Azerbaijan F1 GP: Max Verstappen wins, Ferrari crisis worsens

Azerbaijan F1 GP: Max Verstappen wins, Ferrari crisis worsens

It wasn’t as dramatic as the Azerbaijani GP we saw last season, but it was an amazing race, which Red Bull loved. The championship leaders won big and extended their lead to Ferrari. Max Verstappen won the race, followed by Sergio Perez in a crucial one-two for the Red Bulls.

It was a memorable afternoon for Ferrari, with Carlos Sanz having hydraulic problems and Charles Leclerc also having problems with his power unit. In another dark weekend for Scuderia, five cars withdrew from the race and four of the five had Italian power units. Third place “Mr. Consistency “. George Russell took advantage of Ferrari’s comeback to finish third. Very prudent but equally efficient race.

Sebastian Vettel finished sixth, in the big race for the Germans, despite the mistake, Fernando Alonso was seventh, ahead of the McLaren pair (reasonable recovery from Ricardo at Norris level and a good race) and O’Connor completed the top 10. , In a race with lots of fighting and demanding tactics.

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20 drivers line up for the start of the eighth round of the F1 World Championships. Charles Leclerc started from the pole and Sergio Perez joined Max Verstappen and Carlos Senz in the second row. George Russell and Pierre Gasley were in the third row. The warmth felt early on will be one of the factors to consider in this race, in which case the rubbers have to endure more.

All the cars in the top 10 chose medium tires for the start. Out of the entire field, only Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban O’Connor, Valteri Botas, Lance Stroller and Mick Schumacher chose the hard tires to start the race, using a different strategy, with a long first task, waiting for a safety car to allow them to move. Positions above.

Charles Leclerc got off to a good start, but missed the turn 1 and Sergio Perez got off to a good start, leading the race. With Carlos Senz trailing a bit under pressure from George Russell and Pierre Gasley, Max Verstappen’s pressure helped Leclerc manage to stay in second place. Perez got more than a second right on the first lap. Initially, Sebastian Vettel took eighth place from Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon took two places (15th), Kevin Magnusen and Valteri Botas lost, as well as Nicholas Latifi, who was penalized with 10 seconds. In the initial process, stop and go for the violation (touched the car after the time given by the mechanic).

On Lap3, the DRS became active and Worstapen began to attack Leclerc. Next, Daniel Ricciardo was attacking Lando Norris for 11th place, but Norris was on medium tire and Ricardo was on hard tire.

With the help of the DRS, Worstapen was dangerously close to Leclerc, while Carlos Sanz was left behind. Perez was already 2.5 seconds ahead of the combat pair in the Lap 5. Leclerc was under pressure from Verstapen and managed to get close to Perez, in a fight in which he was alone, without Senz’s help. George Russell was fifth over Pierre Gasley defending Lewis Hamilton.

The race took an even worse turn for Ferrari, with the Senz stopping out of turn 4 and triggering a virtual safety car. Like George Russell, Pierre Gasley, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda, Charles Leclerc took the opportunity to enter the pits and apply hard tires. Perez stayed on track and then Worstappen, both on medium tires.

At the end of the virtual safety car were Order Perez, Worstapen, Leclerc, Russell. Alonso, Norris, Ricardo, Gasley, Ocon and Vettel.

Leclerc was 15 seconds behind Worstappen, and Ferrari had to choose between speeding and getting tires at the end of the race.

Sebastian Vettel lost to O’Connor, failed to apply a break for turn 3, and lost just two places due to that mistake. It was Hamilton’s turn to put pressure on O’Connor.

At the front, Verstappen Perez came close and took the lead in the # 1 race on lap 15. Leclerc was emphasizing and betting on a two-stop strategy, and in four laps he got six seconds from Worstapen, who responded to Leclerc’s challenge and only three seconds in one lap.

On the Lap 17, Perez waited a long time and came to put on hard tires. Leclerc finished second and Perez had to stop Russell. Going a little further, Lando Norris began to put pressure on Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricardo watching what was happening and Gasley approaching. Alonso then stopped a few laps and slipped to 15th.

On lap 18 Hamilton managed to pass Oakon to ninth and now he was trying to face Gasley. On the next lap, Worstappen stopped to apply hard tires and headed to Leclerc. The distance between Leclerc and Worstappen was now 13 seconds.

Ricardo put pressure on Norris to fight for fifth place, but the Australian was not allowed to attack his teammate.

But at the age of 20, the play fell on Ferrari. Charles Leclerc’s engine ran out and Monegasque dropped out of the race. So the Red Bulls won easily and Russell was promoted to third. Lando Norris stopped at that moment and Ricardo finished fourth, but under pressure from Gasley. The Frenchman liked Ricardo very much.

Zhou Guanyula also had to withdraw from the race due to engine unit problems, which dropped him to 10th place in a race that was going very well for the Chinese. At that point, Vettel returned to attack Okon, the attack was successful in the next lap.

On the lap 25, in the middle of the race, were Verstappen, Perez, Russell, Gasley, Ricciardo (not yet stopped), Hamilton, Tsunoda, Vettel, Okon (not yet stopped) and Magnusen. Hamilton passed Ricciardo on the next lap and finished fifth. Alonso picked up the pace and tried to pass Magnusen and Okon in two laps and bounced back on points. Hamilton complained of back pain due to porpoise, a condition that may also have bothered George Russell, who was in third place.

At the front, Worstapen led him as he wanted, he was two speeds on the track and was about 10 seconds ahead of Perez, 18 seconds ahead of Russell, 21 seconds ahead of Gasley.

On Lap 33, Magnusen’s Haas was seen parked on the track, followed by another car with a Ferrari power unit, which ignited another virtual safety car. Red Bull took the opportunity to replace its two single-seater tires, retaining space and ensuring the integrity of the tires until the end of the race. Like Gasley and Hamilton, Russell took advantage. Ricardo also stopped and landed on the middle tire, entering the track at number nine, next to his teammate. Alpha Tory stayed on track and did not take advantage of VSC to change tires like Vettel.

Hamilton sent Tsunoda to lap 36, one lap after finishing VSC and fifth. But the Japanese had a problem with his back wing, which broke in half and forced # 22 to withdraw from the race. But the team decided to use tape to secure the wing, the Japanese man fell out of points.

With ten laps left, Verstappen was ordered not to use the DRS and Lewis Hamilton was attacking Gasley, Britt forgot the pain and tried to move to fourth place, which he did at 44 years old.

McLaren used the team’s orders and allowed Ricciardo to attack Alonso in the seventh, while Norris waited to see what Ricardo would do. There was some uneasiness on Norris’ side about the team’s decision to keep the place, as he believed he had more progress than Ricardo. Lance Stroll had to retreat due to very strong vibrations.

In the end, Verstappen crossed the line first, followed by Perez and Russell. Hamilton remained in fourth place, he was clearly limited when he got out of the car, with back pain (Canada is next week) and Pierre Gasley is in excellent fifth place. This was followed by Vettel (great race, but without that mistake she could have gotten even better), Alonso (finally a good defense), Ricciardo (good notes to motivate himself), Norris (something upset at the end of the race) and Esteban O’Connor.

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