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Azerbaijan GP: Another race to forget for ROKiT Williams


By Andrew Hooper
April 29 2019

The 2019 Azerbaijan GP would be a further race that the ROKiT Williams Team would no doubt prefer to put behind them. After the crashes involving both George Russell and Robert Kubica it really was one of the worst weekends for the team in 2019. On top of that Robert would be forced to start the race in the pitlane and even this would see issues as the team would put his car into the pit lane too early seeing Robert receive a drive through penalty in the race. Both drivers would make it to the finish of the race without incident but the pair were only in 15th and 16th as they continued to struggle with the uncompetitive FW42.

 
 ROKiT Williams Azerbaijan Grand Prix Race Review
 
Russell
 

Qualifying had seen the ROKiT Williams team having to contend with a repair effort after Robert Kubica had crashed his car. With the changes that the team made to his car they would be forced to start Robert from the pit lane. With other drivers penalties George Russell would start the race from 16th. Also starting from the pit lane would be Gasly and Raikkonen. Raikkonen's car had failed a front wing deflection test seeing him disqualified from qualifying. On pole would be Bottas from Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen, Perez, Kvyat, Norris, Leclerc, Sainz and Ricciardo in tenth. Robert would be the first car to leave the pit lane at the start. George and Robert would both start the race on the medium tyre joined by Leclerc, Grosjean, and Gasly. The rest of the field were on the soft tyre.

The grid would form with Bottas on pole and the lights would go out and it would be Hamilton and Bottas running side by side but Bottas would get in front. Vettel was third followed by Perez and Verstappen. George was running in 17th behind Grosjean while Robert was 19th. Bottas was well ahead by 1.95s after just the first lap. George would lose a place to Raikkonen to be 18th and Robert was now 20th. Gasly was right behind George and looking to pass. It was shown that 12th placed Albon had make contact with the wall on the exit of Turn one. Lap five and Bottas was now leading by 2.9s from Hamilton, Vettel, Perez, Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc, Sainz, Stroll, and Ricciardo tenth.

 
Kubica
 

Fourth placed Perez was under attack from Verstappen and on the main straight Verstappen would get past at Turn one. Leclerc was now up to sixth ahead of Norris and Sainz. Kvyat would pit dropping to 20th on lap seven, changing to the medium tyre. Robert was now under investigation for a start procedure infringement. Raikkonen would also pit on lap eight changing him to the medium tyre. Lap nine and Giovinazzi would pit changing tio the medium tyre. Lap ten and Hulkenberg would also pit changing to the medium tyre as well. George and Robert were now 14th and 15th with George behind Grosjean. More drivers on the soft tyre were pitting with Norris coming in on lap eleven taking on the medium tyre. The order was now Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel, Leclerc, Verstappen, Perez, Sainz, Gasly, Stroll, and Ricciardo.

George and Robert were now in 13th and 15th as Stroll and Ricciardo both pitted. This would see George and Robert now 12th and 13th. Vettel would pit on lap thirteen changing to the medium tyre. Kvyat would pass Robert seeing him drop to 14th. Vettel would return in fifth as Bottas pitted on lap fourteen. He would change to medium and drop to fourth. Kvyat would then pass George for 11th. Magnussen had passed Robert seeing him drop to 14th while George was 12th. Hamilton would pit on lap fourteen seeing Leclerc leading. Verstappen was second but yet to pit followed by Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel, Gasly, Grosjean, Perez, Norris and Sainz.

 
Russell
 

Robert would get a drive through penalty for been put into the pit lane too early. Robert would take his penalty on lap sixteen. He would return in 20th while George was now 14th still on the medium tyre. Verstappen had pitted on lap seventeen and would also take on the medium tyre returning in sixth. On older tyres George would dropt o 16th on lap eighteen. Verstappen would pass Gasly for fifth while at the front Leclerc was still leading from Bottas and Hamilton. George had now dropped to 18th with Albon right behind. Lap twenty six and Robert would pit again changing to a new set of medium tyres. He was now one lap down as George continued to lap on his used set of medium tyres. George would pit on lap twenty eight changing to a further set of new medium tyres.

George would also go a lap down as on lap twenty nine the order was Leclerc, Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen, Gasly, Perez, Norris, Sainz, and Kvyat tenth. The top four cars were closing up as they completed lap thirty. Bottas would take the lead from Leclerc at Turn one using the tow and DRS. Kvyat and Ricciardo would have a moment seeing them both stop at the entrance to an escape road. The pair would drop to 17th and 18th. Lap thirty four and Hamilton would pass Leclerc at Turn one in the same move as Bottas. Ricciardo would pit to retire. George and Robert were now 18th and 19th. Vettel would also pass Leclerc moving up to third. Leclerc would pit on lap thirty six switching to the soft tyre. Kvyat would also pit seeing George and Robert 17th and 18th. Hulkenberg and Grosjean would also pit changing to the soft tyre as Kvyat retired in his pit.

 
Kubica
 

Gasly would stop out on the track with a loss of power pulling his car off into an escape area. This would see a Virtual safety Car to be deployed. George would pit on lap forty one switching to the soft tyre. Grosjean would retire in his pit. Norris had also come in changing to the soft tyre on the same lap as George. The Williams drivers were now 15th and 16th on lap forty two. The Safety Car would be removed as Bottas had extended his lad to three seconds. Vettel was now closing in onto Hamilton as they completed lap forty three. Robert would pit on lap forty six changing to the soft tyre for his run to the flag. As the final laps counted down Bottas would continue to lead from Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez, Sainz, Norris, Stroll and Raikkonen in tenth.

Leclerc would pit on lap forty nine taking on new soft tyres to look at setting a fastest lap for the single point. Hamilton had closed the gap to Bottas with just two laps remaining. The leaders would pass George putting him two laps down as Bottas continued to lead. Leclerc would take the fastest lap as he started his last lap. Bottas would complete his last lap taking victory from Hamilton and Vettel. Verstappen was fourth followed by Leclerc, Perez, Sainz, Norris, Stroll and Raikkonen. For Williams they would finish in 15th and 16th with both George and Robert two laps down. The result was pretty well what could be expected from both drivers still struggling with a car that lacks any real performance.

 

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Azerbaijan GP: Another race to forget for ROKiT Williams
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29/04/2019 11:34
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