F1 Starting Grid 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Warm-up lap starts at: 16:00 Local | 14:00 CET | 13:00 UK | 05:00 LA | 21:00 Tokio
Charles Leclerc did it again! He now even scored 2 poles in a row for Ferrari this season. The last time Ferrari (and he) scored 2 poles in a row was back in 2019 at the Singapore GP. This time Leclerc didn't wreck his car in the end of the session as in last quali in Monaco.
Now rookie Yuki Tsunoda did that instead. The Japanese driver from the Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri didn't do Max Verstappen a favour by crashing his car into turn 3. The crash caused a red flag and that ended the session while the Dutchman had a purple in sector one again. Carlos Sainz had a harsh moment when he scared and crashed the Ferrari at the same corner.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes did a very good job by qualifying 2nd after being of the pace whole weekend. The British driver was even tuning his setup during qualifying and delivered a great performance again. His teammate Valtteri Bottas had a less impressive result by starting 10th, his worst position since Abu Dahbi 2019.
Pierre Gasly scored P4 for the fourth time in his F1 career. The AlphaTauri driver was showing a great pace whole weekend. Will he get on to the podium tomorrow?
F1 Starting Grid 2021 Azerbaijan GP
|Pos||No||Driver||Team||Lap Time||Pole gap||Tyres|
|1||16||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:41,218||S (C5)|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:41,450||+0,232s||S (C5)|
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:41,563||+0,345s||S (C5)|
|4||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||1:41,565||+0,347s||S (C5)|
|5||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1:41,576||+0,358s||S (C5)|
|6||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:41,917||+0,699s||S (C5)|
|7||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||1:42,211||+0,993s||S (C5)|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||1:42,327||+1,109s||S (C5)|
|9||4||*Lando Norris||McLaren||1:41,747||+0,529s||S (C5)|
|10||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1:42,659||+1,441s||S (C5)|
|11||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:42,224||+1,006s||Free|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||1:42,587||+1,369s||Free|
|19||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||no time||-||Free|
|20||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||no time||-||Free|
- Lando Norris (McLaren no. 4) - 3 place grid penalty fo failing to comply with red flag.
2021 Azerbaijan F1 GP Race Strategy
Although the compounds coming to Baku this year are a step softer compared to 2019, it's still likely to be a one-stop race.
Those obliged to start on the P Zero Red soft tyre – in other words, the top 10 – are likely to use a soft-hard strategy, even though this gives much less flexibility in the pit stop window.
Another good option – which can be used by those outside the top 10 – is to use the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero White hard compounds: especially if we experience track temperatures in excess of 50 degrees.
If those are the tyres being used, it makes sense to start on medium and then move to hard: there's quite a wide pit stop window that leaves plenty of latitude for the timing of the pit stop and the pit lane penalty here isn't huge either.
On the other hand, there's a big probability of the safety car, as all the red flag stoppages in qualifying showed. If there's a safety car period this gives the opportunity for a 'free' pit stop, so starting on the softer and faster tyre could be advantageous. Unlike Monaco though, track position isn't absolutely everything here: it's very possible to overtake.
2021 Azerbaijan F1 GP Race Notes
The opening Q1 session was characterised by two red flag periods for separate incidents at the tricky Turn 15. A third red flag brought Q2 to an early close as well, followed by a fourth one in Q3. In total, qualifying took place over nearly an hour and a half.
- All the drivers used the soft tyre from Q1 to Q3, with the exception of Mercedes, which chose the medium for the first runs in Q1.
- Having peaked at more than 55 degrees in free practice this morning, track temperatures in the afternoon were slightly cooler – at around 46 degrees halfway through the session, with 29 degrees ambient.
✅ Check out our 2021 Azerbaijan F1 GP preview
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