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The 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021) was the sixth race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, held at the Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan between June 4 and June 6 2021.

Qualifying was beset by four red flag sessions, but it was the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc who took pole, with Lewis Hamilton starting second after having his Mercedes slow on Friday practice, with title rival Max Verstappen in third.

Leclerc led at the start, with Hamilton taking the lead by slipstreaming Leclerc a few laps later. A delayed pit stop release for Hamilton relegated him to behind the Red Bulls, with Verstappen and Sergio Pérez leading. The Safety Car was deployed after Lance Stroll had a tire failure and wrecked on the main straight. Then, with five laps from the finish, Verstappen suffered the same fate as Stroll, causing the red flag. At the restart, Hamilton locked up into Turn 1, dropping down the order while Perez was left to cruise to his second career victory. Sebastian Vettel gave Aston Martin their first podium in second, with AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly in third.


Background[]

The event from the previous season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current season's running had been reinstated into schedule[1], with race officials announcing that the race will take place behind closed doors[2].

Heading into the sixth round Max Verstappen led Lewis Hamilton in the standings by four points following victory at the previous round at Monaco, with Red Bull leading ahead of Mercedes by a point.

Much of the talk in the build-up to the race was flexible wings used by rivals, including Red Bull, which gave them advantage on long straights. Ahead of Monaco, the FIA issued a directive as well as outlining a series of tougher tests on rear wings. The new directive is to come into force by June 15, the period between the Azerbaijan and French Grands Prix, with both Mercedes and McLaren strongly voicing their disapproval on the timing of the enforcement. [3]

Entry List[]

The full entry list for the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35M Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35M Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Aston Martin AMR21 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43B Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C41 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Uralkali Haas F1 Team Haas VF-21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
10 France Pierre Gasly Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT02 Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB16B Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine F1 Team Alpine A521 Renault E-Tech 20B 1.6 V6t P
16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari SF21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Aston Martin AMR21 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT02 Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine F1 Team Alpine A521 Renault E-Tech 20B 1.6 V6t P
33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB16B Honda RA621H 1.6 V6t P
44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W12 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Uralkali Haas F1 Team Haas VF-21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari SF21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43B Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W12 Mercedes F1 M12 1.6 V6t P
99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C41 Ferrari 065/6 1.6 V6t P
Source:[4]

Practice Overview[]

Qualifying[]

Q1[]

Q1 was red-flagged twice, with Stroll first crashing his Aston Martin into Turn 15, before Giovinazzi fell victim on the same spot moments after the restart. They were joined by Latifi, Schumacher and Mazepin in being eliminated out of the session.

Q2[]

Verstappen set the fastest time in the session, with Tsunoda putting a time nearly three-hundredths shy of the former's time, ensuring that the Japanese rookie progressed to Q3 for the first time in his career. The session ended prematurely as Ricciardo crashed his car into Turn 3. He was joined by Vettel, Ocon, Raikkonen and Russell out of Q2, the latter two's improvement runs interrupted from the red flag.

Q3[]

Leclerc benefitted a slipstream from Hamilton to set the fastest time early on, while Hamilton got to second fastest from a tow from Bottas, who could only wind up 10th. Both Verstappen and Perez were only able to clock in third and seventh fastest respectively, with Gasly the best of the rest with 4th fastest. The session was red-flagged for the fourth time when Tsunoda first crashed into Turn 3 with Leclerc's team-mate Sainz, who was following behind, spun into the run-off and damaged his front wing. Leclerc thus secured his 9th career pole, with Hamilton starting alongside him after Mercedes' slow performance on Friday practice. The number of red flags deployed thus equaled the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix for the most red flags deployed in a qualifying session. Norris, who qualified 6th, was given a three-place grid penalty for a red flag infringement during Q1, therefore demoted to 9th.

