F1: In a dramatic race at Baku, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez finished on the top step of the podium after his teammate and Championship leader Max Verstappen crashed when leading in the 47th lap of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

F1: Max Verstappen was furious after he crashed in Baku on Sunday (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sergio Perez won the Azerbaijan GP for Red Bull on Sunday
  • Championship leader Max Verstappen crashed from lead with 4 laps to go
  • 2-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel finished 2nd, Pierre Gasly was 3rd

Sergio Perez won his second Formula One race at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a dramatic finish to the race in Baku. Driver Championship leader and Perez’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen crashed with just 4 laps to go, leading to a restart on Sunday.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, went off course while trying to win the race on the standing restart in the two-lap shootout.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel took second for Aston Martin after an impressive drive after qualifying 11th. Pierre Gasly was third for AlphaTauri.

Verstappen furious after crash

It was not the ideal weekend for Verstappen, who also suffered a crash during final practice on Saturday. Verstappen was four laps away from a second consecutive victory Sunday when his Red Bull suddenly slammed hard into the wall with a puncture to his left rear tire. The Dutchman climbed from his car, inspected the tire and kicked it in anger before stomping off in disgust over the race-changing failure.

Red Bull was furious over a second failure of a Pirelli tire in the race and asked for a stoppage to allow tire changes for safety reasons. Lance Stroll had crashed earlier in the race after his own unexpected tire failure.

Hamilton goes off track

Formula One red-flagged the race and brought the field to pit lane before deciding to resume with a standing start for a two-lap sprint to the finish.

Perez was the leader but Hamilton shot past him in his attempt to win the race and reclaim the points lead from Verstappen. But he failed to brake in the first corner and his Mercedes slid off track. Hamilton dropped to 15th, snapping a streak of 54 consecutive races of earning a points position finish.

“So sorry, guys,” he told the team.

Sunday’s race was the second red-flagged F1 round of the year after Valtteri Bottas and George Russell crashed at Imola in April, and the longest suspension since a fiery crash for Romain Grosjean in Bahrain last year caused the race to be stopped for more than an hour.

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