As anticipated, the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was full of thrilling action. We saw Red Bull Dominance all over again, except that it was the Mexican sensation Sergio Perez making it to the first position at the podium. The Dutchman, Verstappen came second with a difference of 17 seconds from his teammate. While to the rescue for Ferrari was Carlos Sainz who bagged P3 at Baku. Let’s go over the events of the race again and experience how it all went down.
Sergio Perez Takes the Win in Baku
Sergio Perez produced a faultless performance at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix to claim his second win of the weekend and his second Grand Prix victory in Baku. The Mexican driver, who won the Sprint race the previous day, put together the perfect race to take the chequered flag in first place ahead of his teammate Max Verstappen.
The Perfect Start
Perez started the race in third place but made a great start to jump past Charles Leclerc and into second place behind Verstappen. He then benefitted from an early safety car period which saw him jump his teammate in the process. From then on, he never looked back and controlled the race from the front.
Under Pressure from His Teammate
Despite being put under serious pressure for a few laps by Verstappen, Perez kept his cool and pulled away to secure the win. The Red Bull duo put on a show for the fans in Baku, but it was Perez who came out on top to claim his second win of the weekend.
Leclerc Secures First Podium of the Season
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished on the podium for the first time this season, coming home in third place. The Monegasque driver had a strong weekend in Baku and will be pleased to have secured his first podium of the year. The result will also take some of the pressure off of Ferrari, who have had a difficult start to the season. Ferrari hasn’t been able to gather themselves together in previous races, but this podium finish would give them a sigh of relief and huge confidence ahead of the next assignment.
Valuable Points for the Rest of the Field
Fernando Alonso finished in fourth place for Alpine, ahead of Carlos Sainz in fifth for Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton finished in sixth for Mercedes, while Lance Stroll took seventh for Aston Martin. George Russell secured eighth place for Williams, with Lando Norris in ninth for McLaren. Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top ten for AlphaTauri.
Verstappens pit-stop review demand
Max Verstappen expressed his disappointment after the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and suggested that Red Bull needs to review their decision-making process regarding his pit stop just moments before the safety car period. Verstappen was leading the race and pitted on lap 10 after Nyck de Vries stopped on track due to a collision.
However, a safety car was called out immediately after, causing Verstappen to lose valuable time and position. As a result, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc were able to benefit from the safety car period and jump ahead of Verstappen. Verstappen’s comments highlight the importance of strategic decision-making in Formula One and how a small mistake can impact the outcome of the race. He said in the press conference:
“In hindsight, I mean, I can’t see that, but it’s something to review. I mean, clearly, you could see there was one wheel damaged and it looked like he was not going to drive that anyway back to the pits, even if he would’ve reversed. So something to look at, because of course that then did hurt my race after that.”
Sergio Perez put together a flawless performance in Baku to claim his second win of the weekend and his second Grand Prix victory in Baku. The Mexican driver showed his class and composure under pressure to hold off his teammate and secure the win. With Red Bull’s dominance in Baku, the team will be hoping to carry their momentum into the rest of the season.