A second win for Perez: Your recap of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

5 mins read

F1 fans we are back with the recap of this weekend’s Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull fans had yet another exhilarating weekend with Red Bull drivers once again finishing first and second with Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, respectively. This is Red Bulls’ 25th one-two finish in F1.

This is Sergio Perez’s second Formula 1 victory of the season on the 6.003-kilometre Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan. 

Image credit: Formula 1

Unlike the action-filled race last week in Australia, this F1 race was slightly calmer with Red Bull maintaining the lead for nearly the entire race.

The 51-lap event started with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc taking pole thanks to the grid set during Friday’s qualifying session (and his superb performance at the Sprint Shootout on Saturday).

Both Red Bull drivers overtook Leclerc in the early stages of the race after he was leading in P1, battling for fastest lap times.

“I wanted to go for the win but at the same time, we knew that it would be difficult due to the race pace advantage Red Bull Racing have. It’s where we are lacking and what we are focusing on improving the most. On the positive side, we have a strong qualifying pace and have made a good step in the right direction since our last race in Australia.”

Charles Leclerc after the Sprint on Saturday, April 29

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was the first driver of the front-runners to pit stop for a change of tyres in lap 10, followed by others.

The race finally took a turn when the yellow flag and follow-up Safety Car were deployed in laps 11 and 12. Nyck De Vries went deep into turn six of the circuit, clipping the Apex wall and stopping.

Perez and Leclerc strategically pitted during the Safety Car, whilst the drivers slowed down in speed, both finding themselves ahead of Verstappen who unknowingly pitted the lap prior. In Lap 14 the Dutch driver took Leclerc over, moving to his spot in P2.

On the inside of turn five, Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) avoided serious damage as he clipped the wall, nearly following the footsteps of De Vries.

In the end, Verstappen failed to make inroads on Perez in the final laps towards the finish line, settling for second place in Baku.

With P1 and P2 set with Perez and Verstappen, the attention shifted towards Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Hamilton in the final lap. Hamilton’s Mercedes reached DRS range and managed to make an overtake on several occasions, although falling short.

Perez is the first F1 driver to be a repeat winner at the Azerbaijan venue, so it is not surprising that he was voted for ‘Driver of the Day’ with 29% of the public vote.

“It really worked out today for us. We managed to stay in the DRS train, and we managed to keep the pressure on Max. I think we had better deg on that first stint. It was looking good already from that side, then the Safety Car came and bunched everyone up and it was again another race on the hard tyre […] The way Max pushed me throughout the race was really hard, but we managed to keep him under control.”

Sergio Perez

Mercedes’ George Russel had the fastest lap, with a time of 1:43.370, with Verstappen close behind at 1:44.232.

Perez, Verstappen, and Leclerc made the podium, followed by Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), Sainz, Hamilton, Stroll, Russel, Lando Norris (McLaren), and finally Yuki Tsunoda (Alphatauri).

Image credit: Formula 1

What’s next?

The championship is now close between Perez and Verstappen, with many left wondering whether future races will change the leader board. Verstappen currently maintains the championship lead with 93 points. Perez is in second with 87, and Alonso in third with 60 points.

The full results of the Azerbaijan grand prix can be found on the Formula 1 website.

The next race is the back-to-back 2023 Miami Grand Prix, taking place at the Miami International Autodrome from May 5 to 7.

Feature Image Credit: F1.

+ posts
%d bloggers like this: