Lewis Hamilton has big expectations for Azerbaijan GP weekend

The 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will see a new sprint race format to challenge Lewis Hamilton and the rest of the Formula 1 grid


Lewis Hamilton was gushing about the revised sprint race format that will debut at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and said he expects the weekend to be the best of the 2023 Formula 1 season so far.

The new format sees the sprint race uncoupled from the grand prix and acting as a standalone event, featuring sprint qualifying on Saturday morning before the race comes in the afternoon.

“It’s an amazing event particularly with the shake-up of the whole format of the weekend,” Hamilton told the press ahead of the 2023 Azerbaijan GP. “It’s probably the most exciting weekend so far this year, it’s going to be tough for everybody but we’re all in the same boat.

“And what a track to be able to do it at, where overtaking is possible, great racing here, it’s always the best races here and it’s definitely difficult to just have one session, like 20 laps and then straight away you’re qualifying.”

Mercedes arrive in Azerbaijan after a mixed opening three races where they endured an enormously disappointing opening weekend where they abandoned their ‘no sidepods’ concept and were well off the pace of leaders Red Bull.

However, Hamilton finally picked up their first podium of the season at the Australian GP, while George Russell also briefly held the third-place trophy in Saudi Arabia.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix | REUTERS/Yves Herman

Hamilton hoping for better sprint success

Hamilton‘s had a mixed record at sprint events since they were introduced in 2021.

He dropped points to title rival Max Verstappen in all three sprint qualifying sessions in 2021, while his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas emerged as sprint king taking victory in two out of three.

However, the Sao Paulo sprint was crucial in helping Hamilton recover from last to victory, and he took third at the same event in 2022, sandwiched across just one point scored in the other two 2022 sprints.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Alex Bowman celebrates victory at the 2024 Chicago Street Race | NASCAR

How rain strategy helped Alex Bowman end his drought in Chicago

Alex Bowman and his job with Hendrick Motorsports was never really in question as his contract runs through the...
Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Max Verstappen on the podium after the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was...
Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Austrian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 2024 British GP – Fastest Lap

Carlos Sainz snatched the fastest lap at the 2024 British GP at the final opportunity as an all-time classic...
Lando Norris during 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

F1 Standings after 2024 British Grand Prix

An emotional 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take a record-breaking win at Silverstone, outsmarting Lando Norris and...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 British GP: Driver of the Day

There is a reason why the British Grand Prix remains the hottest attraction on the Formula 1 calendar and...
- Advertisment -