LIVE: Formula 1 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Circuit: Baku City Circuit
Race: Formula 1 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
As expected it’s another windy day in Baku for the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – drivers have now gone out for the track parade after spending time with Grid Kids and signing autographs.
Sebastian Vettel: “It’s a long race, we start from pole but it will be quite close. Here, anything can happen. It all depends on how we feel as we go around when you talk about the wind, it’s the same for all of us so we’ll see how it goes.”
Fernando Alonso: “This is a race to survive – it’s a race where you need to be in good condition and hopefully today we can have a Sunday where we score points. We saw last year how things happen and this is Baku – you need to stay focused and not make any mistakes.”
Lewis Hamilton: “It’s very very windy today – it’s going to be a tricky race for all of us and there’s normally safety cars in this race. I mean, Sebastian and his pace – I’m hoping we can take a few steps forward and I hope that we deliver. We’ll see – I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
Carlos Sainz: “Hopefully we can pass the Force India’s – they are strong and it’s going to be difficult. In the midfield – anything can happen, it’s extremely tight.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “The result yesterday is not what we were looking for but today is another day and we will see what we can do.”
Before the pit-lane opens, here are a few photos from around the paddock this weekend.
PIT LANE – LIVE: Formula 1 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Drivers are now getting in their cars and getting ready for the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The pit-lane is now open!
Kimi Raikkonen had a little lock-up as he makes his way to the grid – drivers all need to be careful as it’s extremely windy.
The drivers have now lined up on the grid and are making their way to the front of the grid for the national anthem – it’s very windy and anything can happen in this race.
LIVE: Formula 1 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
FORMATION LAP – Formula 1 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
The formation or parade lap is now under way – drivers are going round the circuit and getting their cars ready for the start of the race. The conditions are really windy so anything can happen.
Lewis Hamilton is talking about the weather and conditions on his formation lap.
Hamilton: “The sun is out.”
Team to Hamilton: “Yeah, it’s going to stay warm throughout the race – around 17 degrees.”
Sirotkin comes into contact with Ocon. Ocon then comes into contact with Raikkonen.
BOTH Sirotkin and Ocon are out of the race!
Fernando Alonso is making his way back to the pits – he’s got damage on his car and punctures after Stroll came into contact with him. Whilst it looked like he might have been out of the race, e’s going to give it another go and has changed his front wing on his car – under the safety car.
Kimi Raikkonen has also come into the pits, changing his front wing and tyres – dropping down to P14.
SAFETY CAR is in this lap.
The SAFETY CAR is n this lap – the track is still being cleared.
Team to Alonso: “Fernando, we see some damage to the floor, we see some damage on the floor.”
Alonso: “Unbelievable – you take care in corner 1 and in corner 2 they come crashing into you. ****ing stupid”
Vettel: “Tell the marshals on the track to pick up the debris – there is some on the side and some on the other side which is still there.”
The safety car will be ending this lap.
RACE IS BACK ON
The little game between Vettel and Hamilton – Vettel backing up the cars – a lot!
It’s Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas – drivers are wary of the wind. The two Red Bull drivers are battling – Ricciardo has to stay behind however Sainz makes his way past. Splitting the two.
Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen battling – Sainz looking just that little bit stronger power still behind Max Verstappen who covers him off.
Lewis Hamilton setting the fastest lap time. Carlos Sainz makes his way past Verstappen.
Verstappen: “My battery is not working properly.” could he be having an issue?
Team to Hulkenberg: “Verstappen’s battery isn’t working properly.” he’s right behind Verstappen.
Verstappen: “Is everything working OK? I’m so slow on the straight.”
The top 3 – Vettel, Hamilton and Bottas.
Hamilton has been on the radio to his team talking about Vettel and his starting and stopping – backing every one up after the safety car.
Hulkenberg has a problem – he’s driven into the drive-off area, out of the way of the track and not likely that a safety car will be needed.
Hulkenberg: “I hit the wall.”
A battle between Ricciardo and Verstappen – Ricciardo makes his way past with Verstappen closing the gap to Ricciardo and hitting him.
The two are battling.
Ricciardo: “How can I charge the battery?” Team giving him instructions and it looks like both cars might have an issue there.
The top 3 are still Vettel, Hamilton and Bottas.
Ricciardo: “The battery is still draining.”
Team to Ricciardo: “That’s as fast as it will go.”
Ricciardo is still behind Verstappen.
Raikkonen: “Why am I getting DRS so late?”
Team to Raikkonen: “We will check, we will check.”
Raikkonen: “Ok but it opens too late and it doesn’t make any difference.”
Sebastian Vettel setting a fastest lap time.
There’s something on track which needs to be cleared.
Team to Hamilton: “The tailwind seems to be picking up” after Hamilton gets caught off guard and goes off-track slightly.
It’s a 4 second gap between Hamilton and Vettel at the moment.
Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap time now – in return. Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest time in the first sector.
Hamilton setting anther fast lap time – he’s starting to push.
Another fastest lap time for Lewis Hamilton.
Things have started to calm down slightly however we haven’t had many pit-stops and things are likely to change.
Hamilton having a little problem with his tyres.
