Start, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Rate the race: 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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Rate the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix out of ten

  • 10 (0%)
  • 9 (0%)
  • 8 (5%)
  • 7 (21%)
  • 6 (29%)
  • 5 (20%)
  • 4 (11%)
  • 3 (6%)
  • 2 (4%)
  • 1 (3%)

Total Voters: 267

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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87 comments on “Rate the race: 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix”

  1. 6 at best.

  2. 6. Not bad, but could have been so much more…

  3. A bit similar to the inaugural 2016 edition, but better than the Chinese GP at least.

    1. I liked the first, circuntances gave it a lower score than it deserved. new track fans cold on it also lewis didnt win and everyone was bashing azerbaijan for hosting the european gp and all the money involved.
      I wished Lewis had won it, I had another good week on the predictions championship

  4. Congratulations to Perez for winning the F1.5 race at Baku.

  5. Kimi pit lane to points! Point rather.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      28th April 2019, 14:53

      he’s been quick and consistent this year. Not always spectacular but really solid overall
      Just shows how much Ferrari wasted his talent

      1. @justarandomdutchguy I don’t think Ferrari really wasted his talent. Sure, they put him on a lot of questionable strategies, but the fact of the matter is that he just wasn’t quick enough for the top level. But as a midfield driver, he is definitely good enough.

        1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
          28th April 2019, 15:13

          Whilst I agree with you on his slight lack of pace, Raikkonen repeatedly showed he has the ability to get onto the podium even if the pace wasn’t there. And not only did Ferrari often give him bad strats, they seemed to just try and throw him under the bus even if there was little or nothing to gain. And even if Vettel benefitted from ferrari’s actions, he threw it away by himself.
          Kimi was never gonna be a champion again anyway, that much was clear, but what he lacked in pace, Vettel lacked in consistency and brains.

          And you’re doing the midfield driver little justice either. Guys like Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Perez and even Norris are no pushovers

          1. @justarandomdutchguy I think you need more than just consistency to be fighting at the top level. And the thing with Kimi was that, you never felt that he cared enough to push himself to that next level, similar to how Bottas has this season. His attitude was almost one of “I don’t need to prove myself anymore”. That’s why I believe that it was imperative for Ferrari to get Leclerc in. In his first four races at Ferrari, he has given Vettel more headaches than Kimi managed in four years. And as for the midfield drivers, I agree that there is some fantastic talent in the midfield, but Raikkonen can hold himself up against those guys (although I would rate him below some of those drivers you named), in a way he couldn’t really do at the absolute top level.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          28th April 2019, 17:54

          @mashiat Look at how much time Leclerc loses when he’s being sacrificed to help Vettel. It was no different for Raikkonen. Even without that extra pit stop he finished half a minute down.

          1. @f1osaurus Would Raikkonen have caught up Vettel within 15 laps had he started 5 places down?

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            28th April 2019, 20:10

            @mashiat If Raikkonen had been on the faster tyres like Leclerc was, then sure he could have too yes.

            Or rather Leclerc looked to be on a 2-stop strategy which Ferrari then converted to a 1-stop strategy so they could sacrifice Leclerc in an effort to get Vettel close to the Mercedes cars. Again. And yet again it did nothing but ruin Leclerc’s race.

            Either way, Raikkonen got ahead of Vettel too on several occasions when he was stopping once more than Vettel.

        3. I really like Raikkonen but his qualifying is not fast enough to be the best. I don’t know if he chokes on the spot or if he just can’t get enough temperature in the softest tire of the weekend. Personally I feel it’s the latter based on how good he is at saving tires and keeping a fast race pace. Unfortunately things don’t work out for him at all unless he’s the #1 driver because when you’re #2 most times strategy is chosen for you. Look how fast he was at Renault/Lotus. They did have the same dominant engine as Red Bull but not the chassis. Yet he had a chance mathematically almost to the end those seasons. I think he lost his drive to win in his first stint with Ferrari after his championship but during his hiatus realized how lucky he is to do this for a living and it won’t last forever(and he likes $$$). He’s too old for an accurate reading these days but I’d bet he’s better than an 85 percentile F1 driver. Add in his radio comments and he’s great to cheer for.

  6. 6/10. The race had good potential, but just ended up being anti-climatic. Might as well just present Mercedes with the title this season.

    1. @mashiat

      Agree. I gave it a 6 as well… I thought the first half of the race was building up really well, and it was entertaining to see Leclerc work himself up to the P1. The second half was just such boring, uneventful and anti-climatic.

