Grand Prix race results: Perez wins Baku F1 race after Verstappen blows tyre

Sergio Perez won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku for Red Bull Racing on Sunday, the sixth race of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season, after longtime leader Max Verstappen blew a tyre and crashed out in the closing stages.

Grand Prix race results: Perez wins Baku F1 race after Verstappen blows tyre
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Red Bull’s Verstappen was cruising to victory with three laps remaining when his left-rear tyre blew, in similar fashion to Lance Stroll’s earlier incident which caused his Aston Martin to crash violently. The race was red-flagged, allowing the track to be cleared and all cars were able to change tyres.

From a standing start, for the final two laps, Perez was beaten off the startline by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, but Lewis locked-up and went straight on at Turn 1 and dropped to the tail of the field. Perez won but was instructed to stop his car straight after taking the chequered flag.

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix race results

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Gap Interval
1 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 51    
2 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 51 1.385 1.385
3 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 51 2.762 1.377
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 51 3.828 1.066
5 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 51 4.754 0.926
6 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 51 6.382 1.628
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 51 6.624 0.242
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 51 7.709 1.085
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 51 8.874 1.165
10 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 51 9.576 0.702
11 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 51 10.254 0.678
12 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 51 11.264 1.010
13 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 51 14.241 2.977
14 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 51 14.315 0.074
15 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 51 17.668 3.353
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 51 42.379 24.711
17 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 48    
  Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 45    
  Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 29    
  France Esteban Ocon Alpine 3    

How the Azerbaijan Grand Prix unfolded

From pole position, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc led Hamilton and Verstappen, with Perez moving past Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) around the outside at Turn 4. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz dropped to sixth (having been passed by Perez at Turn 2), ahead of Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes).

Hamilton slipstreamed past Leclerc to lead at end of Lap 2, the Ferrari then dropped into DRS range of Verstappen, who passed Leclerc at the start of Lap 7. Behind them, Tsunoda passed Alonso for seventh.

Perez passed Leclerc for third, prompting Leclerc to pit on Lap 10 to switch to hard tyres. Leader Hamilton stopped on Lap 12, but suffered a slow stop of 4.6s as Mercedes had to wait for Gasly to go past to release him.

Verstappen and Perez stayed out for a Red Bull 1-2, with Verstappen stopping on Lap 13 and rejoining well clear of Hamilton. Perez pitted a lap later, but also had a slow stop of 4.3s, and he rejoined in second just ahead of Hamilton. Gasly moved ahead of Leclerc in the pitstop cycle for fourth.

Hamilton had one serious attempt at passing Perez after the stops, but the Red Bull stayed ahead. Meantime, Vettel ran a long first stint, leading the first laps for the rebranded Aston Martin team. Vettel led until Lap 18 until he stopped, rejoining in seventh, ahead of Tsunoda, and the battling Lando Norris (McLaren) and Bottas.

Sainz went down the escape road at Turn 8, locking up soon after his pitstop, which dropped him to 14th. He spent the rest of the race recovering, quickly passing Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Alonso.

Stroll ran even longer on his first stint than teammate Vettel, after crashing out of qualifying and starting from the tail of the field. Stroll was running fourth on Lap 31 when he crashed heavily on the start/finish straight due to a left-rear blowout. That caused a safety car but as the pits were closed – due to where Stroll’s car ended up – it only served to close the pack up rather than switch the order with no 'free' pitstops available.

Only Alonso, Giovinazzi, George Russell (Williams) and Mick Schumacher (Haas, whose left-front wasn’t fitted properly and he had to be pushed back) all pitted for softs.

The race restarted on Lap 36, with Verstappen leading and Perez blocking Hamilton. On fresher tyres, Vettel passed Leclerc for fifth on the exit of Turn 1, and almost got Gasly at Turn 3. Vettel had to wait until the start/finish straight, where he blasted past Gasly for fourth. Further back, Sainz got past Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) for ninth.

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Verstappen pulled clear out front, while Perez fended off one more DRS-assisted attack from Hamilton. With just three laps remaining, Verstappen crashed out of the lead as his left-rear tyre blew, just like Stroll’s had. He got out of his wrecked car and kicked the tyre.

That handed Perez the lead, ahead of Hamilton, Vettel, Gasly and Leclerc as the race was then red-flagged to clear the track of debris and to allow the cars to change to soft tyres.

The racing resumed with a standing start for the final two laps, with Hamilton jumping ahead of pole-sitter Perez but locking up and straightlining the first corner. Perez led Vettel, Gasly and Leclerc, as Norris and Alonso battled past Tsunoda. Hamilton rejoined in 16th.

Starting the final lap, Leclerc overtook Gasly for third, but Gasly repassed him. The charging Norris then attacked Leclerc but couldn't find a way past.

Perez scored his maiden F1 win with Red Bull from Vettel, Gasly, Leclerc, Norris, Alonso, Tsunoda, Sainz, Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo). The Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton finished down in 12th and 16th respectively.

Esteban Ocon (Alpine) retired with an engine issue after a handful of laps.

2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix fastest laps

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 44 1'44.481    
2 Mexico Sergio Perez 45 1'44.687 0.206 0.206
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 43 1'44.769 0.288 0.082
4 Germany Sebastian Vettel 41 1'44.890 0.409 0.121
5 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 46 1'44.939 0.458 0.049
6 France Pierre Gasly 44 1'45.220 0.739 0.281
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris 41 1'45.326 0.845 0.106
8 Monaco Charles Leclerc 46 1'45.382 0.901 0.056
9 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 44 1'45.575 1.094 0.193
10 Finland Kimi Raikkonen 43 1'45.601 1.120 0.026
11 Spain Fernando Alonso 42 1'45.624 1.143 0.023
12 Finland Valtteri Bottas 43 1'45.665 1.184 0.041
13 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 42 1'45.700 1.219 0.035
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 43 1'45.713 1.232 0.013
15 United Kingdom George Russell 43 1'45.959 1.478 0.246
16 Canada Lance Stroll 28 1'46.207 1.726 0.248
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi 42 1'46.608 2.127 0.401
18 Germany Mick Schumacher 41 1'47.624 3.143 1.016
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin 40 1'47.747 3.266 0.123
20 France Esteban Ocon 2 1'50.850 6.369 3.103

2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix tyre history

Cla Driver Chassis 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull S 16 H 34 H 35 S 5            
2 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin S 18 H 29 H 30 S 5            
3 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri S 16 H 36 H 37 S 5            
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari S 12 H 38 H 39 S 5            
5 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren S 10 H 40 H 41 S 5            
6 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine S 10 H 27 S 15 S 16 S 19        
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri S 15 H 38 H 39 S 5            
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari S 13 H 37 H 38 S 5            
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren S 11 H 36 H 37 S 5            
10 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo M 13 H 34 H 35 S 3            
11 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo S 2 H 32 H 13 H 14 S 3        
12 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes S 15 H 36 S 5 S 7            
13 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas S 8 H 26 S 12 S 5 S 6 S 6    
14 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas S 9 H 25 S 12 S 7 S 8 S 9 S 12
15 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes S 15 H 36 H 37 S 7            
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams M 9 H 39 S 3                
17 United Kingdom George Russell Williams M 1 H 33 H 13 S 1 S 3        
  Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull S 13 H 33                    
  Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin H 29                        
  France Esteban Ocon Alpine S 3                        
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