Hamilton: “Box, box – we’re ready for you.”
Vettel still staying out – he hasn’t come into the pits and is in P1. Will this work out for Ferrari?
Verstappen: “I can’t get past” in regards to Hamilton who’s in front.
Vettel has started to lap – he’s now making his way past Gasly.
The two Red Bull’s are battling again – nearly coming together!
Vettel telling the team to think about their strategy.
He’s still out on track.
Hamilton: “There’s still a long way to go on these tyres.”
Raikkonen radioing his team about his tyres – he’s asking for advice about what he can do for the temperatures.
Vettel now comes into the pits.
Bottas takes the lead in P1 – he’s not come into the pits yet.
Team to Hamilton: “OK Lewis, just do what you can mate.”
Bottas is still out in the lead, he hasn’t come into the pits yet.
Vettel is in P2 with Hamilton right behind in P3.
Hamilton: “Blue flags.” – he’s now starting to lap, making his way past Hartley.
Team to Hamilton: “OK, copy.”
Verstappen: “I’m losing the temperature in my tyres.”
Team to Verstappen: “Yep, we can se there’s an issue – we’re looking into it. Keep doing your job.”
Verstappen and Ricciardo battling again – Ricciardo now makes his way past, setting the fastest lap time.
Bottas is still in the lead. He’s showing no signs of any issues with his tyres. Vettel in P2 and Hamilton in P3.
Hamilton talking about the blue flags and drivers not moving out of the way quickly.
Drivers are now coming into the pits.
CRASH – Verstappen and Ricciardo crash!!
Drivers are making the most of the pits under the safety car – Bottas is in P1.
Vettel: “How is he (Bottas) in front of us?”
Team to Vettel: “He had the 4 second gap and came out in front.”
ANOTHER CRASH – Grosjean hits the wall! Under the safety car!
(That’s the most silly accident from Grosjean.)
The safety car is still in this lap following the accident from Grosjean.
Hamilton mentioning the truck on the track which is removing Grosjean’s car. The safety car is now ending.
Sebastian Vettel loses a place to Hamilton – dropping down to P4. It’s the two Mercedes in the lead!
Bottas has a puncture and he is out of the race. HAMILTON is now in the lead – what a race this has turned out to be! Raikkonen is up in P2 with Perez in P3! Vettel has dropped down to P4 following the lock-up.
What a shame for Valtteri Bottas after such a strong race.
Lewis HAMILTON WINS the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix!
Raikkonen in P2 with Perez in P3 making it a nice change!
Perez: “The last two laps were the best of my career. I had cold tyres and I was trying to find a close rhythm to Raikkonen and stay away from Vettel.”
Hamilton: “It’s an emotional race to behest. The team have delivered, they did a great job. It feels a little bit odd to be here – Sebastian did such a great job too but I’ll take this win.”
Raikkonen: “Obviously I was on the inside, he didn’t see me (incident) – it wasn’t an ideal start for me. It was a difficult race after that and we tried to come back. I struggled with the tyres and tried to manage the race. It wasn’t very easy.”
Toto Wolff: “This is difficult for Bottas. The win was for him and it was going his way so I feel really bad for him. In the strategy – we never know as we don’t know how the tyres will be. It just kept getting quicker and quicker.”
“We knew that we had it in the strategy – if we stayed out longer, there would be more of a chance of a Safety Car and it worked.”
“The win doesn’t change the reality that we are slightly back than where we want. In Barcelona – this will be interesting as in testing, we were the quickest there. So we will see if the pace has gone and what we will do.”
Bottas: “It’s an unfortunate – it’s unlucky. I’ll have 10 pints of beer and everything will be fine. I will get through these – it’s a part of racing even though this is really painful.”
Verstappen: “It’s really disappointing for the team. We lost the points and we represent the team and it’s not good for both of us. In racing things like this can happen – we had the brush with the wheels but that’s fair. Then what happened after isn’t good for the team and we have to make sure this won’t happen again.”
Ricciardo: “I’m down for this situation – I’m happy that we’re allowed to race but it’s disappointing for the team. We got close throughout the race – on the limit and yeah, it ended like that. It’s not a nice situation and we both feel bad that it ended like that. Pretty crappy – as far as the incident itself. It’s tough one – I’ll let you guys decide who was at fault – I’m heartbroken for the team.”
“It was a weird race. I wasn’t too happy with myself on the restart. Eventually – we finally got Max and then we were quite quick – the Supersofts were terrible on the restart and on the in lap we had traffic and Max had the chance to overcut. We will look things through and see what we could have done.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I tried different things and it didn’t work. It’s what happens – I felt a bit trapped and couldn’t see what was going on. There’s no reference and you have the walls, the signs and I locked up and made the corner – just. Other than that – I think it was a strong race.”
Lewis Hamilton: “My dad taught me a lesson years ago and today it came back to me, I had the right mindset – it was a tough race and it’s such a shame for Valtteri. I can go home on a high note and take this through to the next race. This is a track where you need luck – on one side, I’m really proud of the team for the right strategy and coming through together and on the other side thinking of Valtteri.”
There’s lots more coming soon – including a full race report with press conference and driver interviews.