Exciting news for Nigerian Motorsport fans as the 2023 Formula 1 season is back with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this week, and they can watch the race from the comfort of their homes on SuperSport MotorSport (DStv ch. 215).
The first practice session took place, with Max Verstappen edging out Charles Leclerc to top the leaderboard ahead of the qualifying race this Saturday. This was a crucial session for teams and drivers as they prepared for the new format of the race weekend, with the Grand Prix on Sunday. The session was incredibly challenging, as all drivers lost 13 minutes following a red flag caused by Pierre Gasly’s Alpine catching fire after a loss of hydraulic pressure.
Verstappen, who is leading the championship and aiming for his third consecutive title, initially appeared to be outpaced by both Leclerc and Perez, but he reclaimed the fastest time in the dying seconds of the session. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz came in fourth, while Lando Norris from McLaren finished fifth. Rookie Nyck de Vries impressed by coming in sixth for AlphaTauri, while Lance Stroll from Aston Martin finished seventh.
Several teams and drivers faced issues during the session. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda suffered a puncture after clipping the barrier at Turn 3, while Mercedes were hampered by early brake issues and opted not to do any soft-tyre running. Lewis Hamilton finished 11th, with teammate George Russell in 17th. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was forced to stop out on track following a loss of fuel pressure, and Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin was impacted by an issue with his DRS.
Despite the drama of Gasly’s fire, the marshals were eventually able to gain control of the situation. Alpine withdrew Gasly’s teammate Esteban Ocon from the remaining 32 minutes of the session as a precaution after the incident. Ferrari’s hugely disappointing start to the season makes Leclerc’s second-place finish a major boost for the Italian squad, who will be looking to maintain their improvement when the competitive action begins.
After winning the opening three races of the 2023 season, Red Bull is set to continue its perfect start in Baku. Defending champion Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship with a 15-point advantage over team-mate Sergio Perez, while Fernando Alonso is nine points behind in third place.
The Azerbaijan GP will air this Sunday at 12 pm on SuperSport MotorSport (DStv Ch. 215). No rival can compete with SuperSport’s coverage, and viewers can see all the action from the fastest sport in the world by staying connected or upgrading to DStv Premium to take in all the thrilling Formula 1 action.
Visit www.dstv.com to subscribe or upgrade and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream live action on the DStv App.