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PEREZ WINS IN AZERBAIJAN


What an incredible race - Baku has produced again giving us one of the most unexpected podiums since Italy 2020. With Sergio Perez winning for the first time in a Red Bull just six races in with his new team, Sebastian Vettel takes second for his first podium since Turkey last year and Aston Martin's first podium in Formula One since their return, with Pierre Gasly taking third for the Alpha Tauri team.


What a race we were given in Azerbaijan - it all started relatively normal with Leclerc starting on pole getting away well with no incidents behind - but it didn't take long for the Ferrari to start dropping back with Hamilton taking the lead on lap two.


The first retirement from this race came on lap four with Esteban Ocon having an engine failure with his Alpine.


On lap seven Leclerc lost another place to Verstappen dropping the Monaco driver to third. On lap 11 we saw the other Ferrari - locking up at the castle section going wide and dropping back leaving him out of the points and a disappointing race for the man who finished on the podium in Monaco.


On lap 12 - Lewis Hamilton was the first of the top three to come in and pit - he pitted from the lead - although it was a good stop from the team - a car was going past and held up the Mercedes - this would be very costly to Hamilton. The next lap Verstappen pits and manages to jump Hamilton - Perez at this point leads the race - until on lap 14 when the Mexican driver came into pit - he also comes out ahead of Hamilton but behind Verstappen.


Then on lap 31 the drama really began to unfold as a tyre failure causes a huge crash for the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll making a huge impact into the concrete barrier. The Safety Car was ultimately deployed and lasted until lap 36 with both Red Bull's getting away well.

It was just ten laps later on lap 46 out of 51 when race leader Max Verstappen suffered the same fate as Lance Stroll as his tyre failed down the main straight causing an initial Safety Car then a red flag.


The racing then resumed on lap 50 with two laps of racing left the drivers lined up on the grid for a standing start - Perez and Hamilton both get away well but it wasn't to be for Hamilton as he locks up going into turn one dropping down to last putting an end to his 54 race streak for consecutive points scored.