2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – F1 Sprint Tyre Analysis

Formula 1 2023: Azerbaijan Gp - 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - F1 Sprint Tyre Analysis
Formula 1 2023: Azerbaijan Gp - 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - F1 Sprint Tyre Analysis

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – F1 Sprint Tyre Analysis: Red Bull driver Sergio Perez won the first F1 Sprint of the year at Baku, using the P Zero Yellow medium tyre. The Mexican started from P2 on the grid and managed to get past poleman Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) following a Safety Car preceded by a Virtual Safety Car, which was caused by on-track debris as a result of an incident involving AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda. The other Red Bull of Max Verstappen finished third. Perez continued his successful form in Baku, adding to his total of four podiums in seven grands prix (one win, one second place, and two third places).

Leclerc set the fastest lap in the new Sprint Shootout this morning – 1m41.697s – that determined the grid for the F1 Sprint in the afternoon. The Ferrari driver underlined his recent supremacy over a flying lap in Baku, having already taken three consecutive pole positions from five qualifying sessions there. Perez and Verstappen were second and third, 0.147s and 0.290s behind respectively. Mercedes driver George Russell was fourth with a time of 1m42.252s. The SQ1 session was interrupted a few seconds from the end by Williams driver Logan Sergeant impacting the wall. Leclerc also didn’t complete his final SQ3 run after brushing the barriers in Turn 5, which additionally compromised his teammate Carlos Sainz’s flying lap.

McLaren driver Lando Norris and Tsunoda were the only two drivers not to keep a new set of soft tyres after Friday’s sessions. The Englishman ended SQ2 with the 10th fastest time and so could have taken part in the final Sprint Shootout but was unable to participate as he didn’t have a new set of softs available, as required by the regulations.

All the drivers used the medium tyre to start the F1 Sprint race, with the exception of Norris on used softs and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas on new softs. Norris and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon were the only drivers to change tyres during the F1 Sprint.
Weather conditions for today’s race were similar to qualifying. Between the Sprint Shootout and F1 Sprint, track temperature dropped by 10 degrees centigrade from a peak of 48 degrees in the morning.

Leclerc claimed the Pirelli Sprint Shootout Award for his P1 on today’s grid. The Monegasque received a Pirelli cap personalised by artist Saiff Vasarhelyi in the colours of the Azeri flag. The cap forms part of a capsule collection from Pirelli’s new merchandise range, as a variant of the iconic podium cap.

Mario Isola, Pirelli Head of Motorsport

“The new-format Sprint weekend made this a rather different Saturday at Baku. We saw a spectacular and competitive shootout, with this afternoon’s race probably more closely-fought than it would have been had the result determined the grid for the grand prix, as was the case up to the end of last year. The medium tyre was chosen by the large majority of drivers (17 out of a total 19, as Sargeant didn’t start), with a roughly equal split between new sets and used sets: eight versus nine. This showed how the medium was able to offer not only good peak performance, having been used by all the drivers in SQ1 and SQ2, but also its ability to maintain that level over a notably longer distance. As expected, some of the teams that didn’t expect to have much of a chance of scoring points today used the 17 laps of the sprint race to try two different compounds and gather extra information ahead of tomorrow’s grand prix. From our point of view, an initial view of the data suggests a one-stopper to be the mostly likely strategy, probably using medium and hard. A total of 18 drivers will have two sets of hard tyres available, which would allow them to capitalise on any eventual neutralisations: distinctly possible on this street track, as we saw today both in the Formula 2 Sprint Race and the Formula 1 Sprint.”

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – F1 Sprint Tyre Analysis

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - F1 Sprint Tyre Analysis
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