Formula 1 Returns: How to Watch the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc has executed the first half: After handing over the quickest lap in qualifying, he’ll begin the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from pole place on Sunday.

Now he has to do the half that has proved problematic for him this season: Finish the race.

In three begins this 12 months, Leclerc’s Ferrari has been working at the finish solely as soon as. He was the sufferer of an engine drawback in Bahrain and a first-lap crash in Australia. For the second, although, Leclerc has his place excellent.

He will begin simply forward of the season chief, Max Verstappen of Red Bull, on Sunday, and one row in entrance of his Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz, and the different Red Bull, pushed by Sergio Pérez. Qualifying forward of them was heartening. Staying forward of all of them on Sunday — on the tight corners of a Baku circuit famed for inflicting chaos — might be far more troublesome.

Time: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday begins at 7 am Eastern, which is 3 pm native time on the Baku City Circuit.

TV: The race will air on ESPN in the United States, beginning with prerace protection at 5:30 am Eastern. Not in America? A full listing of Formula 1 broadcasters, for wherever you might be, may be discovered right here.

Ferrari and Red Bull had been the quickest automobiles in qualifying. (Yes, that sounds acquainted.) Lewis Hamilton will begin fifth in his all of a sudden resurgent Mercedes.

Hamilton’s group might be much less completely happy about seeing his associate, George Russell, means down the grid in eleventh after a disappointing qualifying session. Verstappen would fairly not see Russell in any respect on Sunday after he and the Mercedes driver collided in the dash race on Saturday.

Can anybody sustain with Red Bull? Yes, that is a narrative line each week. No, nobody has executed it but.

Are their pursuers beginning to shut the hole? Ferrari is in pole place and can line up first and third. Lewis Hamilton, sounding recharged after a month off, adopted a podium end in Australia with a strong qualifying run in his Mercedes. Aston Martin’s ageless Fernando Alonso was proper close to the chief once more. Red Bull’s dominance — three races, three victories — has been the story of the Formula 1 season, however did its pursuers put their break day to good use in the storage? Not so quick, mentioned Leclerc: “We’ll go for it, however we additionally want to be reasonable, and till now we now have been on the again foot in the race. Especially the Red Bull appears to be a step forward, so let’s examine how it’s.”

Watch for some ring rust. Pierre Gasly and Nick De Vries each crashed in qualifying on Friday, and Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant did the identical on Saturday — a day when the actual sparks got here after Verstappen and Russell collided collectively throughout the dash race. Was {that a} reflection of the tight angles on Baku’s road course, or the undeniable fact that that is the first race in 4 weeks? It’s price watching Sunday for these form of split-second moments, which might spoil a day — or change a race — straight away.

The greatest speaking level of the weekend was the contact between George Russell and Max Verstappen on the first lap of Saturday’s dash race, the place Russell put a gap in the aspect of Verstappen’s Red Bull and Verstappen. (*1*)sounded as if he wished to do the identical to Russell.

Cameras caught their temporary change afterwards, which started with Russell showing to shrug off the accident on account of chilly tires and ended with Verstappen issuing a warning that he may return the favor sooner or later.

The verbal sparring continued in the drivers’ postrace interviews:

  • Verstappen: “I respect all the drivers loads, and it’s kind of of frequent sense in addition to what you do on the first lap. They are off the tempo and to danger that a lot in Lap 1 shouldn’t be very rewarding, as a result of I’ll get him anyway inside just a few laps.”

  • Russell: “He’s received sufficient expertise to know that in case you’re attempting to overtake a man on the outdoors there is a danger the man on the inside goes to run broad into you.”

  • Verstappen: “He tells me, ‘Yeah, I received chilly tires.’ We all have chilly tires. That’s not an excuse.”

  • Russell: “There was loads of F’s and whatnot from his aspect. From my aspect, I used to be on the inside and was fairly stunned he was resisting it a lot. I’m right here to combat. The transfer was on.”

Results of the third race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix on April 2:

Sergio Pérez received the 17-lap dash race on Saturday, selecting up factors that lower his deficit behind Verstappen, the chief in the season standings. Leclerc completed second, a outcome that greater than doubled his season factors whole. “One factor for positive,” he mentioned of his efficiency on Saturday. “It reveals how dangerous the first three races had been.”

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