Although it was not the dramatic Azerbaijan GP race we saw in previous seasons, it was an amazing race that Red Bull liked. The leaders of the championship extended their lead to Ferrari with a big victory. Max Verstappen, followed by Sergio Perez, won one or two important matches for Red Bull.
It was an unforgettable day for Ferrari that Carlos Sains had a hydraulic problem and Charles Leclerc had problems with the power block. Five cars were eliminated from the race and four out of five had Italian power units, another dark weekend for Scuderia. Third place “Mr. Consistency. “George Russell took third place using Ferrari’s retreat. A very restrained but equally effective race. Lewis Hamilton complained of back pain, but that didn’t stop him from finishing fourth after a good fight with fifth-placed Pierre Gasly.
Sebastian Vettel finished 6th, in an excellent race for the German, despite a mistake, he was seventh ahead of the Fernando Alonso McLaren duo (reasonable recovery and a good race at Riccardo’s Norris level) and Ocon finished in the top 10. , racing with many battles and demanding strategies.
20 drivers lined up for the start of the eighth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Charles Leclerc started at the pole, followed by Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sains in second place. George Russell and Pierre Gasley are in third place. The warmth felt at the start would be one of the factors to be considered in this race, in which the tires suffer the most.
All the cars in the top 10 have chosen medium-sized tires for starters. From the entire field, only Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, Lance Stroll and Mick Schumacher chose the hard tires to start the race, tried a different strategy, and with a long first stint, waited for the Safety Car to let them move. raises positions.
Charles Leclerc started well, but missed the first lap and saw Sergio Perez, who started better, take the lead in the race. Leclerc managed to take second place under pressure from Max Verstappen, while Carlos Sainz was slightly behind under pressure from George Russell and Pierre Gasly. Perez won more rights in the first round than in the second. At the start, Sebastian Vettel was eighth from Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon was second (15th), Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas were second, and Nicolas Latifi was second with 10 seconds. Stop and Go for a violation in the initial procedure (the mechanic touched the car after the allotted time).
In the 3rd lap, the DRS was launched and Verstappen attacked Leclerc. Back then, Daniel Riccardo was attacking Lando Norris for 11th place, but Norris was in the middle wheels and Riccardo was on the hard wheels.
Verstappen was dangerously close to Leclerc with the help of the DRS, while Carlos Sainz was behind. Perez was already 2.5 seconds ahead of the fighter duo in the 5th lap. Lekler withstood Verstappen’s pressure and managed to approach Perez in a battle alone without the help of Sains. George Russell finished fifth with a clear advantage over Pierre Gasly, who defended himself against Lewis Hamilton.
The race got worse for Ferrari, with Sains appearing to be standing at the exit on the 4th corner and launching the Virtual Safety Car. Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda and others took the opportunity to enter the pit and put on hard tires. Perez stayed on the road, followed by Verstappen, both of whom were still in the middle wheels.
At the end of the Virtual Security Car were orders Perez, Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell. Alonso, Norris, Riccardo, Gasli, Okon and Vettel.
Leclerc was 15 seconds behind Verstappen, and Ferrari had to choose between speeding up or getting the wheels to the end of the race.
Sebastian Vettel lost the fight with Ocon, failed to brake on the 3rd turn, lost only two positions by mistake. It was Hamilton’s turn to put pressure on Ocona.
Leading Verstappen approached Perez and took the lead in race No. 1 in the 15th lap. Leclerc pushed and bet on two stopping strategies, and in four laps he won six seconds from Verstappen, who responded to Leclerc’s call, and won only three seconds in one lap.
On lap 17, Perez put on some hard wheels without stopping for long. Leclerc took second place and Perez had to beat Russell. A little later, Lando Norris began to put pressure on Fernando Alonso, Daniel Riccardo was watching what was happening, and Gasley was nearby. Alonso stopped a few laps later and dropped to 15th.
In the 18th lap, Hamilton was able to overtake Okon for 9th place and is now trying to reach Gasley. On the next lap, Verstappen stopped to put on the hard wheels and handed the lead to Leclerc. The difference between Leclerc and Verstappen was now 13 seconds.
Riccardo’s pressure on Norris intensified the fight for fifth place, but the Australian was not allowed to attack his teammate.
But in the 20th lap, the drama happened to Ferrari. Charles Leclerc’s engine failed and Monegasque was left out of the race. Thus, the Red Bull remained open to an easy victory, and Russell rose to third place. Lando Norris stopped at that point and, under pressure from Riccardo Gasli, finished fourth. The Frenchman overcame Ricciardo.
Zhou Guanyu also lost the 10th place in the race, which went very well for the Chinese, and had to withdraw from the race due to engine block problems. At this time, Vettel returned to the attack on Ocona, and this attack was successful in the next round.
On lap 25, in the middle of the race, the top 10 included Verstappen, Perez, Russell, Gasly, Ricciardo (not stopped yet), Hamilton, Tsunoda, Vettel, Ocon (not stopped yet) and Magnussen. Hamilton finished fifth in the next lap, beating Ricciardo. Alonso came at a great pace and tried to return to the points, passing Magnussen and Okon in two laps. Hamilton complained of porpoising low back pain, a condition that also worries George Russell, who was isolated in third place.
Ahead, Verstappen took the lead as he wished, he was the two fastest on the track, and Perez, who was 18 seconds ahead of Russell and 18 seconds ahead of Gasli, was almost 10 seconds ahead.
On lap 33, Magnussen’s Haas came to a stop on the track, and another car with a Ferrari power unit to stop drove another Virtual Safety Car. Red Bull took the opportunity to change the tires in his two single-seater car, retaining the seats until the end of the race and ensuring the integrity of the tires. Like Gasley and Hamilton, Russell took advantage of this. Riccardo also stopped and put on the middle wheels, which entered the track in ninth place, ahead of his teammate. Alpha Tauri stayed on the road and did not use a VSC to change tires like Vettel.
Hamilton sent Tsunoda on lap 36, a lap after the end of VSC, and finished fifth. However, the Japanese had a problem on the back wing, which split in half and forced # 22 to withdraw from the race. However, the team decided to use the tape to secure the wing, as the Japanese were out of points.
Ten laps before the end, Verstappen ordered not to use the DRS, and Lewis Hamilton attacked Gasley, forgetting the British pain and trying to get to fourth place, and did so in the 44th lap.
McLaren took command of the team and allowed Riccardo to attack Alonso for the seventh time, while Norris waited for what Riccardo would do. Norris had some concerns about the team’s decision to keep the seats, as he thought there was more progress than Riccardo. Lance Stroll was forced to retreat due to very strong vibrations.
In the end, the line crossed the first Verstappen, followed by Perez and Russell. Hamilton finished fourth, clearly limited when he got out of the car, with back pain (Canada is next week) and Pierre Gasly finished in excellent fifth place. This was followed by Vettel (a big race, but it could have been better if it hadn’t been a mistake), Alonso (a good defense in the end), Riccardo (good notes to motivate himself), Norris (dissatisfied at the end of the race) and Esteban Ocon.