RACE WEEK: 5 stories that got us excited ahead of the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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The bizarre early season break is lastly over and we’re again in racing this weekend, but it surely’s no atypical race as the primary Dash occasion of the season is upon us. Listed below are just a few of the speaking factors that might be floating round when the paddock reassembles in Baku.

A brand new Dash format

It might appear a bit unusual that approval comes simply earlier than the beginning of race weekend, however an thrilling new Dash format has been formally authorised by the FIA’s World Motorsport Council after a lot debate over the previous few weeks.

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The groups all agreed that underneath indoor parking situations, the 2nd apply session on Saturday morning was not a very related session and likewise that generally drivers and groups are typically cautious through the Dash, so tweaks could possibly be made to enhance the format. himself to restrict any risk-taking that might have an effect on Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Components 1 returns to motion in Baku with the primary F1 Dash weekend of the season

Subsequently, a brand new format, by which FP2 is changed by one other qualifying session, has been unanimously authorised – the ‘Dash Shootout’ – this can set the grid for the Dash after which Friday’s rating will present the order of the Grand Prix.

This makes Saturday an unbiased day and the results of the Dash has no bearing on the subsequent day’s race, permitting drivers to combat with out worry of the large penalties.

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Saturday standings are the same format to Q1-Q2-Q3, however with shorter time home windows of 12, 10 and eight minutes respectively, so just one run has an opportunity of being attainable in Q3 through the Dash Shootout. Groups should additionally use new medium tires in Q1 and Q2 solely, and new delicate tires in Q3 on Saturday.

Friday’s qualifying session will stay unchanged, whereas the standings for the highest eight factors within the Dash will stay the identical.


F1 Dash races have added one other layer of pleasure to race weekends in current seasons.

growth race

There could not have been any races because the lengthy Melbourne journey, however that does not imply the groups have not labored laborious at their factories. In contrast to the summer time trip, there aren’t any obligatory shutdowns right now of yr, permitting the same old R&D to be carried out throughout the engineering groups.

Whereas there have been some new components that have been delivered to the inaugural three rounds, the bulk have been focusing on this a part of the season to start out bringing extra substantial upgrades to their vehicles.

READ MORE: Brown declares McLaren technical management modifications are “within the works” since late 2022

McLaren has already stated they will be bringing a serious replace to Baku – Andrea Stella warns this may not change the principles of the sport, a B-specific automobile will debut later this season – and Mercedes is working to enhance dealing with by suspension modifications. .

It will likely be a particular package deal for Ferrari for the downforce ranges required in Azerbaijan, and we’ll see who else prefers a big variety of new components in a weekend of only one hour of apply earlier than needing to lock in. – within the setup of the automobile for the remainder of the occasion.

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McLaren is without doubt one of the groups that introduced vital enhancements to Azerbaijan.

Penalty protests

Talking of Ferrari, it was one of many few groups to make headlines when the race was interrupted, as staff principal Fred Vasseur confirmed that that they had filed a petition for a reconsideration of Carlos Sainz’s sentence in Australia.

Sainz was given a five-second time penalty for colliding with Fernando Alonso on the restart within the final standing in Melbourne; factors.

READ MORE: Sainz argues Australian GP penalty ‘too disproportionate’ after Ferrari’s enchantment rejected by FIA

A part of Ferrari’s reasoning for asking for the investigation to be reopened was that there was no investigation right into a collision between Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries on the identical time, whereas Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have been allowed to talk to officers after the race. Motion has been initiated towards Alpine drivers. All three occasions occurred throughout the identical reboot.

Ferrari’s petition was denied, however the staff says it “appears ahead to partaking in broader discussions with the FIA, F1 and all groups to additional enhance the policing of our sport”, one thing most observers will probably have. opinion a method or one other.

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The season is gaining momentum

Did I point out it has been virtually 4 weeks since we final raced?! It feels bizarre to take such a giant break at this stage, proper?

Initially the Chinese language Grand Prix was to be within the loop, however this race sadly needed to be postponed once more, with a report 23 races set to be held this yr and no different race was chosen to interchange it.

READ MORE: Aston Martin explains how constructing a aggressive automobile makes race weekends ‘tougher’

And 20 extra will arrive as we strategy the top of April, which means the season is about to get extraordinarily busy. It is just like the calm earlier than the storm as Baku kicks off the primary doubles match of the yr with Miami, after which goes to our first triple match with Imola, Monaco and Barcelona.

If you happen to missed your F1, don’t fret, we now have 5 races in six weeks to fill the void.


Azerbaijan will begin an intense sequence with intense and quick races on the F1 calendar

Guenther Steiner’s diary

One other staff that has been very busy apart from Ferrari is Haas, or extra particularly Staff Principals Guenther Steiner.

Steiner, one of many stars of Netflix’s Drive to Survive sequence, determined that the time was proper to maintain a diary of his season at one of many 10 most prestigious jobs in F1 final yr, and the result’s a lately printed ebook.

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Steiner has been on a promotional tour since Australia to speak about “Surviving the Drive: A 12 months in Components 1”, which gives private perception into the robust season Haas faces in 2022, but additionally contains some spectacular highs. output. And as you possibly can think about, there are numerous colourful languages, together with Steiner.

The Haas staff principal will little doubt be confronted with many questions on a number of the revelations within the ebook when he’s within the paddock in Baku, and it is going to be attention-grabbing to see if any of his opponents learn it too…

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