2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Preview

This weekend sees Formula 1 return to action for the sixth round of the season. It is also once again set to be joined by Formula 2.

For the latter series it is the third venue on its 2021 calendar with Guanyu Zhou at the top of the championship, 16 points ahead of nearest rival Oscar Piastri.

Completing the top three in the championship is Theo Pourchaire. The Frenchman is five points behind Piastri entering the latest race weekend. This after Pourchaire claimed pole position, won the feature race and scored points in the other two races across the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

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Monaco was also a good weekend for Piastri who claimed two podium finishes, as well as finished eighth in the other race during the weekend. Zhou meanwhile claimed victory in the first sprint race around the Principality before going on to claim a further points finish in the feature race, where the Chinese driver finished fifth.

The other race winner during the weekend was Dan Ticktum, who inherited the second sprint race victory from Liam Lawson, the latter having been disqualified due to an engine mapping infringement. Ticktum goes to Baku fourth in the championship, nine points behind Pourchaire and two ahead of Lawson who is fifth.

#33 Max Verstappen” by Takayuki Suzuki is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In Formula 1 Max Verstappen heads to Baku in the lead of the championship and has a four point advantage over nearest rival Lewis Hamilton. Completing the top three in the standings is McLaren’s Lando Norris.

The latter of the three is 45 points behind the reigning champion and has a nine point advantage over fourth placed Valtteri Bottas heading into this weekend.

This situation in the top four positions of the Drivers’ Championship is after Verstappen won last time out ahead of Carlos Sainz and Norris. While the Mercedes of Hamilton finished down in seventh and his teammate, Bottas, was forced to retire from second place after encountering an issue during his pitstop.

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Both Mercedes drivers will be looking to have a better weekend in Baku, especially Bottas who has retired from two of the five races contested so far in 2021. As well as the nine point gap to Norris, the Finn has a five point advantage over fifth placed Sergio Perez entering the weekend.

Another driver looking to have a decent weekend in Baku is Charles Leclerc. Both Ferraris were very competitive in Monaco with Leclerc managing to secure pole position. However a crash on his second Q3 qualifying run saw the Monegasque driver damage his car which ultimately meant he was unable to start the Grand Prix. Leclerc is four points behind Perez and two ahead of teammate Sainz going into this weekend.

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In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing head to Baku leading by one point from Mercedes. The latter having relinquished their lead in the standings after only managing to get Hamilton into the points while Red Bull scored a 1-4 finish in Monaco.

McLaren are still third in the championship and are now 68 points behind second place. The Woking based team however are only two points ahead of nearest rival Ferrari, as the two engage in a battle for third in the championship.

Aston Martin enter the weekend as the first team behind Ferrari, 59 points separating the two. This after the Silverstone based team got both cars inside the points in Monaco, the first time this season. They have a one point advantage over AlphaTauri who are directly behind them, while Alpine are two points behind Aston Martin, and therefore one behind AlphaTauri.

Alfa Romeo Racing became the latest team to score a point after Antonio Giovinazzi was classified tenth in Monaco. It means the Swiss based team have strengthened their eighth place in the standings, ahead of Williams and Haas who complete the Constructors’ Championship.

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