Raikkonen managed to get ahead of Vettel and up to second place after undercutting his team mate with an early pit stop, but the Scuderia subsequently opted to switch their drivers, which proved a wise decision considering Raikkonen had a five-second penalty hanging over him for crossing the pit entry line. Without that, the Finn no doubt would have defended Perez’s advances much harder in the closing stages.
Sebastian Vettel, 2nd
"We can be very proud of what we achieved today, both cars got points. We were very bad off and slow on Friday and initially we didn’t know why. We changed a lot in the car, made big steps forward, and we finished second today. I think the way things went on the track was fantastic, but we can’t be entirely happy. We lost a position with Kimi but he played nice team work, he was very kind to hand me the place. In the end it was a bit of a shame that we didn’t manage to finish second and third, but I think he was struggling quite a bit with his tires. It was not a fresh set. I had a good feeling with the tires, so I kept the first set a bit longer, even if after a couple of laps I wasn’t so confident. But later the tires did recover and from that point it was good again. The season is long and I think there’s a lot of stuff happening here, but especially back in Maranello. Our President is pushing very hard, but in a good way. He is willing to understand, help us and to push us, as well. Ambition is high but, moving forward step by step, I am sure we will do the right things for this year and for the future to make sure we give the others a very hard time. We didn’t have a wonderful start of the season, even though the car has been good, but I think most of the times we didn’t fully use our opportunities. However, today we did a great job. We will keep doing the optimum and keep enhancing our chances to be there at the end of the year, but surely we know we have to pick up our game and improve the car."
Kimi Raikkonen, 4th
"Overall I’m a bit disappointed of how difficult this weekend was, far from being fun all the time, but in the race the car was good and the speed was there. At one point I ran over the white line and got a 5 seconds penalty. From that moment I tried to keep the gap to Perez to maintain my position, but on a couple of occasions I ended up following two lapped cars and lost precious time. I’m fine with the fact of swapping position with Sebastian, because anyway I had the penalty, but in the moment I let him pass I lost 2.5 seconds in that lap and this did not help.In the end I could have for sure stayed in front of Perez but there was no reason to fight and maybe take some risks. Obviously my race could have been a different story today, but considering all that happened, the end the result is not too bad."
Maurizio Arrivabene, team principal
“If we look at where we were on Friday, we can be happy with the step forward that has been made during the weekend. Today our race pace was good, albeit not quite as good as it should be. We saw a very good performance by both our drivers, so as our President says, we must work hard to provide them with a better car. As we had seen already in Canada, the engine seems to be our strength, while we still need to work on the other areas, because this car has proven to be very sensitive to set-up changes. I have no complaints for Kimi's penalty: he was racing hard and overtook a lot of cars. When he realized he was being penalized, he then proved to be a very good team-mate to Seb. The gap to our main competitors is still there so we have to work hard to improve in the areas where we are still weak and keep focusing on this year, because there's still a long way to go to the end of the season. Congratulations to Seb for a second place which, once again, shows what a talented driver he is.”
Renault's race pace was once again far stronger than their qualifying pace - which was just as well given they started from the back of the field. Both Palmer and Magnussen made decent early progress, but the intra-team contest ultimately came down to strategy - and it was the Dane who was able to make a one-stop work, allowing him to jump Palmer for 14th at the flag.
Kevin Magnussen, 14th
"I think this was a good race in terms of what we got out of it. We qualified second to last, started from the pit lane and finished fourteenth ; that’s not too bad. We learnt about the car in some extreme areas of the set-up, which is good. The main thing to take away from this weekend is how the team kept their cool and stayed positive. They are winners ; they have been world champions many times, so for them to qualify on the last row is very tough. And yet, you can see, their reaction has been strong."
Jolyon Palmer, 15th
"We showed once again that our race pace is a lot better than our qualifying pace, which I am thankful for. I had a big flat spot on the soft tyres which meant I had to change ; up until then the pace was quite strong. The supersofts did well as well but it was tough to make up the time it takes to pit. That and making a mistake at the start pretty much decided my race. It’s a fun track to drive, it’s just a shame that we didn’t have the car for it today."
