BAKU, June 12
Max Verstappen rode his luck to an unchallenged first Baku win, opening up a commanding championship lead after Ferrari’s challenge imploded at the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix.
The Dutchman eased across the line 20.8 seconds clear of Sergio Perez who, ordered not to fight Verstappen, completed a one-two for Red Bull.
George Russell kept his record of finishing every race this season in the top-five with third for Mercedes.
Ferrari’s miserable afternoon ended after 20 of the race’s 51 laps.
Charles Leclerc, who is leading the team’s challenge and had started from pole, pulled into the pits from the lead with his Ferrari spinning smoke to chalk up his second retirement from three races.
His teammate Carlos Sainz had pulled to the side of the track 10 laps earlier with a hydraulic failure.
“Today we had incredible pace in the car, we could look after the tires and chip away at it,” said Verstappen, all too familiar with the heartbreak of retiring from the lead, having crashed out while running first in Baku last year.
“A tiny bit lucky with the retirement but the car was quick today.” — Reuters