By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix, fourth rally host by Baku, grabbed attention of millions and thrill F1 fans over the previous week.
As many as 20 drivers representing 10 teams, including such famous drivers as Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc and many others, strived for the first place of podium in Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019. Its length is slightly over six kilometers, with the widest part of 13 meters, and the narrowest of 7.6 meters.
The racers drove as many as 51 laps along the central streets of the capital city. The track connected a number of modern and ancient architectural monuments of the capital, such as the Maiden Tower, the Icherisheher (Old City), the Philharmonic Hall, the Government House and other landmarks. Moreover, a big part of the track runs along the picturesque Baku Boulevard. The start and finish lines of the race were at the Azadlig Square.
The last year’s Grand Prix was full of incidents, action and nervous moments. Straining conditions of competition and difficulty of Baku City Circuit made many drivers make mistakes and lose their positions and even leave the race.
One of the most memorable incidents happened to two Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. The racers, who had pretty good chances to win, got out of the race after Riccardo hit the back of Verstappen’s car on the 40th lap of the race and took him off the track.
Another unfortunate incident happened to the Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. He was leading, but when two laps left before the finish line, his car’s tire got a puncture. Thus, the Finnish racer also got out of the race.
So coming to this year’s F1 GP, it started from F1 training sessions which were followed by qualification on April 27 and the main race on April 28.
Mercedes team pilot Valtteri Bottas ranked first, another Mercedes pilot Lewis Hamilton ranked second, Ferrari pilot Sebastian Vettel ranked third after F1 Qualifying Session of the Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019.
Finally, Winner of SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix F1 became known after the main race on April 28.
Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes took the first place at SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix Formula 1 Race in Baku.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes came in second, followed by Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, who watched the final race, awarded the winners. Ilham Aliyev presented the F1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix cup to Valtteri Bottas.
The head of state presented Constructors Cup to Mercedes team`s representative.
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov presented second place trophy to Lewis Hamilton, while President of Azerbaijan Automobile Federation Anar Alakbarov handed the third place award to Sebastian Vettel.
Afterwards, the winner representative of Mercedes team Valtteri Bottas shared his thoughts on race and his victory.
Bottas pointed out that he was making each effort to avoid mistakes.
"I could not afford to make a mistake, I kept everything under control,” he said.
He also noted significance of his success.
“I am very glad that I won the first place. I am very happy that I saw the checker’s flag and won first place,” added the Finnish pilot.
Teammate of Bottas, runner-up Lewis Hamilton, congratulated him on his victory.
“Indeed, he rode very well and did not make a mistake. Despite the fact that the competitions were tense, there were no mistakes. This is the best undertaking of the team this season,” said Hamilton.
The winner of the third place - the pilot of the Ferrari Sebastian Vettel also noted that the competition was rather tense. He said that he would be glad to be on an honorary pedestal.
In addition, F2 race also was held and DAMS pilot Nicholas Latifi won the F2. Charouz pilot Juan-Manuel Correa ranked second while Campos Racing pilot Jack Aitken ranked third.
Ten teams, with two drivers in each, were competing in F2 race as part of Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019 in Baku.
So races aren’t only appealing aspect during these days in Baku. As a well-established tradition, Baku City Circuit also offers fans one of the most exciting live music line ups.
This weekend, two magnificent concerts were held in two consecutive days on Saturday and Sunday.
Azerbaijani singer Rilaya and UK’s world celebrity Jessie J performed in the Baku Crystal Hall on April 27.
And one of the most electrifying artists in world music, Cardi B closed out entertainment program of Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019.
Moreover, interesting colourful decor of the streets and different event being held there, attract plethora of tourists from all around of the world.
Foreign tourists express their delight, excitement and sharing impressions about Baku, they said they were amazed by the architecture of the city and the hospitality of the residents.
A tourist from St. Petersburg Alexander, who visited Baku for the first time, was delighted with the level of organization of Formula 1 races. He stressed that he was surprised by the convenient location of the races.
While answering the question about the first impression about Baku, Sergey from Moscow said he was very pleased with the city and the organizers of Formula 1.
Yuri Zhukov from Moscow was also impressed with beauty and architecture of Baku.
So one more Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix was held in Azerbaijan. Once more perfect organisation, exciting moments during the race, happiness, sadness, frustration and passion which went through the streets of Baku at highest speed, raising odds that 2019 Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix may be voted as the best race of the season in the annual survey by the F1 Fan Voice community.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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