Five current drivers have scored on every Baku appearance, nine have a 100% Q3 appearance rate but no one has yet won multiple races at the track. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix!
🇬🇧 LEWIS HAMILTON
Lewis Hamilton has scored on all four appearances at the Baku City Circuit. He took his first win at the circuit in 2018 and finished as runner-up in 2019. He finished fifth in the two previous seasons. He led the 2017 race, but fell down the order after having to pit due to having a loose headrest. Hamilton has qualified on the front row in all of the last three Azerbaijan Grands Prix, taking his only pole so far at the circuit in 2017. While he has reached Q3 on every appearance, he qualified only tenth in 2016 after crashing in the qualifying hour. The 2016 race here is the only one which he has not led at least one lap of.
🇫🇮 VALTTERI BOTTAS
Valtteri Bottas won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for the first time in 2019. He also finished as runner-up in 2017. Bottas nearly won the 2018 race, but was eliminated following a late race puncture. The Finn has started from the front row of the grid in two Baku races, taking pole position here for the first time in 2019. He has a 100% Q3 appearance rate at the track. 2019 was the first time that Bottas has out-qualified his team-mate in Baku. In the three races he’s finished here, Bottas is yet to finish in a worse position than where he started from.
🇳🇱 MAX VERSTAPPEN
Max Verstappen is yet to finish on the podium in Azerbaijan and recorded his best result so far at the track with fourth place in 2019. Before 2019, Verstappen had two successive DNFs at the Baku City Circuit, including a crash with then team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in 2018. Verstappen finished eighth in 2016. He has a 100% Q3 appearance rate in Baku, with a worst qualifying result of ninth in 2015. He’s reached the top five in each of the last three Baku races, with a best grid slot of fourth in 2019. The 2016 race is the only one in which Verstappen has finished in a better position than where he started.
🇲🇽 SERGIO PEREZ
Sergio Perez was the first driver to take multiple podium finishes at the Baku City Circuit. He finished third in the 2016 race at the track, and repeated that result in 2018. His sixth place in 2019 is the only other time that the Mexican has finished the race, having retired in 2017 following a collision with his team-mate. Perez qualified on the front row in 2016, but started seventh following a gearbox penalty. He has never failed to reach Q3 at the circuit. He qualified fifth in 2019. 2018 is the only time that Perez has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the circuit, while 2019 was the first time he has finished in a worse position than where he started from.
🇦🇺 DANIEL RICCIARDO
Daniel Ricciardo won the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix from tenth on the grid. That’s the last time he reached the end of the race, having retired from each of the last two Baku races. He also finished seventh in the 2016 race at the track. 2019 was the first time that the Australian failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the circuit. He has a best qualifying result here of third place, in 2016. That later became a front row start, as the result of a grid penalty for Sergio Perez. 2017 is the only season that Ricciardo has failed to beat his team-mate in qualifying at the circuit.
🇬🇧 LANDO NORRIS
Lando Norris finished eighth on his first Azerbaijan Grand Prix appearance. He out-qualified his team-mate and lined up seventh on the grid. Norris also raced here in Formula 2 in 2018, where he finished sixth in the Feature Race and fourth in the Sprint Race.
🇩🇪 SEBASTIAN VETTEL
Sebastian Vettel has finished in the top four on all four appearances at the Baku City Circuit. His best finish here came in the first race in 2016, when he finished as runner-up. He also finished on the podium in 2019 with a third place finish. Vettel attracted headlines in the 2017 race. After running into the back of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes under Safety Car conditions, he ran into the side of Hamilton’s car to show his displeasure. As well as finishing in the top four on every appearance, Vettel has also never failed to qualify in the top four here. He took pole position for the 2018 event, the only time that he has started on the front row so far in Azerbaijan. 2017 is the only season that the German has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the circuit.
🇨🇦 LANCE STROLL
Lance Stroll has scored on every appearance so far at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He recorded the best result of his career so far here in 2017, finishing on the podium in third place. He nearly finished as runner-up, but was passed by Valtteri Bottas on the line. Stroll added to his points tally here with eighth and ninth place finishes in 2018 and 2019 respectively. 2017 is the only time that Stroll has reached Q3 at the circuit. He was eliminated in Q2 in 2018 and was out in Q1 in 2019. 2019 was the first time he has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the track. Stroll has gained at least two positions from where he has started on all three appearances.
