2019 Azerbaijan GP: Qualifying Analysis

2019 Azerbaijan GP: Qualifying Analysis

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

FASTEST
SECTOR 1
FASTEST
SECTOR 2
FASTEST
SECTOR 3
35.326
Sebastian Vettel
40.253
Lewis Hamilton
24.614
Antonio Giovinazzi

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. 

POLE
LAP
ULTIMATE
PACE
1:40.495 1:40.193

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:

PosDriverQualifying TimeUltimate PaceDifferenceUltimate Pace Pos
2Lewis Hamilton100.554100.335-0.2191
1Valtteri Bottas100.495100.4950.0002
3Sebastian Vettel100.797100.563-0.2343
10Charles Leclerc101.426101.186-0.2405
4Max Verstappen101.069100.929-0.1404
15Pierre Gasly101.335101.3350.0006
12Daniel Ricciardo102.477102.346-0.13114
18Nico Hulkenberg103.427103.4270.00018
17Romain Grosjean103.407102.953-0.45417
14Kevin Magnussen102.382102.370-0.01215
11Carlos Sainz101.936101.801-0.13510
7Lando Norris101.886101.698-0.1889
5Sergio Perez101.593101.452-0.1417
16Lance Stroll102.630102.615-0.01516
9Kimi Raikkonen102.059101.982-0.07711
8Antonio Giovinazzi102.140102.009-0.13112
6Daniil Kvyat101.681101.500-0.1818
13Alexander Albon102.154102.046-0.10813
20Robert Kubica105.455105.273-0.18220
19George Russell105.062104.564-0.49819

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:

Team Gap Winner
Mercedes 0.059 Bottas
Ferrari 0.106 Vettel
Red Bull 0.392 Gasly
Renault 0.941 Ricciardo
Haas 1.025 Magnussen
McLaren 0.314 Norris
Racing Point 0.381 Perez
Alfa Romeo 0.644 Giovinazzi
Toro Rosso 0.273 Kvyat
Williams 0.393 Russell

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.

Driver FASTEST
SECTOR 1
FASTEST
SECTOR 2
FASTEST
SECTOR 3
FASTEST
OVERALL
Mercedes BOTTAS HAMILTON HAMILTON HAMILTON
Ferrari VETTEL VETTEL VETTEL VETTEL
Red Bull VERSTAPPEN VERSTAPPEN GASLY VERSTAPPEN
Renault RICCIARDO RICCIARDO RICCIARDO RICCIARDO
Haas MAGNUSSEN MAGNUSSEN MAGNUSSEN MAGNUSSEN
McLaren NORRIS NORRIS SAINZ NORRIS
Racing Point PEREZ PEREZ PEREZ PEREZ
Alfa Romeo RAIKKONEN GIOVINAZZI GIOVINAZZI RAIKKONEN
Toro Rosso KVYAT ALBON KVYAT KVYAT
Williams RUSSELL RUSSELL RUSSELL RUSSELL

Find all the team-mate battle statistics for the 2019 season here!





Team Pace

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.

TEAM GAP TO
ULTIMATE PACE
GAP TO POLE
Mercedes 0.117 -0.185
Ferrari 0.37 0.068
Red Bull 0.655 0.353
Toro Rosso 1.217 0.915
Racing Point 1.259 0.957
McLaren 1.322 1.020
Alfa Romeo 1.617 1.315
Renault 2.153 1.851
Haas 2.177 1.875
Williams 4.371 4.069

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:

Team20182019Difference
Mercedes101.542100.31-1.232
Ferrari101.275100.563-0.712
Red Bull101.662100.848-0.814
Renault102.491102.346-0.145
Haas103.653102.370-1.283
McLaren103.505101.515-1.990
Racing Point102.182101.452-0.730
Alfa Romeo103.526101.81-1.716
Toro Rosso104.38101.41-2.97
Williams103.136104.5641.428

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

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)

Find out what makes each grid position lucky or unlucky here!

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