      1. @todfod I get the feeling that this race could have been 1 safety-car away from being a 9/10. If you remember, the race in 2018 wasn’t all that exciting as well (except for the Red Bull battle), but the safety car just blew the whole race open. Only if Ricciardo had maybe reversed a bit harder, we may have had a great race.

        1. @mashiat – Agreed. A well-timed safety car might have made things interesting.

  7. Pretty dull, made even duller by the presenting teams talking it up given the excitement of the last two years. Ferrari with some questionable strategy again. Mercedes clearly the fastest team yet again (not just car, but overall teamwork as well). Bottas needs to keep this up for the good of the championship!

    1. Ferrari with some questionable strategy again.

      What? Oh yeah, there’s that rule about tyres.

      1. @hoshino the rule is a bugbear but Ferrari strategy was awful. the tyres were lasting so no point in starting on the medium, only when degradation is terrible that leclerc strategy makes sense, medium and then hard, but being baku, soft and medium was the obvious choice.

        1. he didn’t have a choice though, did he? @peartree

          1. Yes they had. There was a moment he could have a free pitstop on verstappen. A two stopper would have had better effect.

          2. erikje, i don’t quite see that.
            mostly because that only might have worked in the backward view.

            fact is, he didn’t keep enough life in his mediums and was the worst of the front runners in the admin job of that particular tyre.

          3. F1oSaurus (@)
            28th April 2019, 17:57

            @magon4 Of course he had a choice. Leclerc was the only one who set his fastest Q2 lap on medium! All the pother top 10 drivers chose something else.

            Vettel also tried it on medium in Q2, but he was “lucky” that wasn’t fast enough and had to set a lap on the softs to prevent being dropped out in Q2.

    2. What part of the Ferrari strategy do you think was questionable?

      1. @palagyi – Leclerc at one stage was 8 seconds clear of Bottas and starting to fall back; he was guaranteed 5th (as Gasly/Perez were far back even before the retirement). Having crashed in qualifying, you have to go aggressive. Instead, Ferrari let him fall back through the field before pitting him, putting him 20 seconds back with 15 laps to go; an insurmountable task against two quick Mercedes cars. If they’d brought him in 5-8 laps earlier, he’d have had a fighting chance… worst case he could have come in again and settled for 5th… best case, he would have been in the mix for 1st-3rd.

        1. I have to sode with Magon4’s comment a bit down below. Bringing Charles in earlier would only have meant having more laps to cover on softs, hence less performance. I don’t think it would have done any magic.

    3. Ferrari with some questionable strategy again.


      Either Ferrari has a bunch of donkeys as strategists, or they’re intentionally giving Leclerc messy strategies.

      They should have pitted Leclerc on lap 30 or 31, just when Valterri was getting within DRS range. Leclerc would have come out just 9 seconds behind Verstappen, and would have the potential to gain enough ground on him in the first ten laps, or, even jump Verstappen incase he makes a pit stop due to worn out mediums. The worse case scenario for Leclerc would be that he can’t pass Verstappen, and the softs wouldn’t last till the end, in which case Leclerc would have a free pit stop to Gasly anyways, so he wouldn’t lose P5.

      Instead, they chose to pit him on lap 35 where he ends up coming out over 20 seconds behind Verstappen with only 15 laps left. How does that make sense? What an absolutely daft decision. There was absolutely no potential benefit of pitting him so late. Were they using Leclerc to slow down the Mercedes cars so that Vettel can have a go? Vettel looked slow this entire race.. there’s no way in hell he could have passed Hamilton anyways.

      1. Just like Seb, he wasn’t able to turn on the softs, which is even more difficult with the colder track temps. So it would have been a worse strategy to call him in earlier. And the others were able to do almost 40 laps on the medium, without losing pace.
        Maybe Charles just didn’t have a good day today.

        1. @magon4

          Just like Seb, he wasn’t able to turn on the softs, which is even more difficult with the colder track temps. So it would have been a worse strategy to call him in earlier.

          I don’t about that… Seb was on a full fuel load at the start of the race on scrubbed softs. I don’t know if that’s the same comparison on a lighter fuel load on a fresh set of softs. I agree that the track temps could have dropped and made it slightly difficult to turn them on, but either ways, you have to maximise your chances of a better result and that just wasn’t going to happen if he pitted on lap 35 or 36.