Fred Vasseur, racing director
"Given where we started it was a good result today. Both drivers stayed focused and kept their heads down to achieve the best they could. After yesterday we changed Kevin’s set-up and gearbox which meant he started from the pit lane. We put him on a one-stop strategy and he drove intelligently with this. Jolyon also started with a one-stop strategy in mind but we switched him to a two-stop as a result of a flat spot and to try to make progress later in the race. Today’s result shows the never-give-up spirit of the team ; no matter what the odds we will keep pushing all the way."
Sauber didn't end their pointless-streak in Baku, but they did at least come close as Felipe Nasr finished 12th - his best result of the season, and also the joint-best for the team this year. Ericsson couldn't match his team mate, with the Swede struggling in particular to get his tyres into the optimal working window.
Marcus Ericsson, 17th
"It was a disappointing race for me. Straight from the start the tyre behaviour was different from what we expected. We calculated that they would last more laps than they actually did. On the first stint my soft tyres were dropping off a lot, so we had to switch our planned one stop strategy to a two stopper. Overall, I could not get the tyres to work properly, so my pace was not good enough. The only time I got a better feeling and the tyres to work was towards the end of the race, because of the lower temperatures."
Felipe Nasr, 12th
"Overall, I am satisfied with my performance today. I fought very hard from the beginning to the end, so we can be pleased with P12. We maximised our performance on track as well as on the strategy-side. I was close to the points today, but just not close enough. I am satisfied, but we are still not there with what we want to achieve. We want to score points, and we are all highly motivated to get there."
Monisha Kaltenborn, team principal
"A new Grand Prix is always a huge challenge for teams as well as for the organiser – the Formula 1 debut in Baku was a success. Also our team did a good job during the weekend. Felipe put in a satisfying performance using his opportunities from the beginning until the finish-line. Marcus had a more difficult starting position in P20. He improved his lap times after his second pit stop, but he generally struggled more with the tyres due to the high temperatures. We can build on these positions."
With Hamilton starting so far back, Rosberg had an easy race to victory in Baku, leading every lap on a weekend when Mercedes never looked troubled. His team mate meanwhile made good initial progress from 10th on the grid, but was then slowed by a problem with his engine mode. Hamilton’s subsequent struggle to fix the issue ruined any chance he had of challenging Perez and Raikkonen ahead of him.
Nico Rosberg, 1st
“I am so happy to win here in Baku. I really felt at one with the car in a way I've never felt before. I didn't have the feeling that something would go wrong at any point today. The car was awesome this weekend, so thank you so much to the team for this. I already began to sense it in Qualifying yesterday, this perfect feeling. We expected a Safety Car moment in this race, so I was hoping that it wouldn't happen as that tends to mess up the race in general. But it was a pretty straightforward afternoon for me at the front. There was only one little concern when I felt that I was down on power a bit in the middle of the race. The engineers weren't allowed to tell me what I had to do, so I had a look at my steering wheel and tried to fix it myself, which worked out well. Sagol! - which means 'thank you very much' - to Baku for this great weekend. I look forward to Austria now!”
