Max Verstappen arrives on the shores the Caspian Sea leading by nine points over Charles Leclerc, and 15 over Sergio Perez. He leaves Azerbaijan after a comfortable 21 point victory over Sergio Perez and a 34 point win over the Monegasque.
"We had an incredible pace today, but we had to be cautious with the tyres. Verstappen commented after the race at Baku's ramparts that he managed to take the lead. "We were a little lucky with Ferrari retirements, but I managed to take control of the race. In free practice on Friday, Perez and Leclerc were dominant, but Verstappen, who is the reigning world champion, patiently took the measures of his rivals in the championship in a race that was much more relaxed than previous years.
Perez took the lead in the first corner over Leclerc who had started from pole position and then attacked very hard to escape. Unfortunately, his tires were too damaged, and Verstappen quickly overtook Perez a third of way through the race.
The Dutchman then followed Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari's new problems from afar. Three weeks ago, he was forced to retire from Barcelona. He was also penalized for his poor strategy in Monaco (4th, having started from pole position).) The Monegasque then retired again, his engine proving his weakness.
"Words can be hard to find. It hurts. It's been three weekends straight, it hurts very badly. Although it's been three tough knocks, the motivation is still there. Leclerc was visibly affected by this latest incident. Verstappen said that it would have been interesting to fight Charles to the end and see how much time we could take back from him. The Scuderia was in a nightmare Sunday in Baku, as Carlos Sainz Jr stopped just a few laps ahead of Leclerc due to hydraulic issues on his car. "Shit happens!" Verstappen questioned Verstappen about Ferrari's setbacks, while Red Bulls had a tough start to the season. Verstappen dropped out in Australia and Bahrain, Perez in Bahrain, was also dropped out. They benefited the Dutchman who was now at the top of the world championship.