          1. just look at Pierre. He was able to still push with as old tyres as Charles.
            Today, Charles was a little over eager and didn’t use the mediums, which were the tyre of choice, very well. He was losing too much time on them.
            Yes, they last a little less with more fuel load, but the comparison to Gasly is there, @todfod. Anyway, I was surprised to see Seb having, overall, a better race. And I don’t think that was down to strategy.

      2. and btw, Vettel only looked slow in the first stint (and even then, he did better than Charles in his first soft stint, in comparison). He was on pace with the Mercs most of the time in the second stint. And he made those tyres last for 39 laps, pushing pretty constantly. Until yesterday, Charles had the pace. Today, he just didn’t, compared to Seb.

        And did you follow Charles’ stint on the softs? It was pretty bad. That’s a very good reason to keep him on mediums as long as possible. To choose a two-stop that early would have completely compromised his race, and people would have moaned then, too.

        In short: today, Charles was the problem, not Ferrari.

  8. 7. Not the chaos that Baku is becoming known for but tense throughout with some nice overtakes and drivers pushing hard.

  9. 2
    Total waste of time. Mercedes still making fools of everyone and pretending they are slow.

    1. @aliced Indeed, and sky sports runs with it. ferrari gets their hopes up just to get mentally crushed. mercedes lies and ferrari believes so they keep making strange strategies rather than cutting their losses since the merc is clearly the quicker car. i watched the 1st day of winter testing, the merc looked quicker but the journos need to write their own fiction.

      1. The Sky coverage was abysmal. Despite their attempts to make a boring race interesting, they made a boring event excruciatingly tedious.

        Why can’t Crofty & Ted miss a race instead of Brundle and Button? What happened to Button? He was allegedly joining the Sky buddy-buddy on-air team.

        With no safety cars and no consistent race pace from Ferrari, the only good thing about Baku this weekend is the massive hosting fee. Which I’m sure Liberty will be sharing with fans to compensate for the tedium.

  10. petebaldwin (@)
    28th April 2019, 14:50

    Yet another easy domination by Mercedes. DRS was incredibly powerful so overtaking became a non-event after the 3rd lap. At least Bottas won so there was a slight change from the usual finishing positions.

  11. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    28th April 2019, 14:50

    dreary, but better than the Chinese GP

    Just as things got a bit tighter at the front, with Hamilton nearing Bottas and Verstappen reeling in Vettel, the VSC dropped and the tension was gone. Hamilton caughht up again, but verstappen did not.
    The midfield was not that exciting either, with most passes being on drivers that had somehow run out of pace.

    After a weekend full of carnage, this was a complete anticlimax

  12. 1 out of 10. Totally unacceptable service from F1TV. Missed lap 2 to 15 and more laps thereafter, all the while trying to reload the F1TV page. The site requiring me to subscribe even though I have a valid subscription. Logging in&out to desperatly trying to get it to work. Amateurish product is the name of the weekend.

    1. @me4me
      Same experience for me. F1TV went M.I.A. for 50 minutes, which had to be patched with a pirated stream. Subscription extension is coming up, and I’m not quite sure I will give it another try.

    2. Exactly the same here.
      F TV Pro support chat:

      (12:57:27 PM) Laurentiu: hi there
      (12:57:49 PM) Laurentiu: We are aware of issues affecting the F1 TV Live Broadcast. Our engineers are working hard to fix this and we will have further updates shortly.
      (12:58:07 PM) Laurentiu: Apologies for the inconvenience Dominique
      (12:59:45 PM) dominique: But how can this happen while TV users and pirate streams have no issues at all… it’s really frustrating
      (01:00:07 PM) dominique: especially here in france where the subscription costs nearly 200€
      (01:00:36 PM) Laurentiu: we know that F1TV uses a different technology and it is possible that too many people connect than on pirate streams…I can;t say exactly

      Multi billion company not able to handle the number of viewers on their live stream…

      1. @tryneplague
        My chat partner was called Radu. Other than that, same story.
        Btw.: Is the French commentary still done by that atrocious Belgian duo (Bertrand Gachot and some dude whose name I can’t remember) who invariably criticise any driver who has at least one documented French person in their ancestry?
        I had the ‘pleasure’ of listening to them during the Abu Dhabi GP, as their dub was the only one that worked for me, and it was frankly farcical.

        1. I don’t really know, I hate the french commentators, can’t listen to them. I believe Jacques Villeneuve is one of them. I only listen to english and german commentaries.