Lewis Hamilton, 5th
“I have no idea what happened out there today. I just had no power. I was in an engine mode which made it feel like I was driving without ERS for a long time. We have hundreds of different combinations of switch position on the wheel and, no matter how much you study, there's no way to remember them all. I was driving around looking at my screen trying to work out what was wrong - but I couldn't see anything I'd done differently. It's such a complicated, technical formula we have now and I don't really see the benefit in preventing us from being able to fix these things out on track. It was just a real shame that I couldn't race. If I'd been able to resolve it, I might have at least been able to be a part of the show and fight with the guys ahead of me. With about ten laps to go it sorted itself out - but by that time there was nothing to be gained or lost as I was more than ten seconds behind the guy in front and the same ahead of the guy behind. I actually turned the engine down at the end to save it, knowing that I don't have so many left for the season. But it wasn't to be today, so the result is what it is. I've got points for P5 and now I'll try to bounce back at the next race.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“We all went into the race expecting lots of action - and while maybe the 51 laps didn't deliver as many fireworks as we saw in other races this weekend, there was plenty going on in our garage! First of all, let's talk about Nico. He did a fantastic job this entire weekend - a great pole position yesterday then a dominant race performance today. He got a good start, pulled away and just controlled everything from there; it wasn't a problem-free afternoon for him but it was pretty close to being so. For Lewis, the first target was to survive lap one; he kept his nose clean and then started picking off the cars in front of him. He reported some electrical de-rates quite early on but it only became clear around his pit-stop that he was suffering from quite a big performance deficit with the car. Once we had identified the problem, it could have been changed with a single radio message - but the rules, which are of course the same for everybody, prevented us from doing so, and we were only authorised by the FIA to use very specific phrasing. It was an unusual and counter-intuitive problem with an engine mode so there was no way Lewis could know what to change to solve it. Eventually, he managed to find the right solution - as Nico had done several laps earlier, having switched into the mode causing the problem part way through the race - and then he set the fastest lap of the race at that point. However, it was too late to recover any position, so he took the smart decision to save the engine and bring the car home. We have had a warm welcome here in Baku and the organisers have delivered a fantastic and exciting new street circuit. But from the team's point of view, although we extended our points lead, we should have come away with more - and correcting those problems will be our focus in the coming days.”
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
“Starting at the very beginning, we were relieved to see both cars make it cleanly round the first lap after the chaos of the GP2 races earlier in the weekend. From there, Nico did a fantastic job. After a great pole position yesterday, he capitalised on that with a superbly controlled drive from start to finish - managing his tyres, engine and brakes perfectly. For Lewis, it was never going to be easy from P10. Unfortunately, this turned out to be even more difficult than we had predicted. The pace of the car was not as strong as it had seemed on our long runs during Friday's practice sessions, with some of our rivals proving impossible to overtake. This is something we need to look into and understand, as he wasn't able to extract the pace he'd shown throughout the weekend to that point. We did see a problem with Hybrid energy management on both cars. There was a configuration related to the management of Hybrid energy which unfortunately was not correctly tuned during our race preparations. What this caused was premature de-rates down the straight, costing the driver around three to four tenths of a second per lap. It was only present when the driver selected a specific strategy mode on the steering wheel, with the other modes unaffected. Unfortunately, under the new radio restrictions introduced for this year, the team is unable to tell the driver which mode to use - or not to use, in this case. Having sought permission to do so from the FIA, we were able to give the drivers an indication - but nothing more. It was a bit like asking them to solve a crossword puzzle with minimal clues while driving at in excess of 200mph, which is no mean feat! Unfortunately for Lewis, it took around 15 laps to rectify the problem. This lost him a lot of time before eventually he was back to full speed - by which time it was too late to make a charge for the podium, which was a definite possibility for him today. The bigger problem we need to understand is why his car was not as quick as it should have been overall.”
For the second time in three races, Sergio Perez bagged Force India a podium with a tenacious drive from seventh on the grid that saw him both hold off Lewis Hamilton and overtake Kimi Raikkonen. By contrast team mate Hulkenberg failed to capitalise on his car’s inherent pace after starting on softs and then having to run 31 laps on the supersofts – a strategy that left him vulnerable in the closing stages.
Sergio Perez, 3rd
“I knew that the podium was possible today, but we really had to work hard for it. The key to my race was the great start I made to get around a Williams [Massa] and a Toro Rosso [Kvyat]. Then, in the first stint I was suffering with graining of my supsersoft tyres and we had to decide whether to wait for it to improve or to make an early stop. In the end, we stayed out longer, which was the right decision, but when I came out of the pits I struggled to warm-up the soft tyres and I was under big pressure from Lewis [Hamilton] behind. I pushed as hard as I could and opened up a gap, and then I focussed on looking after my tyres. I closed in on Kimi [Raikkonen] and I knew he had a penalty, but on the final lap I got very close to him and saw the opportunity to overtake him, so I took it. To be on the podium for a second time this year feels fantastic. The team has done a brilliant job and we are having an amazing year.”
