Formula 1 Socar Azerbaijan GP Baku Street Circuit.

6. 51 laps @ 6.006km/3.753ml = 306.306km/191.410ml.

Lap record 1m 43.009s Charles Leclerc (2019).

After missing out last year due to COVID, this was the 5th race at this circuit around tight & twisty the City streets. 

FP1 was bright and sunny, but with some high wind and 26ºC. Just into the session saw a VSC to clear some debris off the circuit. There were a lot of spins and cars using the escape roads after locking up but no major dramas. FP2 was again bright and sunny but with gusty winds. Lat stopped on track causing the session to be red flagged. Lec crashed into the barrier at turn 15 but managed to crawl back to his garage. More spins and trips down the escape roads. FP3 on Saturday morning was still very windy. Ver crashed into the barrier at turn 15. Another red flag. Rus stopped on track. VSC again. More lock ups, spins and trips down the escape roads. Gas, Per, Ham, Lec & Sai were the top five.

Q1 in the afternoon was still windy. Rus had an engine change after he stopped in FP3 with a water leak. Ver had his car repaired after his morning crash. Str & Gio caused 2 red flags in the first 9 minutes. Out went both Haas drivers & Lat. Q2 was again action packed. Ric crashed into the barrier at turn 3. Red flags again. Out went Rus, Räi, Ric, Oco & Vet. Tsu crashed at turn 3. Sai hit the wall in the escape road trying to avoid the stricken Alpha of Tsu. Lec got his first pole at this circuit and his second consecutive of the season and 8th of his career. Ham,Ver, Gas, & Sai made up the top five. Nor got a three place grid drop for continuing on track after the red flags were shown.

Racing began with the temperature at 25ºC. A great start from Lec holding on to his lead. Per & Vet got away well gaining places. Rus had to pit with a puncture at the end of lap 1. Ham got passed Lec to take the lead on lap 2. Oco retired with a loss of power on lap 3. Str crashed heavily into the barriers following a left rear puncture. Safety car deployed. A problem for Sch in the pit lane with a loose wheel. At the re-start Vet did well making up another 2 places. Bot was passed by both Alfa Romeo drivers dropping him down to 14th place. Ver had a great race at the front until lap 46 when he crashed heavily into the barrier with a left rear puncture. Safety car then red flags. Rus pulled off with gearbox gremlins. Ham got alongside Per at turn1, but locked up and went down the escape road emerging in 16th place. Per took the chequered flag in style, his second win in F1 & first as a Red Bull driver. Vet & Gas joined him on the podium. Ver recorded the fastest lap on lap 44 with a time of 1m 44.481s. 

Formula 1 French Grand Prix 2021. Paul Ricard Round 7.

53 laps @ 5.842kms/3.630mls 309.626kms/192.398mls.

Lap record 1m 32.740s held by Vettel Ferrari 2019. 

Paul Ricard is renowned for being a high tech test circuit and boasts no less than 247 different potential track layouts, 64 of them with sprinkler systems.

Oco signed a new 3 year deal with Alpine. Good for the Frenchman & the team.

FP1 was bright and sunny with 2 French drivers (Oco & Gas) taking part, as well as the rebadged Alpine (formally Renault) with the hope of impressing their home crowd. Sch crashed into the barrier but got out and back to the garage. Bot went wide over the sausage kerbs causing some damage to his front wing. Vet also hit the barrier and limped back to the pits. FP2 was still bright, sunny and windy. More off-circuit excursions some causing minor damage & times deleted. FP3 was a fairly calm final hour session but not without some more lock ups. Ver, Bot, Sai Per & Ham were the top five. 

Q1 in the afternoon was again bright, sunny and windy. 4 minutes in Tsu crashed into the barrier unable to move as his car was stuck in neutral – red flag for 8 minutes. Str had his time deleted. Sch went into the barrier at the end causing the session cut short. Q2 saw Sch making it through for the first time but not taking part. Out went Rus, Gio, Vet & Oco. Q3 was an exciting 12 minutes and as usual fast and furious especially the last few minutes. There were a few minor offs and times deleted. Ver got his first pole at this circuit & 2nd of the season. Ham, Bot, Per & Sai made up the top five.

Race day began overcast after some early morning rain and 26ºC with windy.Ver got away well with Ham tucked in behind and a battle between Bot & Per. Ver went wide at turn 2 which allowed Ham to take the lead. More battles behind them. The pit stop mania started on lap 19 with Lec being the first which caused a few place changes. The undercut worked for Red Bull as Ver emerged ahead of Ham. There were some good battles midfield which made it an exciting race. Ver made a second stop for fresh tyres then set about chasing down Per, Bot & Ham which he did in style to take the lead on the penultimate lap getting his first ever F1 hat trick (pole, fastest lap & win). Ham & Per joined him for the podium, There were no retirements from the race for the first time since Austria 2019. Only the 10th time in history & 6th in the hybrid turbo era.

Ver posted the fastest lap with 1m 36.404s on lap 35. 

Formula 1 BWT Grosser Preis der Steiermark  2021. Red Bull Ring Round 8.

71 laps @ 4.326kms/2.688mls 307.146kms/190.861mls.

Lap record 1m 05.619s held by C. Sainz Jnr 2020.

The good news is that the Turkish GP is back replacing Singapore on the 3rd of October.

FP1 was a fairly good first session but with a lot of spins, off circuit excursions with times deleted at turns 9 & 10. FP2 was much the same. Gas had a PU problem at the end of FP1 so took no part in this session. Bot spun his car leaving the pit box, narrowly missing the McLaren crew. More spins, offs & times deleted. FP3 was a little cooler and a trouble free session with the exception of more offs & times deleted. Ver, Bot, Ham, Nor & Per were the top five.

Q1 was cool and overcast. More offs and times deleted. The final 5 minutes were chaotic. Out went both Haas drivers as did Räi, Oco & Lat. Q2 was fairly calm, but out went Gio, Vet, Ric, Sai & Rus. Q3 was an exciting 12 minutes with a lot of time swapping. Ver got his first ever back-to-back pole positions giving Red Bull their first pole at this circuit. Bot, Ham, Not & Per the top five. Bot got a 3 place drop for dangerous driving in the pit lane in FP2 & Tsu 3 places for impeding Bot in Q3.

The race began at 26ºC. Ver got away well. Nor was in a battle with Per, as the field bunched up. Lec, Alo & Gas were 3 abreast with Lec clipping Gas causing damage to his front wing & a puncture for Gas. Both pitted with Gas retiring with suspension damage. From lap 22 the action started with pit stops causing a few position changes. Good battles throughout the field. Ver won for the 3rd time at this circuit. Ham & Bot joined him on the podium.

Ham posted the fastest lap with 1m 07.058s on lap 71.