Sergio “Checo” Pérez claimed top spot on the podium after beating his Red Bull colleague Max Verstappen in Sunday’s Formula 1 (F1) Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Mexican driver had timed the changing of his tyres perfectly following the introduction of the safety car early in the race. It allowed Perez to leapfrog Verstappen without having to actually overtake him, where he remained until the end of the race.
Perez calmly took the chequered flag a full two seconds clear of Verstappen, with Charles Leclerc, who had started on pole position, finishing third for Ferrari.
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was fourth, followed by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr., who was fifth in the 100km dash around the streets of Baku.
Lewis Hamilton finished sixth, two places ahead of his Mercedes and fellow British team-mate George Russell.
Russell had boldly overtaken Verstappen in the opening lap of the race, but there was contact between the two cars causing significant damage to the Red Bull’s sidepod.
The reigning F1 World Champion was unable to fully recover, and the Dutchman angrily confronted Russell at the end of the race, but the British driver was adamant he was entitled to make the challenge.
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 30, 2023
Perez’s win in Baku is his second F1 victory in the Azerbaijani capital, having also triumphed there in the 2021. The result on Sunday closes the gap on the leader board, moving Perez to within six points of Verstappen in the drivers’ championship after four races.
Click here to see Sunday’s race highlights. The next stop for F1 is Miami, on Sunday 7 May.
About the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
The F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a street circuit in Baku – the capital of Azerbaijan. A full lap of the circuit is 6.003 km, making it the fourth-longest circuit on the current Formula One calendar.
According to GP Fans, “The layout of the Baku street circuit demands high top speeds, precise cornering and total driver concentration, with any small error likely to be punished by a heavy crash into the wall.”
The Baku City Circuit was designed by circuit architect Hermann Tilke, who is also behind Istanbul Park and many other F1 tracks.
Tilke’s anti-clockwise layout starts adjacent to Azadliq Square. It then loops around Government House before heading west along a 1 km (0.62 mi) straight to the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the Maiden Tower. Here, the track has a narrow 7.6 m (25 ft) uphill section, which circles the Old City before opening up onto a 2.2 km (1.4 mi) stretch along Neftchilar Avenue back to the start line.
F1 was first staged in Baku in 2017 and the event is scheduled as part of the F1 calendar until at least 2026.