🇪🇸 FERNANDO ALONSO
Fernando Alonso has scored on two of his three previous appearances at Baku City Circuit. Though Alonso retired from the first race at the track in 2016, he went on to finish ninth in 2017 and seventh in 2018. His 2018 result is made all the more impressive by the fact that he drove back to the pits on two wheels after a first lap incident. Despite scoring twice, Alonso has never qualified in the top ten in Baku, and has a best qualifying result of thirteenth on his most recent appearance. That became twelfth on the grid following penalties for other drivers. He has never been out-qualified by a team-mate here.
🇫🇷 ESTEBAN OCON
Esteban Ocon finished sixth in the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but retired from the 2018 event after crashing with Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap. In 2017, Ocon collided with team-mate Sergio Perez, in an incident which ultimately ended the Mexican’s race. Ocon has reached Q3 on both former appearances in Azerbaijan, qualifying and starting from seventh on both occasions.
🇲🇨 CHARLES LECLERC
Charles Leclerc looked set to have a very good Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Ferrari in 2019, but he crashed in qualifying and lined up eighth on the grid. He finished fifth, beating his previous best result at the circuit. Leclerc had scored his first Formula 1 points at the event in 2018, finishing a season-best of sixth. In qualifying for that race, he was eliminated in Q2, out-qualifying his Sauber team-mate on his way to thirteenth on the grid.
🇪🇸 CARLOS SAINZ
Carlos Sainz has scored in all of the last three Azerbaijan Grands Prix. His best result here is a fifth place finish, scored with Renault in 2018. The Spaniard has had one retirement here, in 2016. 2018 is the only time that Sainz has progressed to the final part of qualifying in Baku. He qualified tenth that year, but lined up ninth on the grid. He also started ninth in 2019. Sainz has never out-qualified a team-mate at the circuit. He has gained at least two positions from where he started in all of the last three races at the track.
🇫🇷 PIERRE GASLY
Pierre Gasly is yet to score a point at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He finished twelfth on his first appearance in 2018 and retired in 2019. He’s also yet to start above seventeenth at the track. He set the fastest time in Q1 in 2019 before being excluded for exceeding the fuel flow limit.
🇯🇵 YUKI TSUNODA
This will be Yuki Tsunoda’s first appearance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He has never previously raced at Baku City Circuit.
🇫🇮 KIMI RAIKKONEN
Kimi Raikkonen has scored on three of his four appearances at the Baku City Circuit, with a best result of second place in 2018. 2017 is the only time he has failed to finish the race here, retiring as a result of an oil leak. Raikkonen has qualified in the top ten on all four appearances at the track, with a best qualifying result of third in 2017. He qualified ninth in 2019, but started from the pit-lane after being excluded from qualifying due to his car failing a front wing deflection test. 2017 is the only season that he has out-qualified a team-mate at the circuit. Raikkonen gained nine positions from his pit-lane start in the last race here, and gained four positions from where he started in the previous year.
🇮🇹 ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI
Antonio Giovinazzi finished twelfth on his first Azerbaijan Grand Prix appearance. He reached Q3 for the first time in his career, qualifying in eighth ahead of his team-mate. The Italian carried a grid penalty, so started only sixteenth. He gained four positions in the race. Prior to F1, 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 achieved it in F1’s feeder series.
🇩🇪 MICK SCHUMACHER
Mick Schumacher has previously raced at Baku City Circuit in Formula 2 in 2019. Though he retired from the Feature Race, he finished fifth in the Sprint Race.
🇷🇺 NIKITA MAZEPIN
Like his team-mate, Nikita Mazepin’s only past experience at Baku City Circuit was in Formula 2 in 2019. He finished eighth in the Feature Race and retired from the Sprint Race.
🇬🇧 GEORGE RUSSELL
On his first Azerbaijan Grand Prix appearance in 2019, George Russell finished fifteenth, having qualified nineteenth. He out-qualified his team-mate and lined up seventeenth on the grid after penalties for other drivers had been applied. Russell had a Saturday to forget at the track in F2 in 2018, finishing only twelfth in the Feature Race. He turned it around on Sunday though, and took victory in the Sprint Race.
🇨🇦 NICHOLAS LATIFI
Apart from his maiden F1 season in 2020, Nicholas Latifi has raced at the Baku City Circuit in Formula 2/GP2 in every year from 2016 to 2019. In 2017, he finished third in both the Feature and Sprint races, and finished third again in the following season’s Sprint Race. In 2019, he finished third in the Feature Race before taking victory in the Sprint Race. The 2016 races at the track are the only ones in which the Canadian has failed to score.
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. 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 and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.