Mercedes are the only team to win more than one Baku race so far, Force India and Williams have each scored an Azerbaijan podium and every team except Alfa Romeo has recorded at least one non-finish. Here’s how the teams’ histories compare at the Baku City Circuit!
Mercedes have won all but one of the three races held so far at the Baku City Circuit. Nico Rosberg took a dominant win at the inaugural F1 race in Azerbaijan in 2016, while Lewis Hamilton took a fortuitous victory last year after his team-mate suffered a puncture just laps from the end of the Grand Prix. There’s yet to be a race here without a Mercedes driver on the podium, as Valtteri Bottas finished as runner-up in 2017, beating Lance Stroll to the finish line by a matter of centimetres. Bottas’ misfortune in 2018 marks the only time a Mercedes car has finished outside of the top five so far at the circuit.
Mercedes have reached the final part of qualifying with both cars on every trip to Azerbaijan so far, and have taken pole twice. Last year marked the first time the team failed to set the fastest time in qualifying. Lewis Hamilton’s crash in the final part of qualifying in 2016 is the only time a Mercedes car has qualified outside the top three grid slots here.
*Bottas didn’t cross the finish line in 2018 following his late race puncture, but was classified in 14th in the final order.
Ferrari are yet to win a race in Azerbaijan, but have finished as runner-up in two of the races held here. Furthermore, the team have recorded a fourth place finish in every Grand Prix held in Baku so far. Kimi Raikkonen’s 14th place finish here is the only time one of their cars hasn’t crossed the finish line, and the only time a Ferrari hasn’t scored points here – though the Finn was classified in the final order.
Last season, Ferrari took their first pole at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which is also their only front row start here so far. They’ve reached the final part of qualifying here in all of the past three seasons, with Raikkonen’s sixth place last year being their worst qualifying position so far.
*Raikkonen didn’t cross the finish line in 2017 following his retirement, but was classified in 14th in the final order.
Red Bull took victory at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as Daniel Ricciardo took the team’s only podium finish so far at the circuit. Last year’s race ended in disaster for the team as Ricciardo collided with team-mate Max Verstappen, recording their first double DNF at the Baku circuit. With Verstappen also retiring in 2017, 2016 is the only year where both Red Bull cars have finished in the points in Azerbaijan.
Red Bull have reached the final part of qualifying with both cars on every occasion so far in Azerbaijan, with a best qualifying position of third for Ricciardo in 2016, which became a front-row start after Sergio Perez’s penalty. Ironically, Red Bull’s worst qualifying here – tenth for Ricciardo in 2017 – is also the entry with which they won the race.
Renault picked up points in Azerbaijan for the first time last season with a fifth place finish for Carlos Sainz. In previous years, the team recorded 14th and 15th place finishes in 2016 and a double DNF in 2016. Nico Hulkenberg has retired in each of the past two seasons here. That, in addition to Jolyon Palmer’s retirement in 2017 gives them an overall finish rate of 50% in Baku.
2018 marked Renault’s first appearance in the final part of qualifying at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with both Hulkenberg and Sainz reaching Q3. Hulkenberg’s ninth place is the team’s best qualifying position here so far. Both Renaults were eliminated in Q1 in 2016, while Hulkenberg reached Q2 in 2017 and Palmer was knocked out in Q1.
Last season, Romain Grosjean recorded the Haas team’s first DNF at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix by crashing into a wall under Safety Car conditions. In the previous season, Kevin Magnussen finished seventh, scoring the team’s only six points so far. A Haas car has finished in 13th place on every visit to Baku so far.
Haas have never reached the final part of qualifying at the Baku City Circuit, with one of their cars being eliminated in Q1 in each of the last two seasons; Grosjean failed to even set a time last year. Magnussen’s 13th place in 2017 is their best qualifying position to date at the track.
McLaren recorded their best finish in Azerbaijan so far last season, with Fernando Alonso finishing in seventh place; somewhat miraculously considering he had a double puncture on the first lap! 2018 was also the first time both McLarens finished in the points at the circuit, with Stoffel Vandoorne also coming home in ninth place. McLaren have scored a total of ten points in Baku so far, with Alonso scoring a ninth place finish in 2017. The team left the track pointless in 2016, as Jenson Button finished eleventh and Alonso recorded McLaren’s only retirement so far in Azerbaijan.
McLaren are yet to reach the final part of qualifying at this track, with Alonso’s 13th place in qualifying last season their best attempt so far. At least one McLaren has been eliminated in the first part of qualifying on all three appearances so far at the track, while 2017 is the only time both McLarens have been eliminated in Q1.
Racing Point (Force India)
Only Mercedes and Ferrari have scored more points at the Baku City Circuit than Force India. Sergio Perez has finished on the podium for the team here in two of the past three seasons on a track which clearly suits their package. 2016 is the only season where both Force Indias have recorded points at the track however, with a DNF for Perez in 2017 and a DNF in 2018 for Esteban Ocon.
Force India were also strong in qualifying at the Baku City Circuit, with Nico Hulkenberg’s twelfth place in 2016 their lowest to date, and the only time they’ve failed to reach the final part of qualifying. Sergio Perez qualified on the front row in 2016, but was later demoted to seventh on the grid following a gearbox change.
Alfa Romeo (Sauber)
Charles Leclerc’s sixth place at the Baku City Circuit last season marks Sauber’s highest point at the track so far. It was also the second time they’ve scored points here, after Pascal Wehrlein’s tenth place finish in 2017. They’ve finished on the cusp of more points in the past too, with Marcus Ericsson finishing eleventh in each of the last two seasons. The team have a 100% finish rate here, with Ericsson’s seventeenth place in 2016 being their lowest result.
The team are yet to progress to the final part of qualifying in Azerbaijan, and have seen one car exit in Q1 and Q2 in all three visits so far. Leclerc recorded Sauber’s best qualifying position at the circuit in 2018, with thirteenth on the grid.
Toro Rosso have scored the least points of any current team at the Baku City Circuit, with Carlos Sainz finishing eighth in 2017 and Brendon Hartley tenth last season. The team have a 50% finish rate at the track, with the inaugural race in Azerbaijan resulting in a double DNF.
Daniil Kvyat’s seventh place in qualifying in 2016, which later became sixth on the grid, is the only time a Toro Rosso driver has reached the final part of qualifying in Baku. Both cars were eliminated in Q2 in 2017, while Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley were both out in Q1 last season, with Hartley failing to even set a time.
Lance Stroll scored Williams’ only podium finish in Azerbaijan so far in 2017. The team have never failed to pick up points at the circuit, though 2016 is the only time both Williams drivers have finished inside the top ten. Both 2017 and 2018 saw one retirement for the team, with Felipe Massa retiring in 2017 and Sergey Sirotkin out after a collision on the first lap last year.
Last season marked the first time that both Williams drivers failed to reach the final part of qualifying in Baku, with both cars eliminated in Q2. Felipe Massa provided their team with their best starting place to date at the track in 2016, with sixth place (which became fifth on the grid following Sergio Perez’s penalty).
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.