Qualifying Results[]

The full qualifying results for the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 6 1:42.241 5 1:41.659 1 1:41.218 1
2 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes 1 1:41.545 3 1:41.634 2 1:41.450 2
3 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 2 1:41.760 1 1:41.625 3 1:41.563 3
4 10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 7 1:42.288 8 1:41.932 4 1:41.565 4
5 55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Ferrari 4 1:42.121 6 1:41.740 5 1:41.576 5
6 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 5 1:42.167 7 1:41.813 6 1:41.747 9*
7 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull-Honda 3 1:41.968 2 1:41.630 7 1:41.917 6
8 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 11 1:42.521 4 1:41.654 8 1:42.211 7
9 14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine-Renault 15 1:42.934 10 1:42.195 9 1:42.327 8
10 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 12 1:42.701 9 1:42.106 10 1:42.659 10
11 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 10 1:42.460 11 1:42.224 11
12 31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine-Renault 9 1:42.426 12 1:42.273 12
13 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 8 1:42.304 13 1:42.558 13
14 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 14 1:42.923 14 1:42.587 14
15 63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 13 1:42.728 15 1:42.758 15
16 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 16 1:43.128 16
17 47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Haas-Ferrari 17 1:44.158 17
18 9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Haas-Ferrari 18 1:44.238 18
NC 18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 19 No time set 19
NC 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 20 No time set 20
107% time: 1:48.653
Source:[5]
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
  • * Norris received a 3-place grid penalty for a red flag procedure infringement during Q1.

Grid[]

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Charles Leclerc
Lewis Hamilton ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Max Verstappen
Pierre Gasly ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Carlos Sainz, Jr.
Sergio Pérez ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Yuki Tsunoda
Fernando Alonso ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Lando Norris
Valtteri Bottas ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Sebastian Vettel
Esteban Ocon ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Daniel Ricciardo
Kimi Räikkönen ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 George Russell
Nicholas Latifi ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Mick Schumacher
Nikita Mazepin ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Lance Stroll
Antonio Giovinazzi ______________

Race[]

Report[]

Before the race start, there was a minute's silence for the deaths of former FIA president Max Mosley, who died in between race weekends, and longtime McLaren shareholder Mansour Ojjeh, who died the morning before the race.

Perez and Vettel made good starts at the start of the race, gaining positions in the chain of racing cars. Leclerc, despite starting from pole position, was overtaken by Hamilton before DRS was enabled due to avoiding a tree branch at an earlier part of the circuit. Ocon suffered a power unit failure on the fourth lap, becoming the first retirement of the race. As Hamilton pitted, his pit exit was delayed to avoid an unsafe release upon Gasly. Verstappen and Perez later stopped, the latter's having a slower stop but still got ahead of Hamilton. The Red Bulls' stops meant that Vettel was promoted into the lead in Aston Martin. Vettel would later stop, handing the lead to Verstappen. Verstappen began to pull away as Hamilton stayed close within Perez.

With most of the racers using hard tires in their second stints, Stroll suffered an instantaneous puncture on Lap 31, requiring a safety car and blocking access to the pit lane. When the hazard was cleared, Alonso (P13), Giovinazzi, Russell and Schumacher made their tire change to softer compounds, whilst the leaders stayed out.

The continued use of hard tires proved to be disastrous for Verstappen, who suffered the second instantaneous tire puncture in the similar location as Stroll with five laps remaining, crashing in the grid start area and resulting in a red flag within a few laps. During this incident, Latifi received a 10-second stop-go penalty for failing to use the pit lane during the incident.

Just before the standing restart, Russell returned to the pits to retire the vehicle. With the extinguishment of the five lights, the cars commenced again, with Hamilton experiencing a lockup and driving into the drive-off at turn 1 and dropping to last, which became second-to-last after Latifi served his penalty.

Perez got his second career race win for the race, but had a breakdown in the lap towards Parc Férme. Vettel and Gasly obtained podium positions, the latter resisting a late charge from Leclerc. Verstappen set the fastest lap of the race (1:44.481), but gained no points for not finishing in the top 10.

Results[]

The full results for the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull-Honda 51 2:13:36.410 7 25
2 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 51 +1.385 11 18
3 10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 51 +2.762 4 15
4 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 51 +3.828 1 12
5 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 51 +4.754 9 10
6 14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine-Renault 51 +6.382 8 8
7 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 51 +6.624 7 6
8 55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Ferrari 51 +7.709 5 4
9 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 51 +8.874 13 2
10 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 51 +9.576 14 1
11 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 51 +10.254 20
12 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 51 +11.264 10
13 47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Haas-Ferrari 51 +14.241 17
14 9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Haas-Ferrari 51 +14.315 18
15 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes 51 +17.668 2
16 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 51 +42.379 16
17* 63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 48 Gearbox 15
18* 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 45 Accident/Puncture 3
Ret 18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 29 Accident/Puncture 19
Ret 31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine-Renault 3 Power Unit 12
Source:
  • * Russell and Verstappen were still classified as completing 90% race distance.

