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Motor racing-Team by team analysis of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

reuters.com · 06/12/2022 14:42
Motor racing-Team by team analysis of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

- Team-by team analysis of Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, round eight of the 22-race Formula One season (teams listed in current championship order):


RED BULL (Max Verstappen 1, Sergio Perez 2)

Red Bulls's fifth win in a row, and sixth in eight races, sent them 80 points clear of Ferrari. Verstappen started third with Perez second. The Mexican led into the first corner but suffered degradation to his rear tyres and was passed by Verstappen on lap 15, with the team telling them not to fight. Perez then had a long pitstop on lap 17, dropping behind Leclerc with Verstappen in two laps later. Leclerc's retirement left the Red Bulls one-two. Verstappen leads Perez, now second overall, by 21 points. Perez got the bonus point for fastest lap.


FERRARI (Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz retired)

Leclerc lined up on pole for the sixth time this season, and fourth in a row, but lost out to Perez when he locked up at the start. The Monegasque switched from medium to hard tyres on lap nine when the virtual safety car was deployed but it was a long one. Sainz retired on lap nine with an hydraulics issue. Leclerc then stopped on lap 21 with a power unit problem while leading. Leclerc is now 34 points behind Verstappen.


MERCEDES (George Russell 3, Lewis Hamilton 4)

Russell took his third podium of the season. Both drivers pitted during the lap nine virtual safety car (VSC) and benefited from the retirement of the two Ferraris. A second VSC period and stop helped Hamilton pass Tsunoda and Gasly. Both suffered from excessive bouncing, with Hamilton in back pain as he stepped out of the car. Russell remains the only driver to have finished in the top five in every race.


MCLAREN (Daniel Ricciardo 8, Lando Norris 9)

Ricciardo started 12th and finished ahead of Norris on track for only the second time this season. The drivers were on different strategies and team orders were applied twice with the Australian quicker in the opening stint on the hard tyre but told to stay behind. Norris was faster later on but frustrated to be told to hold station behind Ricciardo, who had pitted during the second VSC.


ALPINE (Fernando Alonso 7, Esteban Ocon 10)

The Renault-owned team took back fifth place from Alfa Romeo. Alonso started 10th, Ocon 13th. The car performed well on the straights and the drivers benefited from Ferrari's retirements. Alonso pitted for hards on lap 18 having stayed out during the VSC period. Ocon made his stop on lap 33.

ALFA ROMEO (Valtteri Bottas 11, Guanyu Zhou retired)

Zhou was told to pit and retire on lap 24 with a technical issue on a bad day for engine supplier Ferrari. The Chinese has now had three retirements in his last four races. Bottas said it felt like something was fundamentally wrong with his car.


ALPHATAURI (Pierre Gasly 5, Yuki Tsunoda 13)

Gasly had a good battle with Hamilton but ultimately lost out. Tsunoda was called in by the team who patched up his rear wing with tape and sent him back out without any drag reduction system (DRS). Otherwise he might have been sixth. Both drivers pitted during the first VSC period.


HAAS (Mick Schumacher 14, Kevin Magnussen retired)

Magnussen retired with a power unit issue on lap 33 and had to park up on the track. Schumacher made two stops, on laps 10 and 24.


ASTON MARTIN (Sebastian Vettel 6, Lance Stroll 16)

Aston Martin pulled level with Haas on 15 points after taking the fourth highest tally of the day. Vettel was able to jump Hamilton thanks to a quick stop. The German might have been higher had he not gone into an escape road after passing Ocon. Stroll, who had power unit problem in Saturday qualifying, retired with the car vibrating excessively.

WILLIAMS (Alexander Albon 12, Nicholas Latifi 15)

Albon made two stops and was halted towards the end when the teams saw something in the data that caused concern. Latifi picked up an immediate penalty after overshooting his grid slot and being pushed back against the rules by a mechanic.


(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

((alan.baldwin@thomsonreuters.com; +442075427933;))