Seven drivers have a 100% Q3 appearance rate in Azerbaijan, two drivers have scored points in all three races in Baku and just one driver has beaten their team-mate in qualifying for all three races at the track so far. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix!
?? Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton fortuitously won last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as the result of his team-mate picking up a late-race puncture. In the two seasons before that, Hamilton finished fifth in both races. His progress from a qualifying crash which left him tenth on the grid in 2016 was hampered by car issues – which the team were unable to help him with via the radio. In 2017, the Mercedes driver was leading from pole, until his headrest came loose and he was forced to pit as a precaution. Hamilton has never failed to reach the final part of qualifying here, and, in addition to his 2017 pole, lined up on the front row of the grid last season. He’s beaten his team-mate in qualifying in each of the last two Baku race weekends.
?? Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas came close to winning last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix – but a puncture in the final laps saw him record his first non-finish at the track. The Finn finished as runner-up in 2017 following a pass on Lance Stroll on the finish line, while he finished sixth in the previous season with Williams. Bottas has recorded a top three qualifying position in each of the last two seasons, with a best of second on the grid in 2017. He has reached the final part of qualifying on every appearance at the track, but is yet to beat a team-mate on Saturday here.
?? Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is the only driver other than Lewis Hamilton to have scored points in every race at the Baku City Circuit so far. He has one podium finish at the track – having finished as runner-up in 2016 – and has finished fourth in each of the last two seasons. While Vettel qualified fourth in each of the first two races at the circuit, he recorded his first pole position at the track last year. 2017 is the only time Vettel has failed to beat a team-mate in qualifying in Azerbaijan. The German has led 33 laps of races here, leading three in 2017 and 30 in 2018 (strangely, Hamilton has also led 33 laps here – 30 in 2017 and three in 2018!)
?? Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc scored his first Formula 1 points at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2018, finishing a season-best of sixth. In qualifying, he was eliminated in Q2, out-qualifying his team-mate on his way to thirteenth on the grid.
?? Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen has retired from each of the last two Azerbaijan Grands Prix. While an oil pressure issue prevented him from completing more than twelve laps in 2017, his race ended early last year as a result of a collision with his team-mate. Verstappen finished eighth here in 2016. The Dutch driver has never failed to reach the final part of qualifying in Baku, having qualified in fifth in each of the last two seasons. 2017 is the only season where Verstappen has beaten his team-mate in qualifying here.
?? Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly failed to score on his first visit to the Baku City Circuit in F1 last season. The Frenchman finished twelfth after qualifying seventeenth. He very nearly collided with his team-mate at high speed during the qualifying session.
?? Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo won the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix from tenth on the grid. That’s the only time he’s failed to qualify in the top five at the circuit, having started on the front row in 2016 and from fourth in 2018. While the Australian finished seventh in 2016, he retired from last year’s race following a collision with Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen. 2017 is the only time Ricciardo has been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying at the track.
?? Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg has failed to finish each of the last two races at the Baku City Circuit, crashing out both times. The German has scored just two points here, finishing ninth in 2016. Last season marked the first time Hulkenberg has qualified in the top ten at the track, having been eliminated in Q2 in each of the two seasons before that. He has beaten his team-mate in qualifying in both of the last two seasons at the track.
?? Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean has appeared in all three races at the Baku City Circuit so far, but is yet to score a point at the track. He finished thirteenth in both 2016 and 2017, and recorded his first DNF at the track last season as a result of crashing out under Safety Car conditions. Grosjean has never reached the final part of qualifying in Azerbaijan, with his best Saturday result being eleventh in 2016. He has been eliminated in Q1 in each of the last two seasons, being beaten by his team-mate both times.
?? Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen is the only driver to have beaten his team-mate in qualifying for all three races so far at the Baku City Circuit. Just like his team-mate, Magnussen is yet to reach the top ten in qualifying at the track, recording a best grid position of twelfth in 2017. Unlike his team-mate, Magnussen has been able to score here, picking up a seventh place finish in 2017. The Dane has gained at least two places from where he started on every appearance at the track.
?? Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz is the only driver other than Valtteri Bottas to have been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying in Baku three times. While the Spaniard retired from the inaugural race here, he finished eighth in 2017 and a season-best of fifth at the track last year. 2018 is also the only time Sainz has reached the final part of qualifying at the track, having been eliminated in Q2 in the two previous years. In both of the races he’s finished in Azerbaijan, Sainz has gained at least four places from where he started (seven in 2017, four in 2018).
?? Lando Norris
Lando Norris raced here in Formula 2 in 2018, where he finished sixth in the Feature Race and fourth in the Sprint Race.
?? Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez is the most successful driver by way of podiums at the Baku City Circuit. He is the only driver to have scored more than one top three finish at the track, finishing third in both 2016 and 2018. In 2017, Perez failed to finish the race as a result of colliding with his team-mate. He qualified on the front row for the 2016 race here, but dropped to seventh on the grid thanks to a gearbox penalty. The Mexican has reached Q3 in all three appearances at the track, and is yet to qualify below eighth. Last season marked the first time he failed to beat a team-mate in qualifying here.
?? Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll scored his first, and so far only, podium in Formula 1 at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He was passed on the line by Valtteri Bottas, but still finished third. The Canadian has a 100% points rate at the track, having also finished in eighth place last season. Stroll reached the final part of qualifying in 2017, qualifying in eighth place. He was eliminated in Q2 last season, just missing out on the top ten and qualifying in eleventh. Stroll is yet to be beaten by a team-mate in qualifying at the Baku City Circuit.
?? Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen has had two top five finishes and a non-finish in Baku. His DNF came in 2017, while he finished fourth in the first race at the track and runner-up last season. Raikkonen has never qualified outside of the top six at the circuit, with a best of third in 2017. 2017 is also the only time the Finn has beaten his team-mate in qualifying so far at the track. Raikkonen is yet to lose a position from his starting place in the two races he has finished in Azerbaijan, gaining a best of four places from sixth on the grid last season to finish as runner-up.
?? Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi took a double win at the Baku City Circuit at GP2’s Azerbaijan round of the 2016 championship. The ‘double win’ is a rare feat, and the Italian remains the latest driver to have done it in F1’s feeder series.
?? Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat is yet to finish a race in Azerbaijan. He retired after six laps with suspension problems in 2016 and was out after nine laps in 2017 as a result of an electronics issue. Kvyat reached Q3 in 2016 at the track with Red Bull, qualifying seventh – which became sixth on the grid, while he was eliminated in Q2 with eleventh place in 2017. Kvyat has beaten his team-mate on both of his appearances so far at the track.
?? Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon missed out on the Azerbaijan round of the F2 championship in 2017 after breaking his collarbone. In his first F2 appearance at the track last year, he took victory in the Feature Race.
?? Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica is yet to race at the Baku City Circuit.
?? George Russell
George Russell had a Saturday to forget in Baku in 2018, finishing only twelfth in the F2 feature race. He turned it around on Sunday though, and took victory in the Sprint Race.
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 GPDestinations. 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.