Formula 1: Verstappen gets victory in Baku

Status: 06/12/2022 3:22 p.m

At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Red Bull celebrated a double victory – while Ferrari experienced a black afternoon.

A Ferrari fiasco in Baku paved the way for Max Verstappen to his fifth win of the season in Formula 1. The world champion extended his championship lead at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had to give up with an engine failure. Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari also did not reach the finish line due to an early defect

Second, Sergio Pérez made the third Red Bull double win of the year perfect. They were followed by the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

“Today was great, we had good pace and were able to keep expanding our lead”, said Verstappen: “We were also lucky with the failures, but anything can happen again at any time change.”

Leclerc disappointed

“It hurts. We have to look at it to learn from it. It’s totally disappointing”, said Leclerc after the next setback in the title race. A driving error in Imola, a broken engine in Barcelona and a strategy breakdown in Monaco had cost a lot of points recently. In the overall standings, Leclerc fell back to third place and is now 34 points behind Verstappen.

Verstappen, on the other hand, increased his tally to 150 points with a superior drive to his 25th career win. His team-mate Pérez is now 21 points behind in second.

Sainz had to give up first

For the fourth time in a row, Leclerc had placed his Ferrari in first place. However, his pole positions hadn’t brought him any luck in the end. Neither in Miami nor in Barcelona or Monaco could he convert the starting advantage into a win. And this time the lead was quickly gone. Pérez passed Leclerc before the first corner.

Verstappen also got off to a good start, but was no longer able to squeeze past his Ferrari rival. That’s how it went on the first rounds. Verstappen appeared several times in Leclerc’s rear-view mirror, while Pérez managed a small cushion in front.

Sainz then caused the first turbulence. The fourth-placed Spaniard suddenly rolled out in his Ferrari. Diagnosis: hydraulic damage. The virtual safety car briefly slowed down the field for the clean-up work. Leclerc and some other drivers used this for a pit stop.

Next drama for the Scuderia

In contrast, both Red Bull fell by the wayside. Verstappen was allowed to pass Pérez to the top without a fight so as not to lose too much time to Leclerc, who was rushing on with fresh tires. When both Red Bull drivers came into the garage, the Ferrari driver took the lead.

The next drama for the Scuderia followed a little later: As in Barcelona, ​​smoke rose from Leclerc’s engine. Desperate, the 24-year-old radioed to the pits on lap 20: “The power is gone.” Leclerc dragged himself back to the pit lane at a snail’s pace. The way was clear for the next double success of Red Bull.

Vettel misses the curve

The eighth round of the season was hard work for veteran Vettel. Starting from ninth after a strong qualifying session, he was on his way up when he missed the corner during an overtaking manoeuvre. But Vettel kept fighting and used a bold tactic with just one early pit stop. That paid off in the end. Vettel secured his best result to date with a strong sixth place in the Aston Martin.

The working day was frustrating again for Mick Schumacher. Finishing last after qualifying, the 23-year-old had hoped to finally get his first championship points. However, he drove behind at the end of the field without a chance.