While the polesitter has won only two of the six races held so far in Azerbaijan, 2nd and 8th are the only grid slots yet to record a retirement. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at the Baku City Circuit!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- Polesitter has won twice
- 1st and 8th have never failed to score
- Three grid slots have never scored
- 6th and 14th have retired the most times
While nine podium finishes have come from within the top three at the Baku City Circuit, six have come from sixth or lower. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has seen wild and unpredictable races so far in its history, with 2019 being the first time that all of the top three on the grid finished on the podium.
|Grid||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last DNF||Best Finish|
From six previous races in Baku, the polesitter has won only twice. Nico Rosberg won from pole in dominant fashion in the inaugural 2016 event, while Valtteri Bottas won from pole in 2019.
The two wins are also the only two times so far that the polesitter has finished on the podium. Lewis Hamilton finished fifth from pole in 2017, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finished fourth in 2018 and 2021 respectively and Leclerc retired from pole while leading the race in 2022.
Second on the grid has supplied the most podium finishes for any grid slot at the Baku City Circuit, with four. Lewis Hamilton is the only driver to have won from second on the grid here, doing so in 2018. The other three podium finishes have all been second place finishes – for Valtteri Bottas in 2017, Hamilton in 2019 and Sergio Perez in 2022.
Hamilton failed to score after locking up at the first corner on the restart of the race in 2021. It was the first time the driver starting second has failed to score in Baku.
Max Verstappen became the first driver to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from third on the grid in 2022. That beat the grid slot’s previous best result of second place, recorded by Sebastian Vettel in 2016.
The grid slot has provided one other podium – a third place for Vettel in 2019 – but the other three races at the circuit have resulted in DNFs for the driver starting third.
Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas were each classified 14th in the final result having started from third in 2017 and 2018 respectively, but neither crossed the finish line. Raikkonen was sidelined with an oil leak while Bottas suffered the cruellest luck of all – picking up a puncture just three laps from the finish, while leading the Grand Prix. In 2021, Max Verstappen led the majority of the race having started third – but he retired due to a tyre failure on the main straight.
In 2021, Pierre Gasly became the first driver to finish on the podium at the Baku City Circuit having started from fourth place. One year later, Carlos Sainz became the second driver to retire from fourth on the grid at this circuit.
Aside from Gasly’s podium and two retirements, every driver who has started here has finished where they started, in fourth place.
Fifth was last of the top eight grid slots to secure a podium finish in Azerbaijan. George Russell recorded the first podium for this grid slot, finishing third in 2022. That’s the only time that the driver starting here has gained positions in the race.
The driver starting from fifth retired in both 2017 and 2018. In both years, that driver was Max Verstappen. An oil pressure issue ended his afternoon early in 2017, while a collision with his team-mate in 2018 ended any hopes of finishing the race. As for the other finishers, Felipe Massa could finish only tenth in 2016, Sergio Perez finished sixth in 2019 and Carlos Sainz finished eighth in 2021.
In the six races so far at Baku City Circuit, the driver starting from sixth has finished only three times. Sergio Perez won from sixth on the grid in 2021, Kimi Raikkonen finished as runner-up in 2018 and Pierre Gasly finished fifth in 2022.
The other races have all resulted in DNFs. Daniil Kvyat retired in 2016, Perez was out in 2017 and Kvyat failed to reach the end of the race again in 2019.
Esteban Ocon’s retirement in 2018 is the only time that the driver starting seventh at the Baku City Circuit has failed to score so far.
The first race at this track in 2016 resulted in a podium finish for Sergio Perez, who recorded this grid slot’s best result to date with third place. In 2022, Lewis Hamilton recorded the best result from here since then with fourth place.
Eighth is one of only five grid slots which has recorded multiple podium finishes in Baku. Lance Stroll started here in 2017, as did Sergio Perez in 2018, with both of their races culminating in taking the final podium spot.
In 2022, Yuki Tsunoda finished only 13th having started eighth. It was the first time that the grid slot failed to score and the first time that the driver starting here failed to finish in a better position than where they started.
The driver starting ninth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has scored five times so far, having made up positions in all of those points-scoring races.
The best finish from ninth on the grid is fifth, recorded by both Carlos Sainz in 2018 and Lando Norris in 2021. Felipe Massa recorded the only non-score from this grid slot, retiring from the race in 2017.
