D his world championship starts in a way that no neutral fan would have wished for. Mercedes is more superior than ever in the hybrid era. Four double victories in a row surpass everything that we have seen of the Silver Arrows so far. It is only a small consolation that Mercedes is not as superior as the number of points shows. But being a little ahead is enough if you are perfectly positioned in every discipline and do not allow yourself to make any mistakes.
The mistakes are made by the opponents. A little here, a little there. Enough to give Mercedes the decisive advantage. Ferrari brought a better car to Baku. But Charles Leclerc put it in the Tecpro barriers. And Sebastian Vettel lost pole position because Ferrari reacted too slowly to the falling temperatures and found no slipstream for Vettel. From positions 3 and 8 on the grid, you don't win against two Mercedes starting from the front row.
Red Bull-Honda has also improved its package. The engineers brought the tires into their work window for the first time and found the right compromise between downforce and top speed. Honda secured the horsepower jump over the winter with an upgrade. On the medium tires, Max Verstappen was the fastest man on the track. A VSC phase slowed his forward thrust. After that the tires didn't want to get up to temperature anymore.
Expensive weekend for Williams
In the midfield, Racing Point and McLaren swam clear of the rest with 10 points gain each. Racing Point is traditionally strong in Baku. You probably know something that the others don't. The car still has its problems in slow corners and still made it through the laps well. McLaren is one of the teams that understand tires best. Again this time.
Nothing worked at Renault. The drivers wondered why they couldn't find a grip. Was it the tire temperatures, or was there more to it? The zero round hurts Renault. Because two opponents scored massive points. Something Renault had failed to do in the races they were strong in. At Haas, too, there was perplexity. Again no tire temperatures. That is slowly expanding into the national crisis.
Toro Rosso had the speed for championship points, but one driver was shot down on the way and the other fell too far behind because of the wrong tactics. Alfa Romeo received two fines. One driver started from the very back, the other from the pit lane. One championship point was damage control. For Williams it wasespecially an expensive weekend. Both cars were badly damaged in accidents.
Power Ranking GP Azerbaijan
Here is the power ranking from GP Azerbaijan. As always, the detailed form check of all 10 teams can be found in our gallery.
- Mercedes (1)
- Ferrari (2)
- Red Bull (3)
- Racing Point (6)
- McLaren (9)
- Alfa Romeo (5)
- Renault ( 4)
- Toro Rosso (8)
- Haas (7)
- Williams (10)
* in brackets Position after the GP China