Max Verstappen led Sergio Perez to a comfortable 1-2 victory for Red Bull at Sundays Azerbaijan GP, with both Ferraris retiring due to mechanical issues. Max Verstappen overtook Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to the race lead and victory in the opening third of Sundays Azerbaijan Grand Prix and then saw title rival Charles Leclerc forced out of his race by engine trouble. His teammate Sergio Perez led early laps after beating Charles Leclerc into the opening corner, but having beaten Max Verstappen for qualifying in the second consecutive race, suffered from poor tyre degradation and had to hand his best over to the reigning champion 14 laps later, with the Dutchman going on to cruise comfortably to victory.
Charles Leclerc’s DNF left Red Bulls Max Verstappen in front of Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez, a one-two finish for Red Bull. At the same time, Mercedes George Russell was promoted into the final podium spot, having started in fifth. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez took second to complete a dominant one-two for Red Bull, after both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz failed to reach the chequered flag due to mechanical failures for Ferrari, giving Mercedes George Russell third in Baku. The defending World Champion overtook Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez – instructed not to challenge Verstappen – to second, then took over the lead as Leclerc’s engine stalled after 20 laps.
Verstappen had passed Sergio Perez just before the race started, and Verstappen romped to his fifth season victory. From there, the front five would stay the same, Max Verstappen taking his fifth victory of the season by more than 20 seconds. The reigning champion was able to soak his teammate Sergio Perez’s advantage before the Mexican, down two seconds one lap, was told to fight, to let him retake the lead at turn one on lap 15.
The defending champion could look at the inside of Leclerc but thought better of it when Sainz tried to join the action, then dropped back behind the front three cars. Leclerc survived the swing off turn 16, the final defined corner, allowing the defending champion to get closer still with the DRS before the yellow flag and later, the virtual safety car stopped the action. A troubled Ferrari required a virtual safety car, with Ferraris Charles Leclerc taking the opportunity to pit for fresh tyres, emerging in third place behind two Red Bulls. They traded places on lap 15 when Verstappen passed Perez.
The stricken Ferrari necessitated the deployment of the Virtual Safety Car, and Ferraris Charles Leclerc took the opportunity to pit for fresh tyres, emerging in third behind the two Red Bulls. They swapped places on lap 15 as Verstappen overtook Perez. Lap 9 was all tumultuous action for Ferrari’s virtual safety car, which was deployed when the hydraulics failed on Carlos Sainzas’s car, forcing his retirement on turn 4.