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F1 live Azerbaijan Grand Prix Start time Australia, live stream free, grid Daniel Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo of Australia
Daniel Ricciardo of Australia

Live coverage of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Porpoising has been a significant issue for multiple drivers all season.

The greatest minds in F1 have been stumped in finding a fix given the new regulations for cars.

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Drivers have complained all season long and now it seems not even the greatest physios can prevent the pain and suffering they are enduring every session and race.

Most notably are the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

“Honestly, we had so much bottoming at the end of the straight yesterday that I couldn’t finish my long run, my back was a real mess,” Hamilton said.

“Thank God for Angela [Cullen]. I’ve got Angela to give me physio every night, and acupuncture. I woke up with quite a bit of pain this morning.

“And now we don’t have it as bad at the end of the straight, but it’s through those corners. You’re just trying to keep it out of the wall. So with heavy fuel hopefully it will be less tomorrow, but we are very slow on the straight.

“So I’m sure part of that is the bottoming, because it slows you down every time you touch the ground. But the others also have like a Monza wing I think here, so we have a lot of work to do.

“It’s crazy, because in Barcelona, we didn’t have any, and then everywhere else, we’ve had it. So it’s a phenomenon that we just can’t get our heads around.”

8pm RICCIARDO GETS F1 LIFELINE

Amid growing speculation over his future with McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo chose to take the high road when asked for his thoughts at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Australian driver has struggled for form since arriving with the British team in 2021 and has consistently been out performed by his younger teammate Lando Norris.

The team’s apparent frustration with Ricciardo came to a head in Monaco where team boss Zak Brown went very public with his disappointment in his driver’s performance saying he “had not lived up to expectations” while alluding to contract clauses that could see his deal torn up prematurely.

While no-one wants a public shaming from their boss – particularly when there’s only 20 F1 spots up for grabs and numerous young rookies that wants to steal your spot – Ricciardo was all class when asked about the rumours of a dismissal.

“I wasn’t surprised,” he said of the criticism. “I’ve maybe become a little immune to the media, with being in the sport for so long. We do more and more as we go through the years.

“We’ve spoken, we’ve had a catch-up, but nothing needed to be elaborated on.

“I don’t really take it for its full value or worth, and some things are taken out of context, so I’m not really one to go into it, read too much and try and understand it.

“At the end of the day, I know the facts between us and what I have with the team. Simply, I don’t get caught up.

“The clarity is there for us moving forward, my contract is clear with the team for next year, I’m fully committed, I’ve certainly voiced that.

“Obviously now, it’s [about performing] on track, and showing these moments, these races I know I’m capable of, and I do truly believe I have the full support of the team, and we want to do it together.”

7:30PM RICCIARDO STILL HAS FAITH IN HIMSELF

Having struggled with the MCL35 in 2021 and the MCL36 this year, Ricciardo remains confident he will overcome his issues and drive the papaya to success in coming months.

“I think stripping it back to the core, I still know what I can do, I still believe I have it,” Ricciardo said.

“It’s not a place of like low self-confidence or low self-esteem.

McLaren's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo steers his car
McLaren’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo steers his car

“I think in this sport that everything operates at such a high level and if something’s a little bit out of tune it can have a carry-on effect.

“So it’s really just for me to get back in that place where I’m fully in tune with the car, and then it’ll come.”

Ricciardo’s positive attitude will have been boosted by comments made by team principal Andreas Seidl in Baku.

“Formula 1 is a team sport and it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s mechanics, engineers or the driver,” Seidl told Sky Sports F1.

“It’s important that we have a culture within the team where internally we are very clear about things that we need to improve.

“It is very clear that it is my job as team boss to protect the team from the outside world. In the last 20 years, I have not seen a driver become faster because he was publicly criticised.

“We have a contract with Daniel for next year and that’s why we’re all staying calm, keeping working hard and trying to find those percentages that he is missing at the moment. And then we look forward to better results with him again.”

7PM WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING?

Charles Leclerc wants to “finish the job” after living up to his status as the master of poles this season when pulling a flying lap out of the bag to keep the Red Bulls at bay in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver, registering his fourth consecutive pole and sixth of the season, has for company on the front row of Sunday’s race the in-form Sergio Perez.

“It feels good,” said a thrilled Leclerc, who has failed to convert any of his three most recent poles into victory.

“The feeling is there and it’s good, so I’m optimistic. I just want to finish the job.” Perez, who won on the streets of the Azerbaijani capital 12 months ago (with Leclerc on pole) and in Monaco last time out, once again outperformed his world champion teammate Max Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc will be out to avenge the last two races in Baku
Charles Leclerc will be out to avenge the last two races in Baku

Verstappen starts on the second row with Carlos Sainz in the other Ferrari. Leclerc had a healthy championship lead after the third race in Australia but goes into this eighth round of the season nine points behind Verstappen, with Perez only six points back in third.

“All poles feel good, but this one I didn’t expect,” he added. “I thought the Red Bulls were stronger in the first and second qualifying sessions but on the last lap everything came together.” The man from Monaco nailed his flying lap in the top 10 shoot out, expertly eking the maximum out of his car around this complex circuit with its sinuous old city section and airport runway-long straight.

Perez, in the prime of his racing life with his confidence flowing, had popped up with a sub-1min 42sec lap to lead the charge into the final throw of the qualifying dice.

Sainz briefly flirted with his first ever pole but with the qualifying timer almost at zero Leclerc crossed the line in 1min 41.359sec to top the timesheets.

– ‘Who knows?’ – Perez threw everything at his last lap but ended up 0.282s slower. “Yeah, Q3 is when you go balls out and I hit the wall a couple of times. At the end we had a problem with the engine, we couldn’t turn it on and I was out on my own with no ‘tow’…. would it have been enough for pole, who knows?”

Verstappen, only 0.065s off his teammate, reported: “The start of the lap was good but then it went away from me, tiny mistakes. Still as a team, second and third, we have a good opportunity tomorrow.” Perez has given Red Bull team chief Christian Horner an interesting dilemma in terms of which of his drivers to back should there be a repeat of Barcelona when the Mexican was given team orders to let Verstappen through for the win.

Mercedes struggled in practice with their under-performing 2022 car bouncing on the bumpy track, so George Russell starting on the third row after placing fifth in qualifying was a decent result.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car

The AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly joins him ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes sharing the fourth row with Yuki Tsunoda while Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso complete the top 10.

Hamilton, more than a second off Leclerc, was brutally blunt in his assessment of the afternoon.

“We’re not even racing those guys at the front, they’re in a completely different league,” said the frustrated seven-time cham[pion.

“So, it seems that these guys are miles ahead, and then there is this pack that we’re in,” added Hamilton, who is under investigation for slowing down as he appeared to wait for a tow from the car behind.

The opening session was red-flagged towards the end when Lance Stroll’s front wing flew off his Aston Martin after pranging the barrier at turn two, his second crash in as many laps.

This left Valtteri Bottas, in 17th, in danger of falling at the first qualifying hurdle for the first time in 143 grand prix and Monaco in 2015.

Hamilton led a convoy of cars heading back out when the session restarted at 18.40 local time, the temperatures dipping and the shadows lengthening.

They all crossed the line at the cut off time for a final lap with Bottas miraculously sneaking through with the 15th and final Q2 ticket, his proud record intact.

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