The FIA Formula One World Championship didn’t have the most entertaining race in terms of overtaking today in Baku, Azerbaijan. Though, the dramatic results will have a massive effect for power unit penalties in upcoming races and the ultimate outcome of the championship itself.
Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc off the starting grid to take the lead into turn 1. The Mexican driver pulled a two-second margin as his teammate Verstappen fought to get around the Ferrari. The reigning world champion struggled to pass Leclerc as a tailwind essentially negated the DRS’ effect on the circuit’s signature 1.4-mile long straight.
On the ninth lap, Carlos Sainz had a hydraulic failure and went off at turn 4, taking him out of the race. Race control deployed the virtual safety car, and Scuderia Ferrari decided to take advantage of its other car retiring and pitted Leclerc for hard compound tires. Leclerc rejoined the race in third place.
The race would be turned on its head as the Red Bulls made their first stops against Leclerc’s free stop from earlier. When Verstappen pitted on lap 19, Leclerc took the lead of the Grand Prix by over 13 seconds. Though on the next lap, Charles Leclerc’s power unit failed spectacularly on the start-finish straight.
It was an abysmal reliability day for Scuderia Ferrari and all Ferrari-supplied teams. Including Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, four Ferrari-powered cars did not finish due to mechanical failures. It’s difficult to see how Ferrari can claw its way back into either the Drivers’ or Constructors’ Championships.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez easily finished the Azerbaijan Grand Prix first and second. George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were able to drive their violently porpoising Mercedes home third and fourth.
Race Results – Top 10
- Max Verstappen
- Sergio Pérez
- George Russell
- Lewis Hamilton
- Pierre Gasly
- Sebastian Vettel
- Fernando Alonso
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Lando Norris
- Esteban Ocon
Max Verstappen leads the World Drivers’ Championship by 21 points over Sergio Pérez. Formula One will return for the Canadian Grand Prix next week.