QUALIFYING LIVE: 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Qualifying
Location: Azerbaijan, Baku
Circuit: Baku City Circuit – Also known as Baku Street Circuit
Join us as we get ready for Qualifying Live ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The weather conditions at the moment are windy and according to teams, it’s likely that the wind will pick up through the Qualifying session and this is something which a few drivers picked up on in Free Practice.
Vettel: “We have had 3 races. We’ve been fine in them three races but we know it’s extremely tight. A little move or wo
Hamilton: “I have no idea where we would be. Considering the performance we had in the last race and the points we’re in now shows our foundation is rock solid. It’s a three-way battle and it’s definitely not easy. A lot of work is required in the background to make sure we’re delivering our best.”
Ricciardo: “I’m excited. There’s a lot of work for sure. Every Sunday we’ve competed and so far, things have been OK.”
Verstappen: “You have to take the positives out of every weekend. The outcomes might not be great but we are always learning from different moments.
It’s a windy afternoon in Baku – the conditions are cooler and the wind is picking up compared to this morning.
Drivers are now getting ready and getting in their cars – ready for Qualifying.
Q1 – QUALIFYING Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Drivers are now out on track – a lot of drivers are out on track and Ferrari haven’t picked the correct time as they’re now being backed up slightly.
Red Bull however are still in the pits – waiting to come out without being stuck in traffic.
Team to Bottas: “Remember – there’s a big tailwind.”
The reason that many teams are coming out earlier is because the weather radar is showing that the wind will pick up throughout Qualifying.
Romain Grosjean is OUT of Qualifying due to an issue, he said: “The gearbox is locked”.
SECTOR 1 – Yellow Flag which means a hazard is on track, no overtaking and drivers need to slow down.
Ricciardo and Verstappen have both set good teams – currently in P1 (Ricciardo) and P2 (Verstappen). The Ferrari’s are now putting their foot down and making their way round the track.
Now, Raikkonen and Vettel are in P1 and P2 – Raikkonen looking that little bit stronger at the moment however we know Vettel sometimes holds back before Q2 and Q3.
Hamilton is down in P4 with Bottas in P5 – are they taking things easy for now?
Ocon is now second fastest!
Hamilton setting the second fastest lap time – he had a good lap.
It’s now Raikkonen, Hamilton and Vettel – 5 minutes left until the end of Q1.
Pierre Gasly goes off on the run-off area after coming into contact with his team-mate.
Hartley is now making his way back to the pits.
Raikkonen is now in the lead with Verstappen in P2 and Hamilton in P3 – there’s 30 seconds until the end of Q1 and below, you can see who hasn’t made it through.
Q1 – Knock Out Zone
Drivers are now making their way back to the pits to get ready for Q2 – it’s close between drivers and a tiny mistake could cost results.
Hartley on the team radio saying he was trying to get out of the way after a puncture but was too late as Gasly came into contact with him.
Q2 – QUALIFYING Azerbaijan Grand Prix
The green light – drivers are now making their way on track.
Hamilton: “Guys I just had a massive lock-up.”
Raikkonen has gone off track along with Stroll – Sector 2 is catching a lot of the drivers off-guard but luckily there’s a run-off area.
With 10 minutes to go, Bottas is in P1 along with Verstappen and Ocon who’s looking strong this weekend too.
Hamilton now sets the fastest lap time – along with Bottas in P2. Kimi Raikkonen has gone off-track again.
The top 3 at the moment, with 6 minutes to go, is Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen.
Drivers are now coming back into the pits before making their way onto track for the final run in Q2.
They’re now making their way out on track – with 3 minutes to go, a lot can happen! Raikkonen from right at the back has just set the fastest lap time.
Q2 – Knock Out Zone
Drivers are now back in the pits and the remaining 10 are getting ready for Q3 – times are very close and it looks like everyone will be pushing. Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are looking strong.
Drivers and teams are now getting ready for Q3.
Q2 – QUALIFYING Azerbaijan Grand Prix
The light has gone green and drivers are now making their way out of the pits.
With 10 minutes to go – Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari are all looking strong.
Red Bull set a good time yet Mercedes just knock them off the top spot however, the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel now sets the fastest lap time – it’s a three-way battle which is something that we all want to see.
Ricciardo: “Yeah, I brushed the wall I wouldn’t go again on this set.” after communicating with the team. Daniel Ricciardo is now in the pits.
Drivers are now making their way back into the pits before their final run for Q3.
The two Mercedes drivers are making their way out onto the track for their final runs in Q3.
There’s a slight delay from Ferrari and Red Bull.
It’s SEBASTIAN VETTEL on pole position – It’s Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Ocon, Perez, Hulkenberg and Sainz who make up the top 10 drivers for the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix!
Lewis Hamilton: “Firstly we have a great crowd here. That was very close – we did our best. I think was out by a few tenths and lost a little bit in the last sector. Congratulations to Sebastian, he did a great job and they’ve been strong all this weekend. So we’re in the mix now and a bit thank you to the team. We will try and give Sebastian a hard time tomorrow.”
“The track has been great today, you’re constantly in between buildings and trying to correct the car.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I have a good car which does what I want. The first lap I was really happy. It wasn’t perfect but I thought I would have to go out and do it again. I locked up – it caught me by surprise in Turn 3. I didn’t know whether to go straight or to try and go through with it so yeah.”
Valtteri Bottas: “Last year I was one lap down after lap 1 so anything can happen ad we will see what we can do tomorrow”
Sebastian Vettel: “I think it will be an intense race. We might have a safety car and tomorrow – the track should be in a good place. Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling it too much. I had things all set for my final run today and I was much happier with how the day went.”
We’ll have lots of reaction and press-conference interviews online later this evening so make sure you check back for the latest.