Daniel Ricciardo took victory from tenth on the grid in the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It’s the furthest back grid position from which the race has been won.
In 2019, Ricciardo recorded the first DNF for a driver starting tenth in Baku. Valtteri Bottas failed to score having started here in 2021, coming home in 12th. Lewis Hamilton took fifth place from here in 2016, Lance Stroll finished eighth in 2018 and Fernando Alonso finished seventh in 2022.
Until 2021, the driver starting 11th in Azerbaijan had never scored. That changed with a second place finish for Sebastian Vettel, who recorded Aston Martin’s first ever F1 podium. Lando Norris continued the position’s points-scoring streak in 2022, finishing in ninth place.
Don’t qualify here if you’re Russian – Daniil Kvyat and Sergey Sirotkin have both started here; and both were out of the race before the tenth lap!
12th on the grid scored in all of the first three races at Baku City Circuit. Nico Hulkenberg finished ninth from this grid slot in 2016, while Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso each finished seventh having started 12th in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In 2019, Kevin Magnussen finished only 13th, while Esteban Ocon was the first driver to retire from the 2021 race. Daniel Ricciardo finished eighth having started here in 2022.
Both of the first two Azerbaijan races resulted in DNFs for the driver starting 13th – but the driver starting here has scored in every race since then.
The best result for the driver lining up 13th on the grid in Baku is sixth, scored by Charles Leclerc in 2018.
The driver starting 14th in Azerbaijan has scored twice, finishing tenth both times. Pascal Wehrlein picked up one point having started here in 2017, while Kimi Raikkonen followed suit in 2021.
Half of Baku’s races have resulted in retirements for the driver starting 14th: Nico Hulkenberg in 2018, Romain Grosjean in 2019 and Zhou Guanyu in 2022.
George Russell recorded the first retirement from 15th on the grid in Baku in 2021. Though 15th has finished the other five races at the track, it has scored only once. That points finish was an eighth place result for Carlos Sainz in 2017.
Like 15th, 16th on the grid in Azerbaijan has scored only once. The best result for a driver starting here is ninth, scored by Stoffel Vandoorne in 2018. In 2022, Kevin Magnussen became the first driver to record a retirement from this position.
No points have yet been scored by the driver starting 17th in Azerbaijan. The first race here resulted in a retirement for Pascal Wehrlein. While they haven’t scored, the driver starting here has moved at least four positions up the order in all of the last five Baku races. The best result from here so far is 11th place for Marcus Ericsson in 2017.
The driver lining up 18th has never scored in Baku. In 2019, the grid slot was vacant for the first time as three drivers started from the pit-lane. The first race in Baku resulted in a retirement for Carlos Sainz, who lined up 18th. Stoffel Vandoorne finished 12th in 2017, Marcus Ericsson finished 11th in 2018, Nikita Mazepin finished 14th in 2021 and Nicholas Latifi finished 15th in 2022.
The driver starting 19th has failed to finish in each of the last two Azerbaijan Grands Prix. A tyre failure for Lance Stroll eliminated him from the 2021 race and he retired again in 2022 having started from the same position.
The driver starting from the lowly 19th grid slot has scored points twice, in 2017 and 2018. Jenson Button gained eight places in the 2016 event to finish 11th, while Fernando Alonso and Brendon Hartley both finished in the last two points-paying positions from this grid slot in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
While Azerbaijan has provided chaotic races in recent seasons, the driver starting from the back hasn’t benefited points wise. Both Jolyon Palmer in 2017 and Romain Grosjean in 2018 failed to finish the race having started 20th, the latter being memorably forced off the circuit by Marcus Ericsson (at least according to Grosjean’s race engineer, before replays showed the Frenchman had mysteriously driven into the wall of his own accord under Safety Car conditions).
Talking of Ericsson, the Swede was the only driver to have actually finished the Baku race having started from 20th until 2021, when Antonio Giovinazzi finished in 11th place. Mick Schumacher came home 14th having started 20th in 2022.
There have been four pit lane starts at the Baku City Circuit so far, including three in 2019. Kimi Raikkonen scored a point having started from the pit-lane in 2019, while Pierre Gasly retired. The other two pit lane starts resulted in point-less finishes.