2023 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix


Who will win the 2023 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

  • Max Verstappen

    Votes: 183 40.6%
  • Sergio Perez

    Votes: 139 30.8%
  • Lewis Hamilton

    Votes: 17 3.8%
  • George Russell

    Votes: 4 0.9%
  • Fernando Alonso

    Votes: 35 7.8%
  • Lance Stroll

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Carlos Sainz

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • Charles Leclerc

    Votes: 50 11.1%
  • Lando Norris

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • Oscar Piastri

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pierre Gasly

    Votes: 2 0.4%
  • Esteban Ocon

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Valterri Bottas

    Votes: 2 0.4%
  • Guanyu Zhou

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Logan Sargeant

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Alex Albon

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Kevin Magnussen

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Nico Hulkenberg

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • Nyck De Vries

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Yuki Tsunoda

    Votes: 4 0.9%

  • Total voters
After a month's break, Formula One finally returns as it heads to Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. A Sprint format weekend, here's all you need to know and how to watch the Baku GP.

Image credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team on Newspress

After a dramatic visit down under, Formula One has been away from our screens for four weeks now. Plenty of motorsport and simracing in the mean time has kept us busy, but racing fans will finally get to watch Grand Prix cars battling it out once again.

The paddock embarks on its mid-season European leg, beginning with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Ironically closer to Asia than Europe, the race takes place on the challenging, technical and extremely fast Baku Street Circuit. With its succession of 90-degree turns and seemingly endless straights, the venue is unique on the Formula One calendar.

But with changes to the format, it's not just the track layout that's set to provide excitement.

Baku Sprint format explained​

Baku is the first time Formula One in 2023 sees the Sprint format return. However, in contrast to previous seasons, the weekend will see a dramatically different format in an attempt to spice up the weekend further.

Over the past week or so since the format's announcement, F1 fans and pundits alike have been left confused by the weekend's schedule. But fans of other forms of motor racing will certainly manage to get their heads around it. This is how the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint weekend will go down.

In simple terms, the new F1 Sprint weekend format is a two-race weekend with each race getting its own qualifying session. The result being that the teams and drivers have just the one Free Practice session over the weekend.

On Friday, drivers complete their sole hour-long practice session before heading in to a standard three-session qualifying hour. This sets the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix. Saturday is all about the Sprint race as drivers take part in a shorter qualifying competition in the morning which sets the grid for the afternoon's Sprint race. Sunday is left untouched by the Sprint weekend changes meaning it's business as usual.

The positive of this format means drivers won't be risking a poor starting position in the Grand Prix by making moves in the Sprint. However, with single point differences between each position, many claim there's no reason to go for an overtake in this 100-kilometre dash. Furthermore, it will surely give an idea of each driver's race pace for the Grand Prix, somewhat spoiling Sunday's results.

Who's on form?​

As ever in 2023, Red Bull look to be the team to beat with a rested and refreshed Max Verstappen set to lead the pack. With a month to work on the cars however, it's difficult to predict who will come out on top in the fight for best of the rest. Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin all looked close in the first three races this year. So picking them apart on a totally different track is going to be tricky.

Further back and it's the same story. The likes of Alpine have shown pace so far this year to edge away from the midfield, but McLaren are reportedly bringing sizeable updates to its car for Baku. These upgrades could well allow the Papaya team to catch the French squad, once again bridging the midfield's gap to fifth place in the Constructor's fight.

Williams, Haas, Alpha Tauri and Alfa Romeo all look inseparable. With its long straight and stop-start first sector, the Azerbaijan street circuit is different to most venues on the Formula One calendar. So chances are we could see some surprise results this weekend. That's even without counting on the traditional carnage that typically takes place in Baku.

How to watch the Azerbaijan Grand Prix​

Depending on your geographical location, the 2023 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix is available to stream live on F1 TV. In the UK however, it will be available on Sky Sports F1 with highlights on Channel 4.

Make sure to catch all of the action starting with FP1 and qualifying today. Check these dates and times, all in CET.
  • Free Practice 1: 11:30
  • Qualifying: 15:00
  • Sprint Shootout (qualifying): 10:30
  • Sprint Race: 15:30
  • Azerbaijan Grand Prix: 13:00

Are you a fan of the Sprint weekend format? Who do you think will come out on top in Baku?
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.



This is what I find so fascinating with sim racing aliens and real life professionals like in this case Max. That look in their eyes when they are racing. I have that same focus for exactly 3 seconds at the start of any online race and it fades away instantly. These guys are able to stay in the zone for an entire race. Impressive.
I also find it impressive that Verstappen can keep up with the alien sim racers and that he puts so much time into it. with such a beautiful girlfriend of (Nelson Piguet daughter) on the couch :roflmao:;)
I guess the car isn't the only place he's quick then. ;)

Back on topic
Q1 is shaping up to be an absolute sh'tshow - already 2 red flags with 7:32 to go
Which genius thought it was a good idea to have only one practice session before a Formula One qualifying session. No wonder Drivers are having problems. All so we can have a mickey mouse sprint race.
This, especially when you consider this track is a street circuit that is so tight there's no room for error and the vast majority of corners are narrow 90 degree corners it would be awkward to get a bus around.

As I said last year, this is a horrible track that has no business being used for any form of motorsport other than those milk float things..
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This is what I find so fascinating with sim racing aliens and real life professionals like in this case Max. That look in their eyes when they are racing. I have that same focus for exactly 3 seconds at the start of any online race and it fades away instantly. These guys are able to stay in the zone for an entire race. Impressive.
I can stay in the zone, until I realise I'm in the zone, then I'm not in the zone anymore.
Back to the subject, I am not a fan of a sprint weekend on a street circuit like Baku. Especially with only an hour of free practice. I don't know if you noticed, but there's nothing between the edge of the track and the guardrail (as usual with a street circuit), so even a tiny bit over the edge can spell disaster. As Q1 has already proven, there is a good chance of multiple red flags. As a fan I am not looking forward to that at all. I prefer to watch driving cars. I think it's a pity that the influence of the American owners of F1 is now so clearly visible and spectacular is more important than beautiful motorsport.. I actually also wonder which fans are waiting for multiple red flags.
Oh Kevin - dont let Hulkenberg get near your car in the pit - again.
Rumours say that he has silently messed something up with the electronics in your car.
And Guenther ofcourse didnt see it.:rolleyes:
This F1 & F2 AI is hopeless ! Can't do a lap without driving into barriers ! :laugh:
Majority want robotic perfect offline, go figure. :coffee:

wipe, wipe !
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taste, taste ! :coffee:
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Good thing he never stepped in it. :laugh:
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Yeah he's brilliant, I just got bored with all the flags. :coffee:
It's like I said if you had that many incidents in a sim you would get a refund, well if it was called rF2 :rolleyes:

To tell the truth I been noticing seems more incidents this year in all series then usual.

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