Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Live text
Formula 1 Azerbaijan GP

F1 Azerbaijan GP Live Commentary and Updates – Sprint Quali & Race

Saturday's action from the fourth round of the 2023 Formula 1 season

F1 is in Baku for round four, with Charles Leclerc beating the Red Bulls to pole for Sunday's race yesterday afternoon.

Today will follow a different format, with a shorter sprint qualifying 'shootout' for this afternoon's sprint race.

It means drivers will get thrown right into competitive action this morning without a practice session to warm up.

Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda won’t be able to participate in the third part of sprint qualifying after taking a tyre gamble in qualifying.

The sprint shootout starts at 9.30am BST, with the sprint race getting underway at 2.30pm BST.

By: Stephen Lickorish, Haydn Cobb

Summary

  • Perez wins Azerbaijan GP sprint race after overtaking polesitter Leclerc, with Verstappen taking third
  • Verstappen has first-lap clash with Russell and confronts him after the sprint race
  • Tsunoda clatters the wall on lap 1, bringing out the safety car
  • Sargeant misses the sprint race due to crash damage sustained in sprint qualifying
  • Tomorrow's Azerbaijan GP race starts at 12pm BST

Leaderboard:

  1. Perez, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Verstappen, Red Bull
  4. Russell, Mercedes
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Alonso, Aston Martin
  7. Hamilton, Mercedes
  8. Stroll, Aston Martin
  9. Albon, Williams
  10. Piastri, McLaren
Status: Stopped

The bad news? That's it for live coverage on today's F1 action.

The good news? We get to do it all over again tomorrow for the full-fat grand prix. The Azerbaijan GP starts at 12pm BST so don't miss out.

Until then, have a lovely rest of your Saturday. Go well!

It looks like the biggest talking point will be that first-lap battle between Verstappen and Russell and then the exchange of views between the pair in the pitlane.
So, what did you make of the first sprint race of the season? Did the new format make a difference? The full picture might not be clear until after the grand prix tomorrow, but we'd love to hear your thoughts.
Rather than caps, medal or wreaths for sprint race wins, this year the top three finishers are getting small plaques for their efforts. I'm sure that'll make for a great paperweight.
Perez on his sprint race win: "It was good, with these tricky sessions, a lot of pressure on us... to get maximum points today was the main objective, but we know tomorrow is the main race."
Leclerc on second place and possible changes for the grand prix: "We cannot change the car, you can work here and there on flaps, but it confirms what we thought, Red Bull has the upper hand in the race."
Verstappen on his clash with Russell: "I don't understand why you need to take so much risk on lap one, understeer into my sidepod, create a hole. We all have cold tyres and it is easy to lock-up. His beautiful way of explaining it... it doesn't make sense."
Verstappen parks up in third place in the pits and it reveals the extent of his damage - he has a massive hole on the left sidepod.
Albon just missed out on a point in ninth, ahead of Piastri, Magnussen, Zhou, Gasly, De Vries, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Norris and Ocon. Tsunoda the only retirement, with Sargeant the DNS-er.
Russell takes fourth, ahead of Sainz, Alonso, Hamilton and Stroll who complete the sprint points places. The top four teams lockout all of the points places.
Perez wins the Azerbaijan GP sprint race - and Leclerc holds on to second by 0.6s ahead of Verstappen!
Final lap time, Perez's lead is up to 4.7s on Leclerc and Verstappen is within a second now - can he nab second before the finish?
Perez has checked out at the front with his lead at 3.2s with two laps to go. Verstappen is still, just, outside of DRS range of Leclerc in the fight for second.
De Vries darts by Hulkenberg for 14th, as Haas confirms the German is suffering with graining on the medium tyres.
De Vries overtakes Bottas, suffering on the softs, for 15th, while Hulkenberg is sinking fast with his pace five seconds a lap slower than Magnussen.
Perez has responded to Leclerc's pace to pull out to 1.2s clear, with the same sized gap splitting Leclerc to Verstappen.
Ocon pits for the second time in this sprint, which is impressive in itself, as he takes on fresh softs.
Leclerc is actually coming back on Perez now! He's broken clear of DRS range of Verstappen and is gaining DRS from Perez ahead. Five laps to go, but this one isn't over just yet.
Magnussen has got ahead of team-mate Hulkenberg for 11th place, but they are well off the pace of the top 10.
Leclerc is keeping Verstappen at bay, to his credit, as further back Stroll gets by Albon at Turn 1 for eighth place and the final points place in this sprint.
Norris pits at the end of lap 10 - ditching his softs for mediums.
Leclerc has lost DRS from Perez, but Verstappen has it from him, so you can probably guess what is coming next.
The soft tyre gamble hasn't worked for Norris, who has now been overtaken by both Haas driver and drops to 13th.
Leclerc is clinging on to DRS from Perez but he is gradually slipping back, which is bringing on Verstappen.
Behind the leaders the positions aren't changing a huge deal, but Piastri has just got by team-mate Norris for 10th place.
Leclerc, even with DRS, doesn't have the top speed to get back ahead of Perez. Verstappen isn't out of the fight at the front either as he pulls clear of Russell.
With the aid of DRS Perez dives into the lead at Turn 1, but Leclerc is fighting back now he has DRS!
Perez is stalking Leclerc, making sure he stays within one second to gain DRS for the main straight.
DRS has been enabled at the start of lap seven, so this will really but pressure on leader Leclerc.