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    INSIGHT: Five Things We Learned from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Round 4 in the 'Land of Fir...

Round 4 in the 'Land of Fire' produced a ferocious battle in Baku and some fascinating storylines...

1. Expect the Unexpected

If we learned anything from last year's Azerbaijan GP, it was to expect the unexpected. Street tracks are notorious for their unpredictability and in its short time on the F1 calendar, the Baku City Circuit has picked up a reputation for frenetic on-track action.

That's what we got on Sunday. The opening lap was dramatic, to say the least, and there were constant battles up and down the field. A few curveballs were also thrown, including the late Safety Car and resulting restart.

Lewis emerged from the mayhem at the front of the field, picking up both his and the team's first victory of the 2018 season.

2. It's Not Just a Nickname

Azerbaijan is known as the 'Land of Fire' and it definitely turned up the heat this year, with another sizzling Formula One race on the city streets. This was in part due to the tough and tricky conditions the drivers faced...

Baku itself is nicknamed the 'City of Winds' and that certainly proved to be true on Sunday. Gusts of over 30km/h battered the course on race day, which presented drivers with a difficult and unusual challenge.

When wind picks up or changes direction, it has an impact on downforce and car performance, which can make F1 cars much more unpredictable to drive. 

While some of the Baku City Circuit was sheltered from the breeze, other sections were more exposed, and this caught quite a few drivers out during the race.

It may have made things a bit tougher behind the wheel for the drivers but it definitely helped contribute to the incredible race we witnessed on Sunday.

3. Top 10 Turnaround

The challenging conditions and unpredictable nature of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix meant it was a big opportunity for midfield runners to capitalise on the chaos and score a healthy haul of points.

In the early stages, it looked like Renault was in the box-seat for a big points haul but, as the laps counted down, it was Force India's Sergio Perez who surged to the front and was right behind the leaders at the final restart.

The Mexican jumped at the chance to pass Sebastian Vettel after the four-time World Champion locked up at Turn 1 and held off the Ferrari driver to claim a stunning third place - a first podium since Baku 2016 for Sergio and the team.

Rookie Charles Leclerc was an impressive sixth for Sauber, while Lance Stroll proved his ability to rise above the Baku mayhem for a second consecutive year by crossing the line P8, picking up Williams' first points of the season in the process.

4. Safety Car Shake-Up

The deployment of the Safety Car often changes the course of a race and it's something we've seen several times so far this year. Sometimes it works in a team's favour, other times it doesn't.

In Baku, the early Safety Car helped to elongate the first stints, but also presented some midfield teams with the opportunity to take a gamble or make repairs.

When the Safety Car was deployed for the second time, Valtteri was the only driver yet to make a pit stop. It proved to be perfectly timed, with the Finn switching to UltraSofts and moving into the lead, while the rest of the field took the opportunity to fit fresh Pirelli tyres too.

Baku is one of the toughest tracks when it comes to race restarts due to the long, flat-out blast at the end of the lap - which is a prime slipstreaming opportunity. With the whole field on new tyres, it set up what proved to be an unbelievable final run to the flag.

5. Alive and Kicking

Baku may well be a crazy race, but it proves that F1 2018 is very much alive and kicking and it's a promising sign for the remaining 17 races. Sure, not all of them will be the thriller Azerbaijan was, but it's encouraging nonetheless.

The past few races have produced battles pretty much from start to finish, up and down the field, mixing strategy with spectacular scrapping and resulting in some unusual results too. In Baku, there were eight different teams in the top 10 and numerous drivers scored their best results in quite some time.

We've already had some proper edge-of-your-seat races this year and we can't wait to see what happens next!

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