As both Ferraris retire, Verstappen wins Azerbaijan GP
Max Verstappen increases his championship lead after winning the Azerbaijan GP, as both Leclerc and Sainz retire.
Sergio Perez took the lead from pole sitter Charles Leclerc at the beginning. However, Leclerc was able to regain the lead after pitting early under the Virtual Safety Car, trigged by his teammate Carlos Sainz stopping with a hydraulic failure.
But a similar fate waited for Leclerc and he was forced to retire on Lap 20 due to what appeared to be a power unit issue – the second time this has happened in three races. This gives a big blow to Leclerc’s championship bid. The Ferrari driver, who was leading the championship before the Spanish GP, has scored just 12 points in the last three races compared to Verstappen’s 65.
“We were in the lead of the race, I was managing the tyres well, we just had to manage the tyres and the race till the end, which I think we were definitely in the best position possible to do that. Another DNF, it hurts. We really need to look into that for it to not happen again,” Leclerc said after the race, dejectedly.
In fact, all four cars that retired – including Zhou Guanyu in the Alfa Romeo and Kevin Magnussen in the Haas – were using Ferrari power. This is in stark contrast to the Italian squad’s positive start to the season, and could very well derail their championship hopes if not addressed soon.