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La date de publication est 2023-04-27 09:37:24.

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The 2023 Formula 1 World Championship season is finally back after a long break. The most recent Grand Prix occurred on April 2nd, and the lights will be going out on Sunday 28 days after the Australian round. The 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is just what lots of F1 fans needed, and it will also provide another controversial Sprint weekend, the first of six in 2023.

1. Red Bull Clear Favorite

Red Bull (Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez) clearly arrives at Azerbaijan as the clear-cut favorite, as the team has won the two most recent races at the venue and has taken a trio of wins in the same number of Grands Prix in the 2023 F1 campaign.

Verstappen leads the WDC with 69 points after taking two wins and is followed by Pérez with 54 points. Red Bull (123 points) is miles ahead in the World Constructors’ Championship already. Aston Martin (Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll) is second with 65 points. With three podiums in three races, Alonso is third in the championship with 45 points, seven ahead of the best Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton with 38).

Mercedes (Hamilton and George Russell) is third in the WCC with 56 points, while Ferrari (Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc) has been disappointing so far and hasn’t scored a podium in 2023.

2. McLaren is improving

McLaren (Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri) took a huge leap after the weird race-ending developments in Australia and took advantage of others’ issues to finish with both cars in the point and is now fifth in the WCC. The Woking team has 12 points, but it might not be easy to keep that place for the rest of the year.

Everything you need to know about the coming 2023 Azerbaijan Grand PrixEverything you need to know about the coming 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60 during the 2023 Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit

The rest is quite close, with Alpine (eight points with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon) in sixth place after the late crash between its drivers in Australia. Both Haas’ drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, have scored points in 2023 (Haas has seven points). Hulkenberg is positioned in ninth place in the WDC with six points, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Alfa Romeo (Valtteri Bottas and Zho Guanyu) has six points, and both drivers have also scored points this season. AlphaTauri (Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck De Vries) and Williams (Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant) have one point each, coming from Tsunoda and Albon, respectively.

There is a plan to have two Qualifying sessions throughout the weekend to change the known format for the Sprint weekend. The idea is to have two Qualifying sessions, one on Friday to set Sunday’s starting grid and a shorter Qualifying on Saturday, instead of FP2, to set the grid for the Sprint.

It would mean that the final results of the Sprint would not set Sunday’s starting grid, as it has been since the introduction of the new format in 2021.

However, the proposed idea hasn’t been confirmed yet as the F1 Commission will vote on the matter during the week, as reported by Sky Sports.

3. 2023 Azerbaijan GP Facts & Figures

The 2023 edition will be the sixth Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Formula 1 history, as the race entered the World Championship in 2017. The first two Azerbaijan GPs were packed with emotions and several crashes, while the 2019 race was a little more normal, though the weekend had some drama with Charles Leclerc crashing his Ferrari in Q2 while looking like the favorite for Pole and win.

Azerbaijan GP infographicAzerbaijan GP infographic

The 2021 event saw the two title contenders, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, ending the weekend without points, as a tyre failure took a win from Verstappen, and a mistake after a red-flag restart saw the seven-time champion go off the track and finish the race in 15th place.

Along with the 2016 European Grand Prix, the first race celebrated at Baku, there have been six different winners at the world’s fastest street circuit. Nico Rosberg won in 2016 for Mercedes, while Daniel Ricciardo gave Red Bull its first success at Baku the following year. Lewis Hamilton grabbed a lucky win for Mercedes in 2018, before Valtteri Bottas won from Pole Position in 2019. Sergio Pérez took the first win of his Red Bull career at Baku in 2021, and his teammate Max Verstappen won the 2022 event from third on the grid and the race also included a small bit of team orders from Red Bull to Pérez to avoid fighting with Verstappen on track.

Mercedes has taken two wins at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, two in a row between 2018 and 2019 with Hamilton and Bottas. Red Bull and Mercedes both have three victories at the track, with three different drivers.

Red Bull won the 2017 edition with Ricciardo and the last two Azerbaijan GPs (most in history) with Pérez and Verstappen. The third Mercedes win at the circuit came in its first season as Nico Rosberg won the 2016 European Grand Prix in Baku.

4. Baku City Street Track info

The Baku City Circuit (6.003 kilometers) is the fourth-longest track in the calendar after Spa-Francorchamps, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, and the planned Las Vegas Strip Circuit.

The layout definitely provides a big challenge for teams and drivers in terms of setup, as it has 20 corners that include low turns, but also has the longest acceleration zone of the entire calendar, with the final sector and the start of the first generating a 2.2 km ‘straight’.

The start-finish straight provides a huge overtaking opportunity, even without DRS.

Everything you need to know about the coming 2023 Azerbaijan Grand PrixEverything you need to know about the coming 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

In 2017, we saw a stunning fight to the line between Bottas’ Mercedes and Lance Stroll’s Williams. The Finn driver finally overtook the Canadian right at the line to take P2 in the race. We could see some situations like that if we have a close race in the final stages.

There have been six different winners at Baku (Rosberg, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Bottas, Pérez, and Verstappen), and five different pole sitters: Rosberg, Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Bottas, and Leclerc in the last two editions.

The track will host its seventh Formula 1 race, and the sixth Azerbaijan Grand Prix (the 2016 race was the European GP).

The lap record at Baku is held by Charles Leclerc, with a 1:43.009 min in the 2019 race. The outright Fastest Lap was Bottas’ pole lap from 2019, a 1:40.495 min effort on the Mercedes W10.

5. 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Tyres

The dry tyres for the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be the C3 as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C5 as P Zero Red soft.

Everything you need to know about the coming 2023 Azerbaijan Grand PrixEverything you need to know about the coming 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Pirelli explained its choice with a press release: « This is the softest trio of compounds in Pirelli’s range, which are well suited to the tight corners on this city circuit as well as the long straights where the cars reach a maximum speed of 340kph.

The most common strategy for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a one-stopper, although some teams stopped twice last year to take advantage of a virtual safety car before the chequered flag. The race was held at the beginning of June in 2022, with thermal degradation becoming a factor due to the high asphalt temperature. »

6. 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Weather Forecast

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Weather Forecast2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Weather Forecast

Friday, April 28th
Conditions: Mostly sunny
Max. temperature: 22°C
Chance of rain: 5%

Saturday, April 29th
Conditions: Mostly sunny
Max. temperature: 26°C
Chance of rain: 1%

Sunday, April 30th – Race
Conditions: Partly sunny and warm
Max. temperature: 26°C
Chance of rain: 0%

7. Who will be on the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Podium?

2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Results: F1 Race Winner & Report2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Results: F1 Race Winner & Report

2022 Azerbaijan F1 GP podium: 1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull), 2. Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) & 3. George Russell (Mercedes)

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is usually a race with lots of surprises and the fact that we’ve seen five different winners and five different pole-sitters really shows that previous form doesn’t always deliver results at Baku, as the walls are close and nothing can go wrong in order for a driver to finish and win the event.

Sunday’s race will be 51 laps and a distance of 306.049km, while Saturday will give us the Sprint event of the year, which will be a third of Sunday’s Grand Prix distance.

Red Bull is clearly expected to dominate, as long as its drivers remain out of trouble throughout the weekend. Moreover, the battle behind the Austrian cars was highly interesting at Australia’s race, and it could certainly be the case for the first Sprint weekend of the calendar.

Mercedes and Aston Martin looked closely matched at Melbourne, with Aston Martin’s AMR23 showing some signs of being the superior car during the race. A battle between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso could be in the cards again for a podium spot, although it could be far from a victory chance.

The podium prediction for the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Fernando Alonso, 3. Sergio Pérez.

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