Max Verstappen winner of the Azerbaijan GP, ​​doubled by Red Bull

Max Verstappen winner of the Azerbaijan GP, ​​doubled by Red Bull

Max Verstappen took his revenge on Baku. After retiring five laps from the end last year when he was alone in the lead, the Dutchman took advantage of Ferrari’s double retirement to win a 25th career time. His teammate Sergio Perez was relegated to 20 seconds at the end of the race. But the Mexican deprived his leader of the fastest lap point and the latter’s final attempt was unsuccessful. A Red Bull double in the race and, now, a Red Bull double in the championship since Perez recovers second place from Charles Leclerc.

Because, after this Azerbaijan Grand Prix, there is indeed a big winner and a big loser. Red Bull on one side, Ferrari on the other. A hydraulic problem forced Carlos Sainz to retire on lap 9, causing the first virtual safety car. About ten laps later, the engine of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari failed. As in Barcelona, ​​the Monegasque saw his race be stopped when he was clearly in the lead.

Before that, he had missed his start and let Perez take the lead at the first corner. His pit stop, although complicated, during the neutralization linked to the retirement of his teammate allowed him to gain time on the Red Bulls and regain first place after the stoppage of them. Would he have lasted until the end? We’ll never know. But he cashes a crucial 25-0 for the title. Verstappen has a 34-point lead and Perez, the new runner-up, leads him by 13 lengths. In the constructors’ standings, 80 points separate Red Bull from Ferrari.

Ferrari, a reliability problem

If he is untouchable on Saturday with six poles in eight Grand Prix, Leclerc loses his superb on Sunday. It is thus his 14th consecutive pole position which he does not transform into victory. But, besides Leclerc and Sainz, Zhou (Alfa Romeo) and Magnussen (Haas) also retired for engine problems. It was therefore four cars equipped with a Ferrari engine that were unable to finish this race.

Always in difficulty, the Mercedes however have this ability to take advantage of each opening that presents itself. As often, it is George Russell who is doing the best. The Briton signed his third podium of the season ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who suffered from back problems after the race and who had all the trouble in the world to get out of his single-seater.

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George Russell has finished in the top 5 in every Grand Prix since the start of the season.

Best result of the year for Gasly

On the podium in 2021, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel confirm that they feel good in the Azerbaijani capital. Starting sixth, the Frenchman stumbled for a long time on the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo after his pit stop, thus letting Russell escape. He then couldn’t resist the second Mercedes at the end of the race. Faced with Hamilton and new hard tires where he had worn tires from around thirty laps, he gave in with seven laps remaining. The choice to keep only one set of hard tires was therefore fatal to him since the Briton took advantage of Magnussen’s retirement to return to the pits during the second Virtual Safety Car. But he still achieved his best result of the year with this fifth place.

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