With so much happening on track, it's understandable that the drivers weren't getting up to quite so much mischief in the paddock, thus it is a quieter rankings week this time out. There's still time for some juggling, and some singing, as well as a glimpse at the Force India boys in happier times - will they still be like that after what happened in Baku?
Where do you start with this one? What a race! The championship rivals went head to head in Azerbaijan and then came to blows at crawling pace. Hamilton was robbed of victory by his headrest and there were enough collisions to fill up half a demolition derby. The first two drivers on the podium came from the back and some midfield runners secured landmark results while others flat out threw away chances of points.
Coming up on this show, we discuss three part rage, another change of attitude and several surprising top threes. It was a packed race so naturally we have a packed podcast full of discussion about the top three on the podium in Baku, and many of the events that allowed them to get there.
Daniel Ricciardo won after mostly inheriting the lead but doing a good job with it. Valtteri Bottas fought back from another first lap incident with Kimi Räikkönen to finish second, with Lance Stroll keeping out of trouble for an impressive third place.
Whilst the result of this Baku race was hugely unexpected, the mechanics of how we got there was an absolute riot. More pieces of carbon fibre were swept away by the mechanics than remained running on track, and somehow we had two retirements become unretirements, only for the drivers to pick up similar penalties and both then retire from the race once more.
Jolyon Palmer was unable to participate in qualifying in Baku after a fire on his Renault during FP3. That meant there were just four drivers dropped out in Q1, but they were the usual suspects – McLaren, Sauber and Haas.
First practice in Azerbaijan was dominated by Sergio Pérez, who crashed his Force India into the barriers at turn eight – a supremely narrow section of track that was the scene of plenty of drama. A lack of grip, smoke from tyre lockups, running wide off track and missing apexes and diving into run off zones was the order of the day, as the tricky Baku track caught out many a good driver.
Monisha Kaltenborn has been a mainstay at Sauber for many years, and has seen the team through several financial crisis situations during her time as team principal since 2012. Now, however, her tenure at the top has come to a close as she departs the team effective immediately. A statement made by the new owners, Longbow Finance, said the split was “by mutual consent and due to diverging views of the future of the company.”
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