Baku officials rule out a second 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Azerbaijan Grand Prix officials have ruled out staging a second race to plug a hole in the increasingly complex 2021 calendar. With Formula 1 remaining committed to trying to stage 23 races this season, two gaps already exist – and there could be more to come. The cancellation of Australia on November 21 had left one TBC row on the schedule and now another has appeared, with the Japanese Grand Prix on October 10 also having fallen due to the effects of the ongoing pandemic. Doubts also continue over the…

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Euro 2021: Turkish support will spur on Wales players in Baku, Gareth Bale claims

Gareth Bale insists Wales will be spurred on by partisan Turkish support at their second game of Euro 2020. Around 34,000 are expected at Baku’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday, with Turkey able to count on the vast majority of support inside the arena. Thousands of Turkey fans will be in Baku for the crunch Group A game, including Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan while only a few hundred Wales supporters will be present. Azerbaijan’s close cultural, diplomatic and economic ties with Turkey also means the local population are supporting Wales’…

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Hakkinen: Baku 'not the last podium' for Vettel in 2021

Two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen has backed Sebastian Vettel to repeat in the near future his Azerbaijan Grand Prix podium performance. Vettel crossed the checkered flag second in Baku, securing his maiden podium with new team Aston Martin after a solid drive and having benefitted from the misfortune that befell championship rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. The result followed a challenging start to the German driver’s life at Team Silverstone, having failed to achieve a single top-ten finish in the first four races of the season. “It was really…

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Mercedes: Baku yielded 'promising theory' on W12 issues

Mercedes says all was not lost in Baku despite the team’s points shortfall as the weekend revealed a “promising theory” on the reasons behind its car’s troubled performance in the last two races. Mercedes left Azerbaijan with a straight fail on its report, with Lewis Hamilton destroying his chances of reclaiming the lead from Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings following a rare mistake, and Valtteri Bottas racing anonymously outside of the top ten. Th Brackley squad had started its weekend in Baku on the back foot, two weeks after…

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FIA denies Baku pit entry is 'most scary place in F1'

FIA race director Michael Masi refuted a claim made by 2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg who believes that Baku’s pit entry is “one of the most scary places in F1”. Rosberg made the comment on his YouTube channel during his virtual lap presentation of Baku’s street circuit where the German won with Mercedes in 2016. Rosberg typically runs through a track’s corners and offers insight to fans about the specific characteristics of each section and turn. But the 23-time Grand Prix winner made a point of singling out a…

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AlphaTauri lauds Tsunoda for 'fantastic' Baku performance

AlphTauri team boss Franz Tost was full of praise for “super talent” Yuki Tusnoda following the Japanese rookie’s strong drive and “fantastic performance” in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Tsunoda lined up in seventh position on the grid in Baku, having qualified P8 despite a crash in Q3 but gaining a spot following a three-place grid penalty handed by the stewards to McLaren’s Lando Norris. Tsunoda steered clear of the commotion and incidents in the race, and was sitting sixth in the running order when the event was red flagged following…

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Ralf Schumacher heard ‘old nails and more’ found on Baku track

Ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher has said he was told by F1 teams about various bits of debris found near the guardrails in Baku. The venue has never failed to provide drama, but the 2021 staging of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix raised serious concerns on the safety front. Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen suffered left rear tyre failures down the main straight and while both suffered race-ending damage, there is a widespread belief that both drivers were very fortunate to escape more serious accidents. Pirelli are under way with their investigations,…

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Latifi says Baku penalty caused by 'miscommunication'

Nicholas Latifi says the 30-second time penalty added to his race time in Baku was the result of a “miscommunication” with the Williams pitwall. Latifi had failed to follow the field and drive through the pits during the caution period that followed Max Verstappen’s heavy crash on Baku’s main straight in the closing stages of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. But the Canadian wasn’t responsible for the oversight, having been wrongly ordered by his team to stay out on the track. On the radio, Latifi was told “Stay out, stay out,…

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Michael Masi disagrees with Nico Rosberg’s ‘scary’ Baku claim

Nico Rosberg has described the pit entry in Baku as “dangerous” and “scary”, but FIA race director Michael Masi does not agree. The pit entry at the Baku City Circuit is certainly among the most unique on the Formula 1 calendar. But, is it a major accident waiting to happen? Drivers arrive at full throttle as they power down the monster start/finish straight, staying left to pass the wall and join the pit entry, at which point they then need to negotiate a right turn as they slow to enter…

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Leclerc: Late safety car deployment in Baku 'a joke'

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc branded as “a joke” the late deployment of the safety car following Max Verstappen’s crash in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Dutchman hit the wall at full speed on the main straight after suffering a tyre failure while leading the race in its closing stages. As the track was littered in debris, double-waved yellow flags were brandished but the safety car sprang into action approximately a minute and a half – or almost a full lap – after the incident. Immediately after passing Verstappen’s crash site for…

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