Things to See in 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Perez-Pumped-up, Safety Cars, and Thorn in Mercedes’

From the next line of a tough fight between the two top teams to the thorn in the Mercedes; and from McLaren with the work to do to the inevitable disruption, we are choosing some of the things to look out for in the streets of Baku in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday …

1. Another Ferrari vs Red Bull fight

This season may have gone the way of the Red Bull more often than in the competition – so far with Sergio Perez’s victory over Monaco for the fourth consecutive time – but the right battle has won for Ferrari and Charles Leclerc so far.

READ MORE: Leclerc burns Baku pole as Perez joins the front line in a qualifier for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Leclerc built four pillars in a series of qualifying rounds – the sixth of eight races – as well as a backlash in Baku after the fastest run here in 2021 as well.

From a competitive point of view, it is good for Leclerc to lead the field but with two Red Bulls behind him, Perez has made it to the front line after a tough week so far. The Mexican has just 15 points left from the show and looks more relaxed than teammate Max Verstappen this week so far, inspired by his success at Monaco and a new two-year deal in his pocket.

Perez also wants to be the first to win twice in the tournament, having won here last year, with Carlos Sainz stepping down from the long haul to the fourth in the end of Q3 and becoming a key figure as the top two teams battle it out. to victory.

2022 Azerbaijan GP Eligibility: Leclerc beats Pérez to take over top position

2. Gasly splits into two Mercedes

Mercedes may have been riding on top of their car in Barcelona but was a little behind in Monaco and struggling to solve their problems in Baku as well, leaving them to not participate in the war. But in the back they almost got the third line – but for Pierre Gasly.

It has not been a very easy season for Lewis and the sixth for Gasly Hamilton as they currently have a six-point title at the moment, but the Frenchman looked hard all Saturday and managed to split the Silver Arrows team to the front.

READ MORE: Red Bull and Ferrari ‘in a’ completely different league ‘, says Hamilton after disappointing Baku.

Gasly and AlphaTauri were strong again last year, when they finished on the podium just starting the second line, and have a Mercedes head car on Sunday if they can hold a position or even advance George Russell in the beginning. .

Russell, meanwhile, wants to extend his impressive career at Mercedes, having finished in the top five in every race so far this year, but Briton admits he has been battling a car crash and fears he has it. tough competition Sunday.

Gasly is in good shape in Baku, and split the Mercedes to fit

3. McLaren out of the top 10 but self-confident

The two McLaren drivers looked very good in the Q3 mix after the final round of trials, finishing in six categories. But that was not the case in the afternoon when the temperature dropped to normal and they all finished outside 10, with Lando Norris 11th and Daniel Ricciardo 12th.

Norris felt he would have to continue in Q3 but because of the defeat in the battle to find a way out from Lewis Hamilton, and it was a message to Ricciardo that could give McLaren fans hope Sunday, as his running engineer told him he had a car. wrestling with him in competition.

READ MORE: Gasly was happy to share two Mercedes with ‘best of the year’ in Baku

There is also hope from the team as Alfa Romeo has struggled to qualify and Alpine only has one driver in the top 10, Fernando Alonso in one place ahead of 10th McLarens.

Team leader Andreas Seidl expects McLaren to be on the verge of expulsion, as they chase what could be the team’s second finish in 2022.


Daniel Ricciardo banks at excellent speed from his McLaren in Baku

4. Bottas and Ocon and ground making

Two others who have excelled in 2022 so far have been surprisingly defeated to qualify for Baku, but their form this week shows they could be in serious danger when we reach the end of the race.

Valtteri Bottas has scored points in every race he finishes – from Jeddah – and has four top-seven points in the race, but did not appear a contender on Friday and Saturday and was 15th in the lead in Azerbaijan, behind the rookie team. to kill Zhou Guanyu.

EXPERIENCES AND ACTIVITIES: Leclerc first to take several pillars in Baku, via Verstappen P1

Likewise, Esteban Ocon have also had four top seven this year and are in one place behind the Bottas in the pilot race. But when Fernando Alonso entered Q3, Ocon was eliminated on the 13th.

All of them have been able to fight in the field and have done so before this year, and they can do something interesting by trying to find a place to run.


Valtteri Bottas has a job in his hands if he continues to score this season

5. Traffic safety and faults

There has been a trend in Azerbaijan where the competition is chaotic and interesting, or without experience. The first event was a final example, as all the drivers watched the Formula 2 competition game of that year and decided to do well. He was expecting to be killed that day, but in the end no one made a mistake.

However, since then, many species have been disrupted, not more than the two-ring shootings we saw here last year.

ACTION PLAN: See what’s going on to qualify in Baku as senior Leclerc participates

As a matter of fact, there are many areas where a driver can make mistakes that can be costly – and not all of them need to be pushed out. With so many cars this season, just a little mistake could make one have to go to the racetrack, and turning the car around is not easy in those situations.

But the main events will be that a wall contact may require a Safe Car or a Virtual Safety Car, as this may have implications on the road but may also trigger a recurrence of what is known here, and in the field. Fight them in long lines up to Turn 1 and Turn 3.

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