(L to R): Charles Leclerc, Ferrari; Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Baku City Circuit, 2023

Sprint race shows why pole position gives Leclerc little advantage in a Red Bull fight RaceFans

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Within the distant Nineties, when digital satellite tv for pc tv was in its infancy, service suppliers often supplied pay-per-view occasions for viewers to buy with a distant.

Whether or not it was a Robbie Williams live performance, dwell boxing, WrestleMania or another particular occasion, it was all the time accompanied by a brief preview present of round half-hour – a last-minute speak that inspired viewers to cough up cash to look at the principle occasion. .

In some ways, the Azerbaijan dash race felt like an prolonged preview of Sunday’s Grand Prix – the identical pole winner, the identical two vehicles lined up behind him, albeit in a unique order. By the point the race was over, everybody – the groups, the drivers and the followers – was left with a transparent thought of ​​what sort of Grand Prix would happen on Sunday. And few will doubtless count on a blockbuster race with the ability of those 17 laps.

Whereas Charles Leclerc rekindled the Ferrari staff’s confidence on Saturday and bolstered his grand prix pole place by topping the grid in dash race qualifying, he actually did not count on he might preserve the Pink Bulls behind him all season. velocity race. As valiant as Leclerc’s effort was, all Sergio Perez needed to do was look ahead to the chance to point out himself to problem for management.

When that likelihood got here, Perez almost sealed eight factors the second he took the lead over Ferrari, proper after DRS was activated.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix dash race in photos

After the race, Perez stated: “To start with I needed to push arduous to get previous Charles, particularly on the restart as a result of I might see on the primary lap that he had good velocity and excellent mechanical grip. “All in all I believe it was a very good race and an incredible weekend for the entire staff to date.”

The dash race revealed that, regardless of the four-week hole between Australia and Azerbaijan, little has actually modified with regards to the core efficiency of Pink Bull and Ferrari in racing trim.

Leclerc made an incredible begin to get into Flip 1 comfortably. Race begins weren’t Pink Bull’s largest power within the first half of 2023, as demonstrated by George Russell’s elbowing out of the world after he managed to problem Max Verstappen within the short-term at nook one. took an enormous exception for the champion.

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Even when Leclerc manages to mimic his begin tomorrow, staying forward of the Pink Bulls shall be an virtually Herculean problem. Verstappen, who’s second on the grid, and Perez, who’s third, have the luxurious of extraordinarily robust DRS.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull and George Russell, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2023
Verstappen broken within the first lap delayed

Dash racing has proven the large profit this brings to the RB19s. On lap seven, when DRS was first activated, Perez took the lengthy again straight from Flip 16 six-tenths of a second behind Ferrari. With the benefit of Pink Bull’s pure straight-line velocity and airflow, Perez gained just a little greater than a tenth to sit down 7km/h sooner than Ferrari when he reached the DRS activation level. Shortly after urgent the button, Perez sprinted 20km towards Ferrari and smashed into the lead. At this circuit, it is virtually inconceivable for Ferrari to supply any protection to such an awesome velocity benefit towards these Pink Bulls.

There was initially some hope for Ferrari when Leclerc misplaced the result in preserve contact with Perez and returned to the DRS vary shortly after falling on lap 9. However then, Ferrari’s tire put on issues began to boost their heads. As Perez maintained a gentle tempo within the 1’43s with tires 4 laps older than Leclerc’s, the Ferrari driver started to lose floor and pushed Verstappen’s broken automotive again with him.

Leclerc admitted that he did not attempt to combat Perez an excessive amount of to maintain his tires on for so long as attainable. “I knew that was our weak spot,” he admitted, “I attempted to remain throughout the Checo’s DRS to tug me on the straight however that wasn’t sufficient, we have been dropping just a little an excessive amount of by the top, so let’s examine what’s attainable to enhance it tomorrow. .

Even beating Verstappen within the relay is not almost as encouraging for Ferrari because it might sound earlier than the dash race, as Verstappen’s sidepod most likely had a shark-bite-sized gap in his sidepod that price the championship chief respectable velocity. race.

