Baku Grand Priz Delivers On All Fronts


source
Perez, Vettel and Gasly is not the usual podium you would expect to see.

This afternoons race In Baku, Azerberjan had it all and then some with twists and turns not only on the circuit,but in the results. We knew Red Bull had the pace and were the team to beat after what they had demonstrated during qualifying. The reality is there are so many outside influences that can change things in an instant.


source

This afternoon we saw Lance Stroll cruising down the main straight at well over 200 mph/ 320km/h when his left rear tyre blew forcing him into a mega crash. Luckily the safety barriers and the life cell did their job. The race had to be restarted bunching up the pack. This wasn't the full story though as the same left back tyre blew on the main straight with 3 laps to go for the leader Max Verstappen also whilst doing 200mph plus. This incident caused a red flag and a temporary halt to proceedings forcing the teams in to change tyres whilst the debris was gathered from the crash.


source
Max Verstappen was coasting with over a 4.5 second lead to his team mate with 5 laps to go.

source

The talk amongst all the teams was what caused the accident with Red Bull confirming it was not a puncture but tyre failure. The tyre failed as the side wall blew out which was identical to that what had happened to Lance Stroll. The team knows by the data as it showed the tyre pressure being normal until the tyre blew ruling out a puncture. Safety reasons forced the race to be stopped and for teams to put on new tyres for the remaining 3 laps.

Hamilton who was now lying in second position behind Sergio Perez was heard over his radio saying this is a marathon and not a sprint. What he did next was a rookie mistake by leaving on the "Magic Button" which had severe consequences. The "Magic Button" is something teams use to help warm up the brakes when following behind a safety car as they need to get heat into them to make them work. At the restart from a standing start it was clear to see the Mercedes of Hamilton having seriously hot brakes with smoke pouring off them.


source
Hamilton's costly mistake takes him off the track as his brakes failed. The smoke is from Hamilton's brakes and this is no lock up as there are no brakes as they are in theory still on because of the special gadget they use. I suppose it is a bit like us riding with the handbrake partially on.


source

At the first corner with only 2 laps to go Hamilton had managed to take the lead only for his brakes to fail sending him down the run off exit area. He had suddenly gone from first to last within seconds due to a simple mistake. Hamilton had not turned his "Magic Button" off and thus had overcooked his brakes leaving him with little to no brakes and couldn't make the turn.

Verstappen who was leading the championship before this race must have been relieved as now it was as you were before the race with no title hopes dented. They both scored 0 points yet Red Bull overall extended their constructors championship points as Perez won the race ahead of a much improved Sebastien Vettel in the Aston Martin. Seb is getting his Mojo back as he drove a brilliant race today which is great for the remainder of the season.


source
Slightly softer compounds may be putting the drivers safety at risk and Pirelli will be under fire this week with everyone including the FIA looking for answers.

Pirelli and their tyres is the main talking point however and there is plenty of work to do. On Friday Pirelli announced that they would increase the PSI up from 18 to 19 for the race. Tyres need to be safe and as long as Pirelli are learning from these "events" and not killing anyone then I suppose it is still moving the sport forwards.