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Formula 1 Returns: How to Watch the Azerbaijan Grand Prix


Charles Leclerc has done the first part: After turning in the fastest lap in qualifying, he will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday.

Now he has to do the part that has proved problematic for him this season: Finish the race.

In three starts this year, Leclerc’s Ferrari has been running at the end only once. He was the victim of an engine problem in Bahrain and a first-lap crash in Australia. For the moment, though, Leclerc has his position just right.

He will start just ahead of the season leader, Max Verstappen of Red Bull, on Sunday, and one row in front of his Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz, and the other Red Bull, driven by Sergio Pérez. Qualifying ahead of them was heartening. Staying ahead of all of them on Sunday — on the tight corners of a Baku circuit famed for causing chaos — will be much more difficult.

Time: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday starts at 7 a.m. Eastern, which is 3 p.m. local time on the Baku City Circuit.

TV: The race will air on ESPN in the United States, starting with prerace coverage at 5:30 a.m. Eastern. Not in America? A full list of Formula 1 broadcasters, for wherever you are, can be found here.

Ferrari and Red Bull were the fastest cars in qualifying. (Yes, that sounds familiar.) Lewis Hamilton will start fifth in his suddenly resurgent Mercedes.

The verbal sparring continued in the drivers’ postrace interviews:

  • Verstappen: “I respect all the drivers a lot, and it’s a bit of common sense as well what you do on the first lap. They are off the pace and to risk that much in Lap 1 is not very rewarding, because I will get him anyway within a few laps.”

  • Russell: “He’s got enough experience to know that if you’re trying to overtake a guy on the outside there’s a risk the guy on the inside is going to run wide into you.”

  • Verstappen: “He tells me, ‘Yeah, I got cold tires.’ We all have cold tires. That’s not an excuse.”

  • Russell: “I’m here to fight. I’m here to win. I’m not just going to wave him by because he’s Max Verstappen in a Red Bull.”

Results of the third race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix on April 2:

Sergio Pérez won the 17-lap sprint race on Saturday, picking up points that cut his deficit behind Verstappen, the leader in the season standings. Leclerc finished second, a result that more than doubled his season points total. “One thing for sure,” he said of his performance on Saturday. “It shows how bad the first three races were.”


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