Milestones[]

Standings[]

With both title rivals failing to score, the top two positions remained on the top of the driver standings, Hamilton ending his 54-race streak of finishing in the points in every race entered and started. Pérez' victory saw him move up to third in the standings, with Leclerc's fourth place finish pushing both Norris and Bottas down the order. Vettel and Gasly also moved up the order following their surprise podium finishes, pushing down Ricciardo. Raikkonen managed to regain his points following his penalty at Imola. In all, the bottom of the drivers' standings had a major shake up following the incident-filled race.

Red Bull extended their championship lead ahead of Mercedes by 25 points courtesy of the race win, while Ferrari were able to go ahead of McLaren with their combined finish. Despite Vettel's podium, Gasly and Tsunoda's finish meant that AlphaTauri had taken the 5th spot in the constructors' standings.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 105
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 101
3 Mexico Sergio Pérez 69 ▲2
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris 66 ▼1
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc 52 ▲1
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas 47 ▼2
7 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. 42
8 France Pierre Gasly 31 ▲1
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel 28 ▲2
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 26 ▼2
11 Spain Fernando Alonso 13 ▲2
12 France Esteban Ocon 12 ▼2
13 Canada Lance Stroll 9 ▼1
14 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 8
15 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 1 ▲1
16 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 1 ▼1
Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 Austria Red Bull-Honda 174
2 Germany Mercedes 148
3 Italy Ferrari 94 ▲1
4 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 92 ▼1
5 Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 39 ▲1
6 United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 37 ▼1
7 France Alpine-Renault 25
8 Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 2

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

References[]

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. F1.com: Formula 1 announces provisional 23-race calendar for 2021
  2. Autosport: Azerbaijan GP to take place behind closed doors
  3. F1.com: Flexi wings – What are they and why is everyone talking about them?
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named EL
  5. ' ', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2020), , (Accessed 05/07/2020)
V T E 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship
Teams Alfa RomeoAlphaTauriAlpineAston MartinFerrariHaasMcLarenMercedesRed BullWilliams
Engines FerrariHondaMercedesRenault
Drivers alphabetically AlonsoBottasGaslyGiovinazziHamiltonKubicaLatifiLeclercMazepinNorrisOconPérezRäikkönenRicciardoRussellSainzSchumacherStrollTsunodaVerstappenVettel
Drivers by number 3 Ricciardo • 4 Norris • 5 Vettel • 6 Latifi • 7 Räikkönen • 9 Mazepin • 10 Gasly • 11 Pérez • 14 Alonso • 16 Leclerc • 18 Stroll • 22 Tsunoda • 31 Ocon • 33 Verstappen • 44 Hamilton • 47 Schumacher • 55 Sainz • 63 Russell • 77 Bottas • 88 Kubica • 99 Giovinazzi
Other Drivers AitkenAlbonde Vriesdi RestaFittipaldiHülkenbergIlottKvyatNissanyVandoorneZhou
Cars Alfa Romeo C41AlphaTauri AT02Alpine A521Aston Martin AMR21Ferrari SF21Haas VF-21McLaren MCL35MMercedes W12Red Bull RB16BWilliams FW43B
Tyres Pirelli
Races BahrainImolaPortugalSpainMonacoAzerbaijanFranceStyriaAustriaBritainHungaryBelgiumNetherlandsItalyRussiaTurkeyUnited StatesMexicoSão PauloQatarSaudi ArabiaAbu Dhabi
Postponed/Canceled Races ChinaCanadaSingaporeJapanAustralia
Tests Bahrain
See also 2020 Formula One Season2022 Formula One SeasonCategory
V T E Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Circuits Baku City Circuit (2017–present)
Baku City Circuit.png
Races 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • 2020 • 2021
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