It was a chaotic race in Baku, Azerbaijan for the fourth round of the 2018 Formula One season. While Sebastian Vettel shone on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton broke new records with his win on Sunday and Charles Leclerc made a mark with the first points of his career. We’ve rounded up all the essential stats from a highly entertaining weekend.
Sebastian Vettel took pole on Saturday in Baku. It was his first pole in Azerbaiajn, the 53rd of his career, his eighth with Ferrari and his third consecutive pole of the season. The Baku City Circuit is the 23rd different circuit where Vettel has set the fastest Saturday time.
It was Ferrari’s 216th pole, and marked the first time that Mercedes have been defeated in Qualifying in Azerbaijan. It’s also the first time where Ferrari have scored a hat-trick of pole positions since Felipe Massa did in 2007.
Vettel’s pole gap of 0.179 seconds is the smallest pole margin recorded so far at this track.
Having beaten his team-mate once again in Qualifying in Baku, Nico Hulkenberg has been out-qualified only once in the past 28 races. He started behind his team-mate due to a grid penalty, but still set the faster time on Saturday. Hulkenberg’s gearbox penalty, which left him fourteenth on the grid, meant that his streak of starting from seventh in every race since the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix finally came to an end.
Lewis Hamilton took the 63rd victory of his Formula One career on Sunday. It was his first win in Baku, meaning that he’s now won at 24 different tracks. It also means that there are still no repeat winners at the Azerbaijan track.
It was Hamilton’s 120th podium finish. He’s now finished on the podium at every track on the current calendar except the Paul Ricard circuit, which F1 visits for the first time since 1990 in June.
Hamilton recorded the smallest win margin seen so far at this track, winning ahead of Kimi Raikkonen by 2.460 seconds.
Hamilton extends the record of consecutive points finishes to 29 races.
Red Bull scored their second double DNF of the season, meaning they’ve left half of the races so far in 2018 without any points. The team have 149 podiums and remain one away from the 150 milestone. Red Bull have half of the points of the team ahead of them. Mercedes have 110 points compared to Red Bull’s 55.
Interestingly, Lewis Hamilton seems to be the victor when Red Bull team-mates collide – he also won the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix when Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber came together on the Istanbul track.
It was perhaps ironic that Mercedes recorded their 77th victory in a race which Valtteri Bottas looked certain to win until his puncture just a few laps before the chequered flag. His retirement means the Finnish driver ends his streak of eighteen consecutive points finishes. Bottas can take some solace from recording the fastest lap of a Grand Prix for the fifth time in his career.
Kimi Raikkonen recorded the 94th podium of his Formula One career, putting him just six away from joining The 100 Club.
Sergio Perez scored the eighth podium finish of his career, making him the most successful Mexican driver in Formula One history. It was his first podium since the 2016 European Grand Prix, which was also held at the Baku track. Perez becomes the only driver to have finished on the podium in Baku more than once.
Not only was it Perez’s first points of the season, it was also only the second time this year where the Force India team have scored. The result means the team have surpassed 1000 total points from their time in the sport, with their total now at 1003.
Things were less happy on the other side of the Force India garage, as Esteban Ocon retired from a Grand Prix for only the second time in his career. Both of his retirements have been as the result of a first lap crash.
Charles Leclerc had a good weekend. He progressed to Q2 for the first time on Saturday before scoring the first points of his Formula One career on Sunday with a brilliant sixth place finish. The result marked Sauber’s best finish since Felipe Nasr similarly finished sixth in the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix. Impressively, it’s the first time a Monegasque driver has scored points in a Formula One race since Louis Chiron in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix. That was only the second ever F1 Grand Prix, meaning there has been a 978 race gap between Monegasque points scorers.
Brendon Hartley also scored the first point of his career with a tenth place finish. It marks the first time a driver from New Zealand has scored a point in Formula One since Chris Amon, who finished fifth in the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth 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 Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.