2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix looked set for Max Verstappen’s first first-ever victory before he crashed out from the lead with just five laps to go – giving Sergio Perez a second career victory, as Lewis Hamilton locked up on the penultimate lap to finish 15th in a hugely dramatic race in Baku.
After a 35 minute stoppage, the drivers all lined up on the grid for a two-lap dash to the flag, with Sergio Perez on ‘pole’ for the re-start. Lewis Hamilton was in second, but locked his brakes into Turn 1 and sailed past Perez into the escape road, dropping him right out of the points in a dramatic final twist to the race.
From there Perez led the pack home to take his first win for new team Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel a superb second – having started 11th – and Pierre Gasly third.
And if that wasn’t enough, there was also drama on Lap 30 when Lance Stroll crashed heavily on the pit straight. The Aston Martin driver was thankfully unhurt – but his incident would prove to be just the opening salvo in a race packed with action.
Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:
We need to clearly establish the facts behind the incidents involving Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen to fully understand what happened. What we can say for now is that there was also a cut found on Hamilton’s tyre and that it’s the rear-right tyre that actually works harder than the rear-left here. No warnings or vibrations were detected and none of the other tyres of a similar age or older showed any signs of excess wear. So we can not exclude that the damage was caused by an external factor, although these things shouldn’t happen and we can understand the need for answers.
2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan GP Race Results
|1.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing Honda||2:13:36.410||25||69|
|2.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Aston Martin F1 Team||+1.385s||18||28|
|3.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+2.762s||15||31|
|4.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+3.828s||12||52|
|5.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+4.754s||10||66|
|6.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Alpine F1 Team||+6.382s||8||13|
|7.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+6.624s||6||8|
|8.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+7.709s||4||42|
|9.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||McLaren Racing||+8.874s||2||26|
|10.||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+9.576s||1||1|
|11.||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Italy||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+10.254s||0||1|
|12.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+11.264s||0||47|
|13.||47||Mick Schumacher||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+14.241s||0||0|
|14.||9||Nikita Mazepin||Russia||Haas F1 Team||+14.315s||0||0|
|15.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+17.668s||0||101|
|16.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Canada||Williams Racing||+42.379s||0||0|
|17.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Williams Racing||DNF||0||0|
|18.||33||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||DNF||0||105|
|19.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||DNF||0||9|
|20.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||12|