Max Verstappen has extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship with his fifth win of the season as Ferrari saw both of their cars retire at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The reigning champion was joined on the podium by teammate Sergio Perez, who also set the fastest lap of the race, and Mercedes’s George Russell, who continues his streak of top five finishes in every race this season.
Both cars at the front of the grid got away well, but it was Perez who took the inside line to come out ahead at turn one, while Verstappen also had an early look at Charles Leclerc, but was unable to follow his teammate around the Ferrari.
Nicholas Latifi picked up an early penalty when he was given a 10-second stop and go for an infringement on the grid, as he had to be pushed back into his grid box by a mechanic.
Carlos Sainz became the first driver to retire from the race when he suffered a mechanical issues, leaving him stranded in the runoff area, and bringing out the virtual safety car.
Red Bull left both of their cars on track, but the majority of the other runners in points positions came in for new tyres, despite 42 laps being left in the race.
Sebastian Vettel looked to make his way up the order, and appeared to have got ahead of Esteban Ocon, but the four-time champion locked up and had to go straight on at turn three, costing him three place, while he almost collided with Yuki Tsunoda as he returned to the track.
At the front of the field, Verstappen seemed to have more pace than his teammate as he closed to gap to Perez, completing an overtake with ease to take the lead after 15 laps.
Leclerc took over at the front once the two Red Bulls stopped for new tyres, but the lead was shortlived as the Monegasque driver’s engine start to smoke, with his Ferrari seemingly haven’t encountered engine issues, forcing him to pull in to the pits and retire.
Issues continued to plague the Ferrari-powered cars as Alfa Romeo had to call Guanyu Zhou in to his garage a couple of laps later, while Haas’s Kevin Magnussen was also forced to pull over on track after suffering a power issue.
Magnussen’s retirement led to another VSC period, which allowed the front runners to come in for a second pitstop, while Daniel Ricciardo also made a stop, having done a long first stint on his tyres to move into the points places.
AlphaTauri looked to be heading for a strong result with Pierre Gasly running fourth and Tsunoda in sixth, but the Japanese driver suffered a rear wing problem, with only half of his DRS opening, earning him a black and orange flag from the stewards. The team taped the rear wing shut, leaving Tsunoda without DRS for the rest of the race.
Gasly started to come under pressure from Lewis Hamilton, who eventually found a way through to climb up to fourth, while the McLarens tried to put late pressure on Fernando Alonso in seventh.
Lance Stroll had to stop early after Aston Martin spotted an anomaly in his telemetry, while Lando Norris tried to get past teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the closing laps, but was told to hold position by the team, ensuring both McLarens came home in the points.
1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3. George Russell (Mercedes)
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
5. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
6. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
8. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
9. Lando Norris (McLaren)
10. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
11. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
12. Alex Albon (Williams)
13. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
14. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
15. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)