Formula 1 Returns: How to Watch the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc has finished the first half: After delivering 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 good.

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 — will probably be way 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 checklist of Formula 1 broadcasters, for wherever you might be, will be discovered right here.

Ferrari and Red Bull have been the quickest automobiles in qualifying. (Yes, that sounds acquainted.) Lewis Hamilton will begin fifth in his instantly resurgent Mercedes.

Hamilton’s crew will probably be much less completely happy about seeing his companion, George Russell, manner down the grid in eleventh after a disappointing qualifying session. Verstappen would moderately 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 finished 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 stable 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 time without work to good use in the storage? Not so quick, mentioned Leclerc: “We’ll go for it, however we additionally want to be real looking, 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 have a look at 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 avenue course, or the incontrovertible fact that that is the first race in 4 weeks? It’s value watching Sunday for these sort of split-second moments, which may spoil a day — or change a race — instantly.

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 needed to do the identical to Russell.

Cameras caught their temporary trade 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 so much, and it is a bit 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 is just not very rewarding, as a result of I’ll get him anyway inside a number of laps.”

  • Russell: “He’s received sufficient expertise to know that if you happen to’re attempting to overtake a man on the exterior there is a danger the man on the inside goes to run vast into you.”

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

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

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

Sergio Pérez gained the 17-lap dash race on Saturday, choosing up factors that reduce his deficit behind Verstappen, the chief in the season standings. Leclerc completed second, a consequence that greater than doubled his season factors complete. “One factor for certain,” he mentioned of his efficiency on Saturday. “It exhibits how dangerous the first three races have been.”

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