SALVAGING RESULTS: Lewis Hamilton salvaged some points in Baku after a crash in Q3 left him down the grid. Image: AP / Ivan Sekretarev
Cape Town - Lewis Hamilton arrived in Baku with massive momentum. Dominating free practice on a new track, and a street circuit at that, surprised nobody.
No. The surprise came when he suddenly started to stutter in qualifying, before doing a 'Max at Monaco' by getting intimately acquainted with a wall, in Q3.
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Starting tenth turned into a double whammy when the Brit’s Merc took to the race in the wrong settings, slowing the car to a point where Hamilton threatened to change the position of every single button in the cockpit, just to find some more pace.
A tired Finn
In the meantime, Nico Rosberg romped away at the front, whilst the tired old man (Kimi Raikkonen) fell asleep behind the wheel of his Ferrari and crossed the pit lane entry line down the main straight with all four wheels. The resulting five second penalty dropped him out of podium contention.
When asked about this afterwards, Raikkonen fell asleep before he could answer. But when he is awake, he doesn’t give much of an answer either.
Lack of communication
The ban on radio communication between pit and driver also militated against possibility of a classic Hamilton charge through the field.
Oh yes, and Perez outqualified everybody except Rosberg, after which a penalty for a new gearbox dropped him to seventh, from where he stormed back to third.
Quite impressive lately, young Checo, whilst Rio Haryanto again outqualified Mercedes protégé Pascal Wehrlein.