Nico Rosberg piloted his Mercedes to a convincing win at the first grand prix in Azerbaijan. The championship leader started from pole and stopped just once, passing from supersoft to soft tyres, without ever losing the lead. While some cars were forced to stop twice due to the higher than expected temperatures, Pirelli said that tyre degradation was lower than expected. The top six finishers all started on the P Zero Red supersoft, stopping once to change to the P Zero Yellow soft tyre between laps 8 and 21. These soft tyre stints therefore lasted up to 43 laps, the number achieved by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Formula One’s first visit to Baku, Azerbaijan is continuing on schedule, despite concerns over cuts found on several teams’ left-rear tyres in the first free practice session. FIA F1 director Charlie Whiting told UK broadcaster Sky Sports that bolts holding together the kerbs at turns Six and 12 had “come loose”, causing the cuts. To resolve the issue, track workers have “taken the bolts out and welded the kerbs to each other.”