Nico Hulkenberg, 9th
“It was a fairly tough race for me. The start was ok, but coming into turn one someone [Gutierrez] hit me from behind. I lost a couple of positions trying to control the car and that put me a bit on the back foot. Getting through traffic in the opening stages was not very easy and it cost me a lot of time. Then, for the early part of the race, I was struggling with oversteer and in general I couldn’t find the same harmony with the car that I had in practice. Making the supersoft tyres last as long as I did - 31 laps - was not easy and by the end of the race I had very little left, but it was a risk I was happy to take to make our strategy work. The car had great potential all weekend long, but I feel I paid for the mistake I made yesterday in qualifying. However, I am pleased for the team’s result: it means we bring home a bunch of points which is a boost for our season.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“What a fantastic result from a weekend where we looked strong from the start. It is a success for the whole team: from the crew that repaired Checo’s damaged car after FP3 and produced two brilliant stops at a crucial time, to the guys on the pit wall who made the right calls, and of course everyone back at base. We knew we had the pace to fight at the front, even if we were starting further back than we wanted, but we delivered the result in the end. Checo drove well and a second podium in three races shows that he is getting the potential out of the car. Nico was unlucky to be hit at the start by Gutierrez, which ultimately compromised his race. He lost a few positions, but was able to keep the car facing the right way. Starting in P12, he had a different strategy and he was only a couple of laps away from finishing seventh, but he still claimed some important points. Today’s result strengthens our fifth position in the championship and moves us closer to fourth . I have no doubt there will be celebrations tonight!”
Gutierrez's race was compromised at the very first turn, as he locked up and made contact with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, damaging his front wing and forcing him to pit. Grosjean fared better, and was circulating on the fringes of the top 10 until being forced to make a second stop due to debris causing temperature concerns.
Romain Grosjean, 13th
"The car felt very good at the beginning of the race and everything was going well. We then had a bit of rear (tire) graining and we had to pit to go on to the soft tires. The plan was to go to the end. We then had too much rubbish at the front of the radiators and we had to stop again to clean them. That extra stop cost us a lot of performance. We had to fit the medium tires to go to the end, as we didn’t have any more softs. We did our best, but we’re still not where we want to be."
Esteban Gutierrez, 16th
"It wasn’t a good day for us. I had some damage to the car at the start, and then after that, I was just trying to recover as much as I could. We didn’t have the pace to attack the front. I was struggling to overtake and to regain positions. Overall, it wasn’t a great day. Now we need to keep our focus for the next race and keep optimistic. We’re not where we want to be, but we’ll keep pushing and try to optimize everything to get the most from the car for Austria."
"A challenging race. At the start, Esteban had contact with (Nico) Hülkenberg and lost part of the front wing and a piece of the floor. This resulted in us having to call him in to change the wing and that ruined his race. Romain was going well. We would’ve liked to have him stay out longer on the first set of tires, but once we changed them it was looking good until he had to come in again, this time for the radiators to be cleaned out as we collected some debris. His race pace was good, but we couldn’t risk having the engine overheating. We’re still aiming for points. We had very good pit stops and we’re making progress, so now we look ahead to the next race."
