Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in Baku, Russell gets P3 for Mercedes

verstappen

The streets of Baku once again played host to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix where the two bulls, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez showcased a dominating performance handing Red Bull an indisputable win.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What was the cause of Sainz's early race retirement?

    According to Ferrari, it was due to a hydraulic issue.
  • How many points does Red Bull have over Ferrari in the Constructor's Championship battle?

    Red Bull now has an 80-point lead over Ferrari.
  • “Today we had incredible pace in the car, we could really look after the tires and we could chip away for the lead. Checo did a good job at the start getting ahead of Charles, I got blocked in and couldn’t go anywhere. Once I was on the hard tires and in the lead and I could just manage it and could control the gap. It would have been good to have had a battle with Charles today but he had a DNF. To get a 1-2 for the team was really good, we’ve scored some good points today and made the gap bigger to Ferrari. There’s still a long way to go, it’s a long season so we need to keep pushing as a Team,” said Verstappen.

    max-and-checo

    Red Bull’s win also secured the team’s place in the Constructor's Championship giving the team an 80-point lead over Scuderia Ferrari.

    “I started really well, we were leading and felt we had things under control. We were a little unlucky with the timing of the VSC which made things a bit more difficult for us. When you are leading the race for the first stint, which is normally the harder one, then you think you are looking strong but that wasn’t to be the case today and that is racing. I got some bad degradation on my rear tires, which meant I couldn’t keep Max behind, he was extremely fast and it made sense for him to pass me rather than fight it. We were told to keep a certain pace on the hards once both Ferraris were out of the race and we managed the rest of it well. We have to understand where we could have got more out of the car today and go forward to Canada and make sure we are in contention once again. Today was a great result for the Team and a good day in the Constructors’ Championship,” said Pérez.

    checo

    To date, the Dutch driver becomes the sixth different winner in six Baku F1 races while his Mexican teammate becomes the most successful driver in this venue's history.

    The weekend at Baku was an unfortunate one for the boys in red though as both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were forced to retire from the race.

    On Lap 9, the Spanish race driver suddenly lost power and was forced to take the escape road at Turn 4. Sainz tried to resume but it quickly became clear that his race was run due to what Ferrari later confirmed as a hydraulic issue.

    sainz-jr

    “Today’s result is hard to accept. After the start we opened the gap to manage the tires and try to extend the first stint longer into the race. Unfortunately, a hydraulic problem occurred on Lap 9 and that was it. Together with Charles’ issue, this is definitely a difficult day for the entire team and our fans, as we lost valuable points and mileage. For one reason or another, it’s been complicated to build a strong momentum so far this season. However, we are a very strong team and I have absolutely no doubt we have the ability and determination to come back stronger. There is still a long way to go this year. On to Canada,” said Sainz.

    The Monegasque, on the other hand, was asked to box to switch to hard tires. During the pit stop, Leclerc was held back several seconds due to a stuck front jack while the tires were being replaced. He later rejoined the pack just under 13 seconds behind Verstappen who was now second and two seconds behind Pérez.

    Leclerc’s demise came at Lap 20 when a plume of smoke suddenly bloomed from the back of his Ferrari. He was then retired from the race.

    leclerc

    “It’s a disappointing outcome for us today. At the beginning of the first stint on the Mediums we weren’t particularly strong, but towards the end of it, we started catching Checo (Perez). During the Virtual Safety Car, we decided to take the opportunity and pit for Hards, which was the right thing to do. It put us in a position where we could lead the race and what we had to focus on from then on was managing the tires to the end. We then had an issue with the power unit and had to retire. It’s time to go home and reset before Canada. We have to get on top of things and come back stronger there,” Leclerc said.

    The race at Baku ended after 51 laps which saw Verstappen lead the one-two for Red Bull. Ferrari’s forced retirement gave Mercedes-Benz an opportunity allowing George Russell to finish third followed by seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton finishing fourth.

    the-goat

    For Russel, the Azerbaijan GP gave the Brit his third podium finish of the year while Hamilton gets a “Driver of the Day” award from his Baku performance.

    Photos from Formula 1

    Also read: 

    Pérez claims maiden Monaco GP win, Verstappen at 3rd

    Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2 finish in F1 opener, Hamilton is 3rd

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