The Bounce
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F1 recap - Baku


Much is always expected from the exciting Baku street circuit, but we didn't see the thrills and spills from previous years. Instead a cool and calculated Mercedes performance ruled the day.

Here's the race breakdown from our F1 expert from the tracks of the world.


F1 Recap - Baku

Bottas was sublime again suggesting we might have another proper internal Mercedes battle, like we did in 2016, when Rosberg won the world championship over Hamilton. Bottas is now in the lead on the points table with this win. We all have to root for a new champion as it can only aid in the possible drama.
The Ferraris should have been better and again seem let down by strategy and slightly on race pace. Leclerc had to start further down than usual, after a big crash in qualifying. What it meant was that he started on a new set of the same spec tyre that he crashed with, and had an advantage over his competitors for most of the race. An argument could be made on whether the team should’ve brought him in sooner for new tyres, though they said the track temperature was high and the soft compound would’ve faded too quickly. Added to this Vettel’s pace wasn’t good and he was never going to catch the Mercedes' at any stage.

The Red Bulls had excellent race pace, and could’ve been a real threat if not for Gasly damaging something in his powertrain with excessive vibrations while going over large curbs aggressively. Verstappen was catching Vettel but was told to back off after Gasly retired. A bit disappointing, as they have a new spec Honda engine which sees them close to the Ferrari and MB units finally.
A surprise double points finish for Racing Point, Perez being a Baku-specialist and daddy’s little racer getting lucky with a few moments in the race, and generally quite good at this track (his only podium was here two years ago).
McLaren had good pace and finished 7th and 8th, could they be the best points finishers of the midfield this season? Norris looks to be an excellent rookie recruit so far.
Kimi squeezed in like the Wiley old fox he is, capitalising on the Ricciardo Kvyat retirements ahead of him. No doubt another reason so get shickered post-race.
Albon had a good race but finished just out of the points, he looks good in the Toro Rosso, hopefully he gets a bit more luck soon.
Haas were nowhere this race, thankfully Grosean didn’t crash into a wall, with a self-induced tank slapper, blaming Ericsson. We’ll see if they find some pace in Europe after a disappointing start so far.
Williams had another weekend to forget, way off the pace, with a very dramatic man-hole cover incident on the Friday Practise session 1. Kubica also had a big crash in qualifying, and finished the rest way off the back of the pack.
Hulkenburg wasn’t good, and couldn’t find the sweet spot with the new Renault car quite yet.
Ricciardo tried to dive bomb overtake down the inside of Kvyat, he locked up, meaning Kvyat couldn’t turn in. They both stopped in the escape road, very uneventfully but Ricciardo got onto his reverse gear sooner and decided to mount Kvyat like a small dog on a shy guest. Seeing as these cars are fragile to forces in directions outside of normal bumps, this kind of accident stuffed both of their cars enough that they both retired. Danny Ric had decent pace but will now face a 3 place grid penalty in Spain.
A quick note on the nationality of Charles Leclerc. He is a Monaco national and drives under the Monaco flag. Recent cheese-boys, the kids born into the Monaco life, like Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen and one or two others, usually choose the nationality of one of their parents. It’s quite refreshing for Leclerc to be unashamedly Monagasque.

Next stop Barcelona!

Tags: baku f1, formula 1 recap, charles leclerc,


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