So much drama at Baku!
Three red flags on Friday:
George Russell's Williams sucked up a drain cover which practically destroyed the floor and chassis of his FW42 during the first minutes of FP1. The session was not restarted as more than 300 manhole covers needed to be checked. In FP2, big crash for Lance Stroll, destroying the front end of his Racing Point, and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) a few laps later also required the track to be closed momentarily. At the end of the day, it was Charles Leclerc ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, and everybody else.
On Saturday things were a bit different, less chaotic.
Ferrari continued up front with Leclerc posting the fastest lap of the weekend so far, a 1:41.604.
Qualifying brought a few surprises, starting with Red Bull's Pierre Gasly setting the fastest time on the first of three sessions, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg qualifying 18th, and Robert Kubica crashing at the end of Q1, bringing up a rather lengthy red flag while marshals repaired the barrier on turn 8. Q2 started fine, but a few minutes into the session, Charles Leclerc crashed his Ferrari in the same turn as Kubica in Q1, bringing yet another red flag. For Q3, the exiting part of qualifying, it was Valtteri Bottas setting a new track record with a 1:40.495, ahead of Hamilton and Vettel.
It all started with Kimi Raikkonen being disqualified from qualifying for a front wing flexibility infringement and was penalized with a pit lane start. The race itself was a very strategic one and the first time without a safety car. We did though have a virtual safety car when Pierre Gasly lost power in his Red Bull and had to be removed from a run-off area. Charles Leclerc did a new track record with a 1:43.009, got fastest lap point and was voted Driver of the Day. At the end, it was the fourth 1-2 for Mercedes Benz in as many races with Valtteri Bottas leading Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel finished third. It’s the first time in F1 history that a team has taken four 1-2s in the first four races of a season. Bit of a dominance, Don't you think?