Max Verstappen secured the win on Sunday at the 2022 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, ahead of teammate Sergio Perez. The final podium position was taken by Mercedes-Benz AMG’s George Russell.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc started the race on pole, with Perez also on the front row. Leclerc got off the line slowly and then locked his brakes going into turn one, allowing Perez to initially take the lead.
Behind them, Verstappen was snapping at the heels of Leclerc while at the same time trying to hold off Ferrari's Carlos Sainz. A disastrous run for Ferrari then started on lap nine when Sainz came to a stop due to a hydraulic issue. This caused the virtual safety car to come out, at which point Ferrari decided to pit Leclerc.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc at the 2022 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Unfortunately for Leclerc, his stop was delayed by a stuck front jack. He eventually rejoined the race in third, 12.8 seconds behind Verstappen who was 2.0 seconds behind Perez. The two Red Bull drivers then pitted, with Perez going in on lap 16 and Verstappen on 18. This left Leclerc in the lead but then on lap 20 disaster struck again for Ferrari, with Leclerc forced to retire due to power unit trouble. It was the first time that both Ferraris had to retire in a race due to reliability issues since the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.
There would be another virtual safety car on lap 33 when Haas' Kevin Magnussen pulled out at the side of track, as his Ferrari power unit also decided to fail. Both Red Bull drivers stopped for fresh tires at this point, as did Russell who would soon have to defend against fellow Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the battle for third. Hamilton started the race in seventh but had made his way up to fourth after first passing AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda and then fellow AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly. Hamilton would eventually cross the finish line fourth with Gasly rounding out the top five.
After eight rounds, Verstappen now has a commanding lead in the 2022 Drivers' Championship. He sits on 150 points versus the 129 of Perez and 116 of Leclerc. In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull leads with 279 points versus the 199 of Ferrari and 161 of Mercedes. The next round on the calendar is the Canadian Grand Prix on this weekend.
Red Bull Racing at the 2022 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2022 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +20.823 seconds
3) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG +45.995 seconds
4) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +71.679 seconds
5) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +77.299 seconds
6) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +84.099 seconds
7) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +88.596 seconds
8) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +92.207 seconds
9) Lando Norris, McLaren +92.556 seconds
10) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +108.184 seconds
11) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
12) Alexander Albon, Williams +1 lap
13) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +1 lap
14) Mick Schumacher, Haas +1 lap
15) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +1 lap
16) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin - DNF
NC) Kevin Magnussen, Haas - DNF
NC) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo - DNF
NC) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari - DNF
NC) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari - DNF