After a highly disrupted session, Valtteri Bottas snatched pole position from his team-mate in the closing moments. We take a look at all the stats and stories from Saturday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix!
Q U A L I F Y I N G R E C A P
- Kubica crashes out in Q1, leading to lengthy delay
- After dominating the practice sessions, Leclerc crashes out in same spot in Q2, leading to another delay
- Giovinazzi reaches Q3 and out-qualifies team-mate for first time; but has 10-place grid penalty
- Kvyat an impressive sixth as Toro Rosso show good pace
- Bottas takes pole from Hamilton in the closing minutes of Q3, becoming first driver to take two poles in 2019
The Ultimate Pace
While Valtteri Bottas took pole position, he didn’t set the outright pace in any of the individual sectors. He was second fastest in the first two sectors and third fastest in the final sector. Instead, three different drivers set the best three sector times. Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheet in Sector 1 for Ferrari, Bottas’ team-mate Lewis Hamilton was quickest through the middle part of the track, while Antonio Giovinazzi was the surprise name who was fastest overall in the final sector. Alfa Romeo’s pace in the final part of the track was backed up by Kimi Raikkonen being fourth fastest in that section of track.
By adding each drivers’ best three sector times together, we can get an idea of who put a lap together when it mattered, and who failed to pull all three sectors into one fast lap. Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg all set their best three sector times on their fastest qualifying lap, while Romain Grosjean and George Russell were the furthest off their best potential lap times. The actual lap times and potential best lap times are compared in the table below:
|Pos||Driver||Qualifying Time||Ultimate Pace||Difference||Ultimate Pace Pos|
The team-mate battles
Largest gaps in each session:
Q1: Magnussen 1.025s faster than Grosjean
Q2: Norris 0.314s faster than Sainz
Q3: Giovinazzi 0.644s faster than Raikkonen
Gap between team-mates in last session where each driver set a time:
Looking at each driver’s ultimate pace also offers an interesting glimpse into who was fastest in each sector in each team. The results can be found in the table below.Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Lance Stroll and Robert Kubica were out-paced by their team-mates in every sector this weekend.
Find all the team-mate battle statistics for the 2019 season here!
Adding together each team’s best three sector times can give us an idea of how the teams’ pace compares at the Baku City Circuit. While Williams were slowest in every sector, Haas were also relatively slow in qualifying, setting only the ninth best sector times in the first and second sectors. They improved to the fifth best time in the final sector, showing the strength of the Ferrari power unit. Perhaps there is reason to believe that the Honda power unit isn’t quite on par with Mercedes and Ferrari yet. While Red Bull and Toro Rosso were in the top five teams through the first and second sectors, Red Bull were only seventh fastest and Toro Rosso ninth fastest in the power-dependent final sector.
|GAP TO POLE|
About the above table: the ‘gap to ultimate pace’ column shows the gap between the team’s best three sector times added together and the overall best three sector times added together. The ‘gap to pole time’ column shows the gap between the team’s best three sector times added together and the lap time of the polesitter.
Improvements between 2018 and 2019
Toro Rosso were the most improved team from 2018 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, improving their best potential time from last year by over two seconds in 2019. Williams were the only team who were slower than last year, with their best potential lap time being almost 1.5 seconds slower than the 2018 counterpart. You can see the full data below:
All set for Sunday:
Sunday in Baku promises a highly intriguing afternoon. After showing impressive pace, will Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi be able to recover from their poor starting positions? Do Mercedes have the race pace to beat Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to the win? And will we see the usual amount of carnage on the Azerbaijan streets this year?
In the Lucky and Unlucky Grid Positions:
LUCKY: 2nd: Lewis Hamilton 8th: Kimi Raikkonen 10th: Carlos Sainz 12th: Alex Albon 19th: Robert Kubica
2nd: Lewis Hamilton
8th: Kimi Raikkonen
10th: Carlos Sainz
12th: Alex Albon
19th: Robert Kubica
UNLUCKY: 3rd: Sebastian Vettel 5th: Sergio Perez 11th: Daniel Ricciardo 17th: Antonio Giovinazzi 18th: George Russell 20th: N/A (Gasly will start from the pit-lane)
3rd: Sebastian Vettel
5th: Sergio Perez
11th: Daniel Ricciardo
17th: Antonio Giovinazzi
18th: George Russell
20th: N/A (Gasly will start from the pit-lane)
Find out what makes each grid position lucky or unlucky here!
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.