Max Verstappen wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix to extend championship lead as Ferraria suffer DNF



It was a perfect afternoon for Red Bull as the team secured a one-two finish, with Sergio Perez finishing second and also earning the bonus point for fastest lap of the race.

But if it was a dream afternoon for Red Bull, it was undoubtedly a nightmare for Ferrari, as its two drivers – Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – were forced to retire with engine failure well before the end. .

A total of four Ferrari-powered cars, including Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, dropped out of the grand prix.

The Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took full advantage of Ferrari’s setbacks by finishing third and fourth respectively.

It was a particularly impressive drive from Hamilton, who started in seventh and said he suffered from severe back pain exacerbated by the instability of his car, a car that Mercedes team principle Toto Wolff, called it “s*** box to drive” in his Hamilton race radio post.

Verstappen’s victory means the Dutchman surpasses Sebastian Vettel’s record for the most podium finishes in a Red Bull car, with 66 top three finishes in 126 races with the manufacturer.

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The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, at the front, was forced to retire early.

It was also a sort of redemption for Verstappen, who crashed while leading the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last year due to a tire puncture.

“You can never make up for what you lost last year,” Verstappen told Sky Sports. “But today we had incredible pace and we could take care of the tyres. We were a bit lucky with the retirements but our car was really good today. Overall we’re really happy with the race. balance of the car.

“The behavior of the tyres, as well as the general grip of the car, is what you need here. In the end, having a one-two with the team is a very good day for us.

“I think every weekend is a bit different, you really have to be precise and do little things for race management.”

After retiring, Leclerc said today ‘hurts’ both for him personally and for the team.

“We really need to look at this so it doesn’t happen again,” he told Sky Sports. “I can’t really find the right words to describe it, it’s obviously very, very disappointing. I don’t know, we really have to look into it.

“We were quick and we didn’t have any particularly big problems in the first part of the season… but we didn’t change big things, rather we improved things.”

But Ferrari will have little time to sort out its problems, as the teams head to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the Canadian Grand Prix next weekend.


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