Formula 1 Racing

Sergio Perez wins Azerbaijan GP in Red Bull 1-2

Sergio Perez wins Azerbaijan GP in Red Bull 1-2

Perez benefited when team-mate Max Verstappen pitted just before a safety car, which cost him two places.

Before that, Verstappen had passed Ferrari’s pole-winner Charles Leclerc to take the lead at the start of lap 4 and pulled away. A safety car was called after Verstappen made his pitstop, dropping him to third as his rivals pitted under yellow.

Despite quickly repassing Leclerc, Verstappen dropped out of Perez’s DRS range and never got within striking distance.

2023 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix results

How the 2023 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix unfolded

Leclerc held his pole position advantage into Turn 1, leading ahead of Verstappen and Perez.

Verstappen stayed in DRS range of Leclerc and blasted ahead of him at the start of lap 4, while Perez repeated that move on Leclerc two laps later, making it a Red Bull 1-2.

Behind the Ferraris of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes suffered tyre graining and came under attack from Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, Hamilton diving for the pits just before he was overtaken.

Verstappen pitted under green on lap 11, as Nyck de Vries’s AlphaTauri stopped on track and caused a safety car moments later. Perez, who was right behind Verstappen before the stops, benefited by pitting a lap later under yellow – meaning Perez and Leclerc got ahead of Verstappen.

Ferrari and Aston Martin double-stacked their cars, which allowed George Russell (Mercedes) to jump Lance Stroll (Aston).

The race went green again on lap 14, Perez leading Leclerc, Verstappen, Sainz, Alonso, Russell and Stroll. Hamilton was the big loser, dropping from his earlier fifth to 10th.

Verstappen outbraked Leclerc for second at Turn 3, as Stroll overtook Russell moments later, and Alonso passed Sainz at Turn 4. A lap later, Hamilton outbraked Russell at Turn 1 to get ahead of team-mate.

Stroll hit the wall at Turn 5, the same mistake as de Vries had made, but his left-front corner survived. Hamilton passed Stroll for sixth, after Lance ran wide at Turn 16. Hamilton then set his sights on Sainz but just couldn’t find a way past.

At the front, Perez had one brush of the wall at Turn 15, but maintained his lead over Verstappen for his second victory of the weekend after his sprint win on Saturday. Leclerc was a distant third, as he stayed out of Alonso’s range.

Sainz held off Hamilton, as did Stroll with Russell – who made a late pitstop for softs, which produced an extra point fastest lap on the final tour.

There was…

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