to delay the deployment of the safety car following Verstappen's crash late in the race.[27] Masi defended his decision to restart the race with just two laps remaining from a standing start, saying there was no reason not to resume racing.[28] When asked why Verstappen's accident warranted a red flag, but Stroll's similar accident only warranted a safety car, Masi stated that he wished to resume racing after Verstappen's accident had been cleared, but there were insufficient laps remaining (and therefore insufficient time) to clear Verstappen's accident under safety car conditions.[29] Race winner Sergio Pérez revealed his car was close to retiring as he was managing an unspecified issue.[30]

Race classification

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing-Honda 51 2:13:36.410 6 25
2 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 51 +1.385 11 18
3 10 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 51 +2.762 4 15
4 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 51 +3.828 1 12
5 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 51 +4.754 9 10
6 14 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 51 +6.382 8 8
7 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 51 +6.624 7 6
8 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 51 +7.709 5 4
9 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 51 +8.874 13 2
10 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 51 +9.576 14 1
11 99 51 +10.254 20
12 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 51 +11.264 10
13 47 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 51 +14.241 17
14 9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin[b] Haas-Ferrari 51 +14.315 18
15 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 51 +17.668 2
16 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 51 +42.3791 16
172 63 United Kingdom George Russell Williams-Mercedes 48 Gearbox 15
182 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda 45 Accident 3
Ret 18 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 29 Accident 19
Ret 31 France Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 3 Turbocharger 12
Fastest lap: Netherlands Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing-Honda) - 1:44.481 (lap 44)
Sources:[18][31][32]
Notes
  • ^1 - Nicholas Latifi received a 10-second stop-and-go penalty converted to a 30-second time penalty for failing to enter the pit lane as instructed during the safety car period.[31]
  • ^2 - George Russell and Max Verstappen were classified as they completed more than 90% of the race distance.[31]

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Notes

  1. ^ The Grand Prix was held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Azerbaijan.[2]
  2. ^ a b Nikita Mazepin is Russian, but he competed as a neutral competitor using the designation RAF (Russian Automobile Federation [ru]), as the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a ban on Russia competing at World Championships. The ban was implemented by the World Anti-Doping Agency in response to the state-sponsored doping program of Russian athletes.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b c "2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2021.
  2. ^ Luke Smith (5 March 2021). "Baku F1 race to take place behind closed doors in June". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ "2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Entry List" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 3 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  4. ^ Jonathan Noble (19 February 2021). "Pirelli reveals tyre compound choices for F1 2021". Motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  5. ^ Slater, Luke (4 June 2021). "Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021: What time does the race start, what TV channel is it on and what are the odds?". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2021.
  6. ^ Benson, Andrew (4 June 2021). "Verstappen fastest in Baku first practice". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2021.
  7. ^ "FP2: Perez heads Red Bull 1-2 in second practice as Hamilton only 11th quickest in Baku". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2021.
  8. ^ "Qualifying Stats and Facts: A red flag record in Baku". formula1.com. Formula 1. Retrieved 2021.
  9. ^ Benson, Andrew. "Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc on pole position in Baku". www.bbc.co.uk. BBC Sport Online. Retrieved 2021.
  10. ^ Scott Michell, Valentin Khorounzhiy. "'Gutted' Norris: Baku grid penalty and license points unfair". The Race. The Race Media Ltd. Retrieved 2021.
  11. ^ Suttill, Josh. "Leclerc thought his Baku pole lap was " quite shit"". The Race. The Race Media Limited. Retrieved 2021.
  12. ^ Noble, Jonathan. "Hamilton second second in Baku was a "monumental effort"". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2021.
  13. ^ Beer, Matt. "Verstappen slams "stupid qualifying" as Red Bull misses pole". THE RACE. The Race Media Ltd. Retrieved 2021.
  14. ^ Newbold, James. "Alonso : Unfair that drivers causing red flags keep grid positions". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2021.
  15. ^ Mitchell, Scott. "Baffled Bottas says he'll crash if he pushes harder". THE RACE. The Race Media Ltd. Retrieved 2021.
  16. ^ Luke Smith (5 February 2021). "Mazepin set to race under neutral flag after CAS ruling extends to F1". motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  17. ^ "Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 - Qualifying". Formula1.com. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  18. ^ a b c "Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 - Starting Grid". Formula1.com. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  19. ^ "Norris handed three-place grid drop for red flag offence in qualifying". Formula1.com. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  20. ^ Cobb, Haydn. "2021 Azerbaijan GP session timings and how to watch". www.autosport.com. Motorsport Nework. Retrieved 2021.
  21. ^ Benson, Andrew. "Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Mercedes performance 'just not acceptable'". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 2021.
  22. ^ "Perez beats Vettel to Baku victory after Verstappen crashes out from lead late on". Formula1.com. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  23. ^ "Formula 1: Just how rare is Mercedes' terrible result?". beyondtheflag. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  24. ^ "Incredible Hamilton error leaves him without points for the first time in three years". Marca. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  25. ^ "https://www.racefans.net/2021/06/07/hamilton-records-his-worst-finish-for-12-years-with-15th-place/". Racefans.net. 7 June 2021. Retrieved 2021. External link in |title= (help)
  26. ^ Straw, Edd. "Pirelli's early finding from high speed Baku F1 tyre failures". THE RACE. The Race Media Ltd. Retrieved 2021.
  27. ^ Smith, Luke. "F1 drivers to raise to raise concerns over safety over safety car delay". www.autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2021.
  28. ^ Smith, Luke. "Masi : No reason not to restart Azerbaijan GP after red flag". Autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2021.
  29. ^ Dieter Rencken, Keith Collantine. "Why the Azerbaijan GP was stopped for Verstappen's crash but not Stroll's". Racefans.net. Racefans.net. Retrieved 2021.
  30. ^ Smith, Luke. "Perez came close to retiring before late Baku victory". www.autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2021.
  31. ^ a b c "Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 - Race Result". Formula1.com. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  32. ^ "Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 - Fastest Laps". Formula1.com. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 2021.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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