“It was just a little bizarre,” Verstappen described the dealing with of his automotive after the dash race. “You count on a steadiness [change]however the automotive is bouncing rather a lot and skidding in some bizarre locations, vibrations – that is not nice.”

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Ferrari has Carlos Sainz Jr, who will begin in second place on Sunday after two Pink Bulls, however in line with the proof from Friday and Saturday, it is silly to count on him to be an element within the race – one thing the motive force himself overtly admits.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2023
Perez is hopeful he could have the velocity to combat for victory

“It is proving to be a really powerful weekend, and at this level, it is extra of a harm limitation weekend for me than anything, realizing the tempo this weekend,” admitted Sainz after coming house fifth behind Russell within the dash race. “I am actually fighting self-confidence there, I all the time actually really feel on the sting of the rear axle and it isn’t good to have that feeling in Baku.”

As Sunday’s grand prix shall be held with the afternoon solar instantly over the monitor, monitor temperatures shall be considerably larger than within the dash race. Based on Valtteri Bottas, even in simply 17 laps of the dash race, the tender tires have been “melting”. It is hardly stunning, due to this fact, that Pirelli expects groups to begin on medium tires as soon as once more, prone to focus closely on arduous tires in the course of the grand prix, earlier than making a single break for more durable compound.

However Baku isn’t any extraordinary monitor and the danger of Security Vehicles and even crimson flag stops is as excessive as at virtually every other monitor on the calendar. Fortunately for the overwhelming majority of drivers, there are two units of arduous tires, most of that are unused. If the race is suspended for any cause, they are going to be capable to match a brand new set of arduous tires at no cost, even after finishing a scheduled cease.

Nonetheless, this monitor has produced uneventful races earlier than, together with its first race in 2016. However whether or not the race is quiet or chaotic, Perez is assured that the very best will come from him and his teammate.

“I believe I am sooner than I confirmed right this moment,” he stated. “I believe tomorrow is one other day and a brand new problem.”

Full qualifying occasions

Location Quantity driver Set 1st quarter time Q2 time (vs Q1) Q3 time (vs Q2)
one 16 Charles Leclerc ferrari 1’41.269 1’41.037 (-0.232s) 1’40,203 (-0.834s)
2 one Max Verstappen Pink Bull 1’41.398 1’40,822 (-0.576s) 1’40,391 (-0.431s)
3 eleventh Sergio Perez Pink Bull 1’41.756 1’41.131 (-0.625sec) 1’40.495 (-0.636s)
4 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. ferrari 1’42,197 1’41.369 (-0.828s) 1’41.016 (-0.353s)
5 44 Lewis Hamilton mercedes 1’42.113 1’41.650 (-0.463s) 1’41.177 (-0.473s)
6 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’41.720 1’41.370 (-0.350s) 1’41,253 (-0.117s)
7 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1’42,154 1’41.485 (-0.669s) 1’41.281 (-0.204s)
8 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Pink Bull 1’42,234 1’41.569 (-0.665sec) 1’41.581 (+0.012s)
9 18 Spear Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’42,524 1’41.576 (-0.948s) 1’41.611 (+0.035s)
10 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1’42,455 1’41.636 (-0.819s) 1’41.611 (-0.025s)
eleventh 63 George Russell mercedes 1’42,073 1’41.654 (-0.419s) Missed by 0.004 seconds
12 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1’42,622 1’41.798 (-0.824h) missed by 0.148 seconds
13 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes 1’42,171 1’41.818 (-0.353s) Missed by 0.168 seconds
14 77 Valteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’42.582 1’42.259 (-0.323s) missed by 0.609s
15 2 Logan Sergeant Williams-Mercedes 1’42,242 1’42.395 (+0.153s) missed by 0.745 seconds
16 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’42,642 Missed by 0.020 seconds
17 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1’42,755 hijacked with 0.133s
18 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’43.417 Missed by 0.795 seconds
19 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1’44,853 missed by 2,231 seconds
20 21 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Pink Bull 1’45,282 hijacked with 2,660s

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