Red Bull ended up 1-2 with Max Verstappen winning F1 Azerbaijan GP from Sergio Perez after Ferrari disaster, as Mercedes’ George Russell was third.
It wasn’t the best of the after start from pole-sitter Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari as a lock-up allowed Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to take the lead in F1 Azerbaijan GP. Teammate Max Verstappen got stuck between the two to remain third from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Mercedes’ George Russell steadied in fifth from AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, as Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel gained a place on AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda to be eighth, with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in 10th.
Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, meanwhile, was handed a 10s stop and go penalty as a mechanic was found to be pushing the car on the grid beyond the stipulated time. He was forced to take the penalty in the early stages when there was no need of a tyre change.
As the race started to settle in, Sainz’s wretched luck continued on as his Ferrari died at Turn 3-4 sequence. This caused a Virtual Safety Car period which pushed multiple drivers to pit with Leclerc taking a gamble, but lost some time in a slow stop.
Both the Mercedes and AlphaTauri cars stopped too as the double stack for Hamilton dropped him behind Vettel who gained a place on the Brit in the pits. The Top 10 also featured McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo but team orders talk on.
Ricciardo was on the hard tyres with more pace than Norris, but McLaren asked the Australian to maintain track position. They were sixth and seventh without pitting as Alonso was ahead of them in fifth with Russell slotting in a solid fourth.
Perez continued to lead from Verstappen and Leclerc at the front, as Gasly was eighth behind the McLaren drivers. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in ninth slowed Vettel and Hamilton, with the German chasing the Frenchman for couple of laps.
He made it through going into Turn 2 but he couldn’t stop the corner to lose out to Hamilton and even Tsunoda. The Brit then started his chase of Ocon as they re-united again after the Monaco tussle, with the Frenchman still to stop.
At the front, Verstappen gained on Perez and passed him for the lead with the Mexican losing pace after his initial stint. He stopped straight up but it was a slow stop and he almost was caught by Russell. He managed to keep him behind though.
Few laps later, Verstappen pitted to come behind Leclerc and ahead of Perez in the Top 3. Russell steadied in fourth as Norris headed Ricciardo and Gasly in the fight for fifth after Alonso stopped. The McLaren drivers were still to pit in this situation.
Hamilton, meanwhile, got ahead of Ocon with the Frenchman having Tsunoda and Vettel on his tail. But the grand prix’s complexion changed after an engine blow out for Leclerc which left Ferrari with a double DNF after Sainz’s hydraulics issue.
With Red Bull 1-2, they were in prime position to extend their lead, as Russell moved up to third. After Norris pitted with Leclerc had the engine issue, Ricciardo moved to fourth but not for long as Gasly eventually passed him to take fourth.
Ricciardo steadied in fifth from Hamilton as Tsunoda cleared Ocon for seventh with Vettel chasing him soon. Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu was up to 10th but a suspected issue forced him retire yet again, which pushed Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in 10th.
In his chase of Ocon, Magnussen’s race ended with another Ferrari engine problem as VSC was deployed after he stopped on track. The Red Bull pair stopped along with Mercedes and Ricciardo in the Top 10. Hamilton was the driver to lose out to Tsunoda.
Ricciardo dropped back too but was in points in ninth and joined ahead of his teammate Norris in 10th with Ocon dropping to 11th. Hamilton didn’t waste much of his time after re-start, as he quickly cleared Tsunoda in his chase for Gasly.
The Japanese driver’s day almost ended after his DRS flap was broken. The team pitted him and used duct tape to close the flap and not use it. This dropped him to outside of the Top 10, with Ocon moving into 10th but long way off from the McLaren pair.
At the front, Verstappen stretched a good lead and was asked not to use the DRS, with Perez long way from Russell. Behind them, Gasly came under pressure from Hamilton and eventually passed him for fourth as Vettel was long way behind in sixth.
Alonso steadied in seventh as Ricciardo dropped off but Norris behind him gained on his teammate. The McLaren chatter continued on the radio about team orders, with the Spaniard enjoying it out in front away from all this.
Latifi was handed a 5s penalty for ignoring blue flags, as Aston Martin pulled in Lance Stroll to retire due to engine issue. At the front, Verstappen cruised to F1 Azerbaijan GP win from Perez, who ended up second with the fastest lap in Red Bull 1-2.
Russell took another podium in third with Hamilton ending up fourth despite his back problem. Gasly took a fine fifth from Vettel as Alonso was seventh with Ricciardo eighth after Norris was told to hold position in ninth from Ocon.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was 11th with Williams’ Alexander Albon behind him in 12th, Tsunoda 13th, Haas’ Mick Schumacher 14th and Latifi in 15th – where everyone from 11th until the last ended up a lap down on the leaders.
DNF: Stroll, Magnussen, Zhou, Leclerc, Sainz.