Daniil Kvyat started from a promising sixth, but his race quickly unravelled due to a suspension issue. Carlos Sainz didn't fare much better - he started 18th due to a grid penalty, spent time inside the top 10, but ultimately retired with a similar problem as his team mate - handing Toro Rosso their first double-retirement since last year's British Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz, DNF
"It's been a bit of a difficult weekend overall, and even though we were doing a good recovery in today's race, unfortunately a suspension issue ended my race. It's a shame, because I had positive feelings in the car and our strategy and pace was looking decent… But I know it will get better soon! As a driver, when this sort of thing happens, all you can do is forget about it quickly and work hard for the next race. We have to remember that we've had very good momentum from Barcelona up until now, so this little hiccup won't disturb me: it was just an unproductive weekend. There wasn't much more I could've done from my side today and I'm still happy with my season so far. I look forward to the next race in Austria."
Daniil Kvyat, DNF
"Quite a disappointing day, as I was only able to race for a few laps before retiring because of an issue with the rear suspension. The car became difficult to handle at the beginning of the race and even though we had quite a decent first lap, in the end we had to stop – it's a real pity, but that's life, this is part of racing. We need to investigate what happened and understand the issue, but we will definitely keep on pushing and fighting. We remain positive as the handling of the car has been very good this whole weekend, so the future looks promising and hopefully those enjoyable races will come soon. I will cancel today out of my mind and all we need to do is carry on working like we have done until yesterday, because everything was looking great before the race."
Franz Tost, Team Principal
"First of all, I'd like to congratulate Baku for this fantastic race venue – it was a really positive surprise to come here and see how everything has been built up. It's a beautiful city and the people have been very friendly, supporting us in every way. Therefore, I'd like to thank the organizers and people responsible for this, as well as Bernie, who decided to have this event on the calendar. From our side, unfortunately we did not show a good performance today. We didn't finish with any of our two cars because of rear suspension problems. We will now have to wait to disassemble the cars to find out what the exact reason is, but it seems like the dampers got stuck, impeding the normal movement of the suspension. After performing well in qualifying yesterday, it's a shame that Daniil's race ended so early, as he could've put on a good show starting from sixth. Carlos showed a very good performance during the laps he was in the race and I think that he would've been able to score some points today. We now look forward to the next Grand Prix in Austria, a weekend which is always special for us as it's Red Bull's home."
McLaren came into the weekend expecting to struggle, and so they did. A gearbox issue put paid to Fernando Alonso's hopes, and while Jenson Button was able to slip by his team mate, he fell one place short of scoring points.
Fernando Alonso, DNF
"This was always going to be a difficult race for us – and that's made even more difficult when you don't see the chequered flag.
"We had a developing issue on the gearbox which was getting worse and worse, so we decided to retire the car in order to prevent damage to the power unit or anything else. It's a shame, but we were running outside the points, so this retirement feels a little less painful.
"The most important thing now is for the team to find a little more pace – for both qualifying and the race."
Jenson Button, 11th
"Obviously, I didn't make it easy for myself starting 19th. I enjoyed the race, and I got everything out of the car, but that was all we could really do as we didn't have the pace this weekend.
"I'm happy with my performance today. In terms of strategy, it was difficult to know the best way to go, but we'd struggled with graining on the Supersoft, so chose to pit relatively early. Then our pace was good on the Prime – I'm happy with that. It was also good to battle out there, especially when the other guy has the same equipment as you. In terms of outright performance, we're not quite quick enough, so to come from 19th to 11th wasn't too bad, particularly with the straight-line speed we had here.
"It was a fun race and I enjoyed it, but there are some improvements needed to raise our level of performance. I persevered as I always do when times are tough, and we'll hopefully come out the other side."
Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda Racing Director
"After a second successive grand prix finishing just one position outside the points, there's little to sweeten the pill after this disappointing pair of flyaway races.
"However, let's be pragmatic about the positives: from 19th on the grid, Jenson drove with his customary blend of calm control and gritty resolution to carve measuredly through the field to finish 11th. He managed to cut the gap to Felipe Massa by five seconds in the last dozen laps, but wasn't close enough to challenge for that last, solitary point by flag-fall.
