Motorsport News

Sergio Perez Steals the Show at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan

On a sunny, hot day in Baku, Sergio Perez turned up the heat on what looks like a burgeoning title race between him and his teammate and defending champion Max Verstappen.  Perez earned his second win of the season and the sixth of his career as he closed the gap to six points (Verstappen 93 – Perez 87). 

Perez enjoyed a rather clean race after the safety car on lap 14.  Verstappen never mustered much of a fight for the lead and settled for second, his fourth-straight podium of the year. 

Charles Leclerc earned Ferrari their first podium of the year by placing third, while Fernando Alonso missed being on the podium for the first time in 2023 by taking fourth.

Carlos Sainz crossed the line in fifth with Lewis Hamilton close behind taking sixth.

Lance Stroll managed to hold off George Russell and grab seventh, while Russell pitted late for fresh tires to earn the fastest lap but eighth in the race.

Lando Norris spent much of the race outside of the top ten but recovered to finish ninth.  Yuki Tsunoda followed suit and drove his way up to tenth to snag the last points-paying position for AlphaTauri and his second-consecutive tenth. 

Red Bull, with their one-two finish, have now run far in front of the field in the constructors standings and hold the edge over Aston Martin, 180–87.  To say that Red Bull has figured out something with the new car may be an understatement.

The evidence on the season indicates that Red Bull should have the race covered next weekend in Miami as the closest rivals – Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Mercedes – have yet to show they can keep even moderately close.   

The Race

Charles Leclerc used his 19th pole position advantage to jet out to the lead at lights out. Max Verstappen stayed close and by lap four, Verstappen overtook Leclerc with ease, flexing the strength of the Red Bull.  Perez follows suit two laps later, pushing Leclerc to third. 

Lance Stroll and George Russell both powered their ways to good starts, with Stroll moving two places to seventh and Russell two spots to ninth. 

The race then settled into a fairly calm parade until Nyck Devries tagged the wall and broke the suspension on his AlphaTauri.  With is wounded car on the track the safety car came out on lap 11, making this GP the sixth of eight to have a safety car on the Baku City Circuit.    

While it looked for a few moments like the caution period would stimulate a wild shake-up in the…

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