          1. @tryneplague
            When I watched Abu Dhabi, there was no Jacques Villeneuve, just that Belgian duo.

            Also, no offence, but how good is your German? ;-)
            In my opinion, there is no word harsh enough in any language I know for how excruciatingly bad Christian Danner’s commentary is.

          2. @nase I am german but live in France since ’96. I know they aren’t outstanding but I started watching F1 with german commentaries back in the 90s and i’m just used ot it. I always hated Kai Ebel for whatever reason though xd… The french ones however are atrocious to listen to. I didn’t know Jacques is not there anymore as I don’t even tried to listen to them once this year.

      2. +1
        Total trash.

        Thankfully I am in Austria and can freely watch ORF’s broadcast (available for free online for Austrian’s IPs), but considering F1 TV Pro is already a year old – such issues should have been already resolved.

        Not to mention minimum 30 seconds delay (usually ~60) between the video-feed and reality… which never got resolved since last year

    3. @me4me Oddly F1TV worked perfectly for me all weekend.

      I’ve been really happy with the service since around last July (Was a lot of issues prior to that) as i’ve not had any big issues with it.

      1. RogerAyles, I’m glad the service works for you. I am yet to experience a fault free weekend. It has been decent at times but the service is just not reliable at the moment. It was watchable in Australia and China, but terrible in Bahrain and now in Azerbajian. I missed part of qualifying yesterday as well. But the worst part of it all is the F1TV site who does not let me restart the stream when cleanly I am logged in and have a valid subscription.

      2. Much the same experience for me as for RogerAyles, though I didn’t watch the race since shortly after the start, traveling, so used f1 app as radio commentary,so can’t vouch for it today. Yesterday I missed most q1 from shortly before Kubica’s crash until somewhere during q2, working during Q3.

    4. Agreed.

      Opened a support ticket yesterday after being continuously logged out during quali. Still haven’t heard back. Same experience this morning.

      Luckily, I have the ability to watch via ESPN. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that I’m paying for a premium product that still doesn’t work. We’ve now had a full year of OTT streaming, and as @me4me said, there’s never been a race weekend without technical issues.

      Race itself was a 7/10 from me, if only to see Valtteri hold off Lewis and lead the WDC four races in. Ocon’s not looking good for a race seat come 2020.

      1. Same issue with F1TV and it is disgrace. Btw i watched race on “illegal” stream where F1TV was working perfect entire race. Now i wish i didn’t took the subscription.

  13. 5: Top 4 finished the way they qualified, Keith can use the same picture.

  14. Parts of my body have fallen asleep during the broadcast. I wish it could’ve been me instead of them.

  15. I agree with “AliceD” … MB pretending to be “slow”. Props to Kimi getting a point from the pit lane.

  16. 7/10 decent GP

    Too bad the VSC blew Max’s change for a podium.

    1. vsc could’ve ended on the middle of the straight, max would be leading as a result @anunaki

      1. His tyres were cold and not switching on anymore.

  17. i enjoyed it so 8 for me. It was more the mid field passing that impressed me rather than yet another Merc 1,2.

    1. As he said it.. It was a bit panic by him. He did not looked for kvyat. Stupid mistake, can happen.

    2. At least Ricciardo offered us the best entertainment moment of the day.

      But when old people do something like this in the parking lot and they say they panicked a bit we all scream: take their drivers licence away. Ricciardo ruined the race for Kvyat and only gets 3 places grid penalty.

  18. I can’t say I really enjoyed that at all & had pretty much completely zoned out by lap 20.

    DRS was way too effective here so we never really got any good battles or overtakes. Most of the time as soon as somebody got within DRS range they were easily past well before the T1 braking zone to the point where in most cases they were even able to move back onto the racing line for T1.

    1. @stefmeister totally agree.

      would get 3/10 from me.

  19. 3

    Bottas: Lewis, smell my fart.
    Lewis: Vettel, smell my fart.
    Toto, Bottas & Lewis: Ferraris, smell our farts.

    Merc: Raise you $100mil, call……Royal Flush.
    Not good for F1 honestly.

  20. Only 5.

    I never liked this boring race, and this one didn’t turn out to be any different.

    Absolutely disgusting: Safety car (virtual)?!? For a car safely parked in safety pocket? Are you flipping kidding me??
    Was it a convoluted attempt to throw an end-race surprise? Why didn’t they bring out the real safety car then?..

