2019 Azerbaijan GP Review

The 2019 Azerbaijan GP was not bonkers as most of the pundits predicted it to be. It turned out to be a Sunday morning ride for the Mercedes duo, with Valtteri and Lewis going all the way to secure 4th consecutive 1-2 finish for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, a record performance by the team and drivers. The way this season is heading, we expect the championship battle to heat up between the Mercedes team mates, but we still hope Ferrari and RedBull can spice things up a bit more.

Baku street circuit is known to throw in a lot of overtakes and it sure did this time around. On the contrary, a race known for plenty of crashes and safety car incidents, none of which happened this time at Baku. Apart from the Kvyat and Ricciardo incident, we couldn’t bring up noticeable crashes across teams. Well, dome did brush their cars along the barriers but nothing too serious as before, which is a huge disappointment. Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton both had odds of 2.50, which is a dual betting forecast.

The race on Sunday was not as dramatic as we all expected it to be but Qualifying was certainly exciting. The qualifying winning margin was less than 0.3seconds, with Valtteri just edging his team mate with a mega lap at the end of Q3. This bet came true so anybody who had bet on it would have gotten great results. Charles Leclerc was in for a pole before he parked his car under the barriers in a dramatic fashion at Turn 8 in Q2, which meant we couldn’t see the full potential of the monegasque. Even in the race, Charles was storming in the medium tyre stint early on but due to poor strategy calls from the team, he was not able to challenge for a podium finish. But, the team did put on a fresh soft tyre at the end and got the fastest lap point. The fans seem to think otherwise and voted him as the Driver of the Day. Leclerc is an exciting prospect and if the team has a perfect weekend then we can see him shine.

In terms of race pace, Lewis Hamilton was found to be slightly quicker than the rest of the pack. RedBull and Ferrari were evenly matched in race trims, which is exciting to watch. Every time Ferrari screw their race with poor strategy calls, Max Verstappen seems to find a way between the two drivers and ends up scoring good points. As mentioned earlier, Baku is a hard track for both drivers and teams but that was not the case in 2019. Thus, the betting suggestion of only under 16.5 driver classified did not come through.

Racing Point also had a great weekend at Baku with both drivers finishing in points. With their  run of form in recent races, we did not expect them to finish so high, but still Perez and Lance seem to find a way to score good points for the team. Racing Point is sure to give a stern fight to top teams McLaren and Renault. Renault did show a lackluster performance at Baku and it is very clear that they are facing tough challenge at the start of the season. We expect to experience stern challenges and stiff fights across drivers and teams as the season progresses. We hope the F1 development race this season throws in a lot of exciting races.

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