In the latest edition of Paddock Press, we recap the Canadian Grand Prix and look ahead to Europe's return on the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan.
Canadian GP Review
A superb qualifying for Lewis Hamilton foreshadowed the weekend ahead; a dominant drive from the Brit was backed up by teammate Bottas as Mercedes took yet another 1-2 in the hybrid era.
Red Bull looked quick, however tensions with Renault remained. Max Verstappen's engine faltered after a mere 11 laps of running, and while Daniel Ricciardo held on to a podium, he couldn't quite live with the Mercedes and was a distant P3.
Force India was the most impressive team, taking 5th and 6th, although it could have finished a lot higher. Esteban Ocon highlighted the overtaking issues with 2017 cars as he was unable to pass teammate Sergio Perez despite being considerably quicker. This allowed Sebastian Vettel to swoop after early front wing damage and rescue a tough weekend for Ferrari with fourth.
Kimi Raikkonen should have also passed the Force Indias but brake issues put hold to his charge whilst he was running conveniently ahead of Vettel. He slipped down but held P7.
Lance Stroll is now officially a points scorer in F1 having taken P9 at home turf. Stroll has came under heavy fire early in the season, but this result should boost his confidence.
On a final note, we talk about Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, the unfortunate man to receive a double penalty after the stewards incorrectly penalised him with a 10 second stop-go when he should have been handed a drive-through instead. It was made even worse by the fact the initial penalty was a larger time differential than the correct one. No wonder he was fuming.
Looking Forward - Azerbaijan:
It's fair to say the land of fire didn't live up to expectation last year. Sure, the castle section was a challenge to behold but the lack of overtaking, the stupidly long straight and the distinct consistency of the drivers made the race a dull show for the fans.
This year wider cars should mean more incidents, but as this is F1 we cannot be assured of this. Expect Mercedes to own the speed traps once more but Ferrari should be close through the twisty sections. Even Red Bull should have some pace in the middle sector.
It should be a good race but only time will tell whether this year Baku can show why it's on the calendar.
Finally the predictions:
Pole Position - Sebastian Vettel
Race Win - Lewis Hamilton
Podium - Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo
Driver of the Day - Max Verstappen
First Retirement - Lance Stroll
This series relies on your contribution and input so please put your predictions and answers to our key questions below before race day.
by Matthew Gannon