"In addition, our strategists devised strong race-plans for both drivers, which, allied to four supremely efficient pit-stops from our boys, enabled both drivers to run strongly in the midfield for the entire race. While our travails went unrewarded with world championship points, we can be satisfied with the job we did out there. Finally, Fernando had little good fortune today. He was increasingly hamstrung by a gearbox problem, prompting the team to retire the car.
"It's clear that we need just a little more inherent pace to become consistent top 10 runners, so we'll be aiming to narrow that gap when we return to Europe, for the Austrian Grand Prix, at the start of next month."
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd, Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer
"We had good race pace today, and I think we did the best we could to pull the potential out of the car. However, it's difficult to be happy when you just miss out on points for two races in a row, finishing P11 on each occasion.
"The race itself was less chaotic than expected, with all of the cars starting from the front of the grid finishing the race unscathed. That meant we were unable to capitalise on any incidents, and our position remained again within the mid-field.
"Though we were fearful of the long straights pre-race, we remained in the hunt thanks to the low downforce rear wing setting we adopted for this weekend. Unfortunately, Fernando had a developing gearbox problem, and could not maintain his pace in the latter part of the race, so we had to retire the car to prevent any further issues."
A front-row start yielded just seventh place for Daniel Ricciardo, as Red Bull struggled more than their rivals with tyre degradation. That forced them to switch to a two-stop strategy, and make use of the mediums - which did at least held up well enough for Ricciardo and Max Verstappen to make late progress.
Daniel Ricciardo, 7th
"At the start we put ourselves in a good position and the aim was to get Nico. We managed to hold second and I felt pretty good in the first few laps, especially as I could see Seb wasn't catching me. After lap three we started to slide the rear and there was no way of controlling it. I went from being very optimistic about our race to being uncertain. I don't think we had the wrong strategy, one stop would have been ideal but we had to adapt and were forced into a two stop race. We were slow in the first two stints but in the third one we managed to find some pace and I passed Hulkenburg, which was good fun. I think Max suffered the same issues so that's just the way it went, I don't think we could have done anything else today. We need to understand why because we usually perform well in hot races, like Singapore. Today was a bit unexpected. I got everyone's hopes up yesterday by saying it could be the race of the season, It was, however, pretty uneventful."
Max Verstappen, 8th
"It was a tricky start, but a good end. On the supersoft and the soft tyres we had too much degradation in the rear and from there on, once we changed to the medium tyres, I felt like I was flying in the end. My lap times were coming down very nicely – I managed to drive back to eighth and almost seventh. With the start position I had it was going to be difficult to catch the front guys, but I think in the end we did a good job. Of course you want to finish higher up but that was not possible today. I had the third-fastest lap today in the race so I can't complain."
Christian Horner, team principal
"Ultimately a disappointing result after having started on the front row of the grid but on the supersoft and the soft tyre for both drivers today we appeared to get into quite a lot of degradation as early as laps four and five. That situation didn't change after the first stop on to the soft tyre, where again both cars reported high degradation very early, on a tyre that was supposed to go to the end of the race. It was only when we made an unplanned stop to go on to the medium tyre that the car was in a much better working range. Both drivers were competitive thereafter, ultimately coming through to finish seventh and eighth, with Max setting the third fastest lap of the race. Getting an understanding of how the tyres were operating in this grand prix is an imperative. A frustrating race but at least we got both cars to finish and we extended our lead over Williams in the Constructor Standings."
Williams ended the Grand Prix with both cars in the points, but even so were disappointed with how their race panned out - particularly as Force India, their main rivals in practice, emerged with a podium. Bottas was able to nurse his rubber enough to make a one-stop strategy work, but Massa struggled more and was switched to the slower two-stop plan, leaving him 10th at the flag.
Valtteri Bottas, 6th
"Overall, it was a good day for us because the pace we had today wasn't enough for any more. It felt like a good race from my side, and we managed to do the one-stop strategy which was definitely the best one today. I'm glad we could manage the tyres and get it to work because that made the sixth place possible. The team did a really good job with what we had today, the strategy and the pitstop. Now we need to work hard because we need better positions than this. We need to make the car quicker and then we can fight for another podium soon."
