Heartbreak for Verstappen Along With Race Losing Error From Hamilton at Baku: F1 Race Report, Driver and Constructor Championship Update

Published 06/06/2021, 10:21 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during the race REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


There was unbelievable late drama in the F1 race at Baku as Max Verstappen crashed out of the race with four laps left. The Dutch driver was leading the race and looked like a sure-shot winner until that horrible moment. That crash paved the way for a shocking win for Perez.

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The race had begun with pole-sitter Charles Leclerc getting off to a great start in the streets of Baku, pulling away a bit from Lewis Hamilton. However, his lead in the race would only last for two laps. Hamilton, aided by the DRS, got by him on the starting straight. The Monegasque was then subsequently passed by the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Elsewhere on the grid, McLaren’s Lando Norris had a nightmare of a start, dropping down three places and appeared to be struggling. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, managed to get himself into the points in the opening lap whereas Alpine driver Esteban Ocon’s race came to an early end due to a loss of power.

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Formula One F1. Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action at the start of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

After the first round of pit stops, it was advantage Red Bull. Verstappen and Perez both benefitted from a slow stop for Hamilton and got ahead of the seven-time world champion. Lewis’ teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was rather anonymous throughout, sitting in P10.

By the halfway mark of the race, it was the Dutchman who led the proceedings ahead of his Mexican teammate. Lewis was behind them in the final podium spot, followed by Lance Stroll, who still hadn’t pitted until then.

Watch Story: Biggest Crashes From 2020 Featuring Leclerc, Vettel & Grosjean

How did the second half of the F1 race in Baku pan out?

The second half started off on a low note. There was not much drama like what was witnessed in qualifying until the 31st lap. Lance Stroll, who still hadn’t pitted, witnessed a puncture in the rear left that brought about a nasty crash. The yellow flags came out and suddenly the race was blown wide open again.

Once the race got back underway, Vettel shot up three places to go to P4. Bottas was the biggest loser on the restart, dropping down to P13. The trio at the front of the grid remained in the same order.

Then the most incredible bit of drama unfolded. Verstappen crashed out, bringing out the safety car and subsequently the red flags.

Formula One F1. Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen kicks the wheel of his car after crashing out of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The race got underway again, with just one lap left to complete. The crazy one-lap sprint started with Hamilton and Perez wheel to wheel, but the former rocketed off the track to end his race as the last man.

So, it was the Mexican who took home the plaudits in Baku. Whew! that was one crazy race.

How do the standings shape up after Baku race?

Incredibly, the two championship leaders leave Baku without adding a single point to their tally. So, Verstappen (105 pts) still leads Hamilton (101pts).

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Perez’s win puts him in third place (69 pts) with Norris behind him (66 pts). Leclerc takes the fifth spot with 52 points and is followed by Bottas with 47 points.

Sainz sits in seventh place with 42 points, ahead of Gasly (31 points), Vettel (28 pts), and Ricciardo (26 pts).

In the Constructors’ championship table, Red Bull extended their lead over Mercedes. The Austrian team now has 174 points compared to the Silver Arrows’ 148.

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Ferrari (94 pts), meanwhile, jumped ahead of McLaren (92 pts). The rest of the order remained the same.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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