Mercedes continued their unbeaten start to the season at the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix as our guests enjoyed unprecedented access to the world of Formula 1 and discovered the fascinating city of Baku.
Our weekend at Baku City Circuit began on Thursday afternoon with an Exclusive Pit Lane Walk, where our guests were able to get up close to many of the cars and watch several teams practising their pit stops. After that, we hopped aboard the flatbed truck used for the F1 drivers’ parade for a unique Guided Track Tour. The narrow castle section, which caught out both Robert Kubica and Charles Leclerc in qualifying, was one of the many highlights of this unique street circuit. Before concluding our activities for the day, there was time for a photo op with the Championship trophies on the Main Straight; a lasting keepsake from a memorable weekend.
F1 Insider Access
After the track action finished on Friday, our Trophy and Hero guests assembled for F1 Insider Access and a night to remember in Baku. We were joined in the McLaren motorhome for drinks by our special guests from Sky Sports F1, the “voice of Formula 1” David Croft, who celebrated his 250th race as lead commentator in Baku and 3-time Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert. Our guests also got to meet World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, whose son Carlos Sainz Jr. finished in the points again for McLaren on race day. After this unique pit stop, F1 Insider Access continued with visits to Pirelli, the Alfa Romeo garage and a meeting with Safety Car driver Bernd Mayländer, followed by photos on the F1 podium.
Access to the Formula 1 Paddock
Our guests in the Paddock Club benefited from access to the Formula 1 Paddock and the chance to rub shoulders with drivers, team principals, celebrities and Formula 1 bosses. With all-day access to the Paddock and a privileged view of the post-race podium celebrations, several of our “Superfan” guests with Legend Ticket Packages took their chance to meet their heroes and get a selfie or three; Ana Colina presented Guenther Steiner with a swear jar while Superna Fox met her hero Lewis Hamilton.
On Saturday, Valtteri Bottas achieved his second pole position in succession for Mercedes after an incident-packed session that was delayed by almost one hour when both Robert Kubica and Charles Leclerc hit the wall at Turn 8. At the start of the race, the Finn led his teammate Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1 and never looked back, despite plenty of pressure from the 5-time World Champion in the opening corners. Bottas went on to secure his second victory of the season, leading home Hamilton for the Mercedes team’s fourth 1-2 of the season.
Sebastian Vettel could do no better than third in what is developing into a frustrating season for Ferrari, while Max Verstappen finished a consistent fourth for Red Bull and Charles Leclerc recovered from a poor qualifying to finish fifth and take the Driver of the Day honours. Other notable achievements included double points finishes for both the Racing Point and McLaren teams. Next up, the traditional opening race of the European season in Barcelona. See you there!
Check out all our photos from the weekend in the Facebook album. Don’t miss out next year. Official Ticket Packages are now available for the 2020 Azerbaijan Grand Prix!