    The outstanding: Mercedes’s 4th 1-2! Absolutely amazing!
    The best: nothing
    The good: nothing
    The bad: Ferrari. Too much hope, too much potential, too much expectations… too little result.

    The worst:
    – FLAP. I will be posting it until it is scrapped out of F1. (maybe until the day I quit F1… after Australia 2021)
    – Replacement gearbox and potentially dead engine for Gasly. If the announced Honda’s upgrade was about “reliability”… I think they just supplied Gasly with the wrong engine.

    1. I read on Twitter it was a driveshaft issue for Gasly

      1. That would be why they ask Max Verstappen to evade the curb on turn 16.

  21. 2/10
    Dull race, +1 for BOT showing some sum, +2 for the straight fight at the end laps, -1 for LEC spoiling it.

  22. What happened to the mighty Ferrari and their Wunderkind team leader who were expected to dominate at Baku?

    1. Wait!
      This Wunderkind dominated FPs, crashed in Q2, started P8, finished P5.
      For some perverted reason in our day and time this is considered the perfect result.

      Which is already voted Driver of the Day, and just wait a bit – will be labeled by all reviewers (including from RaceFans) as a Star-majestic performance.

      In my book of course such performance is considered “very sloppy” and “to forget”, but who am I? Just 25+ years of watching F1.

  23. Generously gave it a 7.
    A shame that Gasly could park it out of the way, bringing on the VSC where the Regular SC would’ve really spiced things up.

    1. Or get it off the escape road completely, preventing the VSC.

  24. Bad strategy for Leclerc and no safety car

    1. There wasn’t a better strategy for him today.

      1. Yes, they should have opted for a two stopper.
        Not the way they did it now.

  25. Boring. The only positive was Bottas actually managing to turn pole into victory – and even that looked like he needed help from a Williams. Top four finished exactly how they started. Ferrari’s strategy is still bad but given their pace it doesn’t really matter – they only looked fast on merit at one race so far and they didn’t manage to win that one either. Was rather hoping for a crazy race as Baku has had before but that was rather dull. Also SkyF1? 3 of 4 pole positions and four 1-2 finishes in a row but Mercedes aren’t the dominant car? Okaaay…

  26. Gave it a 2. This race is either a snoozefest or a lottery. This year the former, if I want the latter I’ll watch the late night dial in roulette channel.

    1. An FE re-watch will work for that 2nd too @hollidog ;-)

  27. 4 from me….It was just terrible, and I really expected much much more.
    Ferrari strategy is almost non existent.Why is the fastest car in practice and highest top speed unable to convert this to results?? looks to have joined ferrari a year early up to now…Mclaren seem to be improving thankfully, while Renault go backwards..

  28. Another bad race. Except for a duel in the middle.
    Obviously we will have a very boring year.

  29. All to dominant mercedes, only DRS overtakes, Ferrari failing on many levels and useless VSC destroying the only interesting thing happening in the race.
    4/10 my lowest rating so far.

    1. Yeah, my take on it as well. F1 looks like All Star Wrestling: Mercedes screams loudly they face so much competition and we see overtakes through DRS, but it is all just show.

  30. There are very varied views on this one. I was only able to catch the C4 highlights but based on this went for 7/10.

    I was heading for a 6 but the Merc’s battle at the end did add a bit more tension.

    I really had to give it 7 bearing in mind I had given China 6. Maybe I am being generous this season!

  31. Gave it a 4. Would have been a 3 if Ricciardo hadn’t make me laughing that much. Even my granny knows to check the mirrors before reversing. Kvyat offered him a pair of new rearmirrors on live RTL camera. Good joke.

    But the race it self was so boring and predictable. Ferrari has the best car but mess up strategy with Le Clerc, Red Bull is good but not good enough and Mercedes takes another one two. What’s new?

  32. Considering that on the same Sunday I:

    – Saw the Attack on Titan 3.5 season premiere.
    – Saw Avengers
    – Saw Game of Thrones

    The race wasn’t bad. It was just disappointing.

    I blame Ferrari more than anything. Also for some reason, it needs Ocon.

  33. Gave it a 7, think above average race this year, mercedes was still the strongest team but bottas is giving some competition to hamilton and ferrari and red bull aren’t that far behind, at some point the first 3-4 cars were all really close to each other, and in the first stint leclerc was very fast, verstappen also was later on, there were a few overtakes and a few battles, could’ve been better without leclerc’s mistake and with some SC earlier in the race.

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