The street circuit of Azerbaijan is one of those Grand Prix where everything can happen, and so it did.
The championship leadership went from Scuderia Ferrari to Mercedes' hands in a blink of an eye.
The race in Baku has proven unpredictable in all of its three editions so far.
A race is not over until is over, Valtteri Bottas (28) has become living proof that´s a fact.
The Finn was leading to victory when two laps from the finish he had a puncture, by then, any chance to even get into the points was gone. Bottas couldn´t finish the race, teammate Lewis Hamilton took the victory instead, followed by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez of Force India.
A heartbroken Valtteri Bottas later would state on his Twitter account: “Sometimes the sport you love can be tough. But, I’ve learned to turn negative experiences into strength.”
A weekend to forget for many teams and drivers, a weekend to celebrate for others, among them, Monegasque Sauber-Alfa Romeo driver Charles Leclerc.
The reigning F2 champion finished sixth in Baku, scoring his first points (8) in his rookie Formula 1 season.
Despite the fact it was a “wild race” Leclerc sixth position was achieved on talent, on merit.
It was celebrated by team and driver like a win, the result of exceptional performances from both of them.
“I told myself we know this result in normal conditions is very difficult to get, if not impossible. But I knew I had to be there once the occasion was given to us and I am very happy we have taken it,” said the Sauber driver.
The Monegasque driver started the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in P13, with less than five laps he had moved to P10.
Five laps later he was P9 and three laps afterward he was sitting P7, a position the young driver kept until he pitted by lap 25 of a 51 lap race.
The teamwork worked perfectly, delivering a fast pit stop o(2.8 sec) which enabled Leclerc to come back to the track wearing his “yellow shoes” sitting P11.
During the race, he overtook rivals such as Fernando Alonso, and by lap 30 Leclerc sat P10 while the Red Bulls were on fire overtaking each other, exchanging positions fiercely at the front, a story we all know how it ended.
Leclerc and his troublefree race, came together to achieve his best result in the series so far. By lap 47 he was P6, a position he would retain thanks to his natural driving skills, until the end of the race.
The twenty-year-old has four Formula 1 Grand Prix to his name, but this relationship began a while back.
His first steps in Formula 1 date back to 2014 when he completed a test for Scuderia Ferrari at Fiorano, and then with four free practices runs for Haas in 2016.
During the 2017 season, he took part in day one of the two Hungaroring test days with the Prancing Horse squad.
He gained further experience contesting Friday´s first free practice with outings in Sepang and Austin.
In Mexico, he took part in the Pirelli´s tyre test.
In Brazil, he made his fourth outing with Sauber-Ferrari and finished 2017 taking part of the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pirelli´s 2018 tyre test.
The most relevant aspect of last weekend´s performance wasn´t the position he ended, nor the points he scored, but the fact that for the first time in his short career in Formula 1 he was able to drive his Sauber-Alfa Romeo comfortably, showing maturity and mostly an incredible natural talent.
No wonder Charles Leclerc was voted driver of the day, last Sunday.