Felipe Massa, 10th
"It was a really terrible race for me, one to forget. I struggled massively with the tyres. I couldn't make them work, I was having a lot more degradation on the rears than I thought I would. One point is more than it could have been because I couldn't drive the car in the proper way and I couldn't save the tyres either. We maybe need to change something in the car to make the tyres work in a different way here in the future."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering
"That was nowhere near what we expected from this race. Valtteri being ninth in that first stint didn't help us, but he was able to make a one-stop strategy work, as were all the top six. Felipe was struggling with rear graining in the first stint. Valtteri had a little bit of the same, to a lesser extent, and then his tyres came back and he was quite strong towards the end of that stint. He was going quicker and quicker so we could leave him out and he was able to get up to sixth, but it's still a disappointing result. The team did a fantastic job with the pitstops, the strategy worked out and gained some positions for Valtteri but unfortunately we couldn't do it for Felipe as well because of tyre degradation. The team is working really well, it's the car's pace that's let us down. The main thing we need to take away from this race is that we were out of position, in terms of pace, compared to Force India. We've got to go away and understand why we weren't quick enough, so that's what we'll concentrate on. We've got Austria coming up so we need to look forward."
Manor were one of only three teams to opt for split strategies from the offset. Initially that appeared to be paying dividends, with Wehrlein rising as high as eighth from 17th on the grid, although his race would end prematurely due to brake issues. Haryanto at least made the chequered flag, but lost two places from his starting position after making his sole tyre stop at the end of the first lap, when he also took on a new front wing.
Rio Haryanto, 18th
"Not such a good one for me today. I had contact in Turn 1, which damaged my front wing and I had to stop at the end of the first lap. Obviously a new one requires a longer pit stop, so I dropped back quite a bit when I re-joined the race. We decided to put the Soft tyre on at that point and stay on a one-stop strategy, but 49 laps was a long stint for that tyre and I was really struggling with high degradation; the braking point was changing every lap. But, I think everyone was expecting some opportunities today, so we had to try to put ourselves in a position to respond to them. In the end, no such opportunities; it was a very straightforward race. I'm going to focus on the positives though; I had a really strong qualifying and I finished the race, so that's good."
Pascal Wehrlein, DNF
"Today is a bit of shame to be honest; we were hoping for much more. I think we were on quite a different strategy than the other guys; one that could really make the most of any chances, but only if the race came our way. We started on the Softs and I was happy with my position after the first lap but it was more difficult on the Soft than the Supersoft. Then we pitted and again I was really happy with my pace on the Medium tyre; I felt I could have closed the gap to the Saubers in front of me but I was running out of brakes. When I got to Turn 1 I simply had no brakes and there was no alternative but to stop. So nothing more to say, we just have to look ahead. I've really enjoyed this circuit and my first experience of Baku though."
Dave Ryan, Racing Director
"After the great qualifying performance yesterday and after witnessing both GP2 races heavily compromised by safety car interruptions, we opted to split strategies between the two cars to better cover for any eventuality. Rio's race was ruined in the first few hundred meters when a Haas car ran him wide into the wall, which forced him to make a lengthy pit stop for a new front wing and nose assembly. With Pascal we started on the soft compound tyre, keeping our options open. Unfortunately, with around 10 laps remaining, we had a braking issue and this led to his retirement from the race. Today was not our day but we leave here undeterred and looking forward to the next race in two weeks' time at the Red Bull Ring in Austria."
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
“The Baku grand prix contained a number of surprises; firstly with track temperatures still in excess of 50 degrees after one third of the race, and with very little drop in temperature throughout. And secondly because the much-anticipated safety cars never materialised. As expected, it was a one-stop race for the winner, with quite high wear and low degradation despite the long lap length and very high top speeds. We saw a number of different strategies being tried, including some very long stints even on the supersoft, which was key to Nico Rosberg’s victory on this spectacular track.”