Perez won the race which meant Red Bull scored 25 points while Mercedes went back home with zero points
Red Bull may not have the perfect race in Azerbaijan, but at least one of its drivers won the race. And since Mercedes’ two drivers didn’t end up scoring, Sergio Perez’s win meant that Red Bull extended its lead over Mercedes in the constructor’s championship and Max Verstappen held on to his lead over 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The lead up to the race was also a contentious one with Christian Horner and Toto Wolff taking jabs at each other with Wolff claiming that the Red Bull was illegal with the flexing wing on the back, but Horner was not one to hold back claiming that even Mercedes had a front wing that was potentially illegal. This lead to Wolff calling Horner a “windbag”. In the wake of the Red Bull victory, its social media took advantage of that “windbag” comment cheekily as a backhanded troll at the Mercedes boss.
“That’s the Azerbaijan GP in the
wind bag,” tweeted the Red Bull Twitter handle with a photo of Sergio Perez rushing towards his team of engineers to celebrate the win.
— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) June 6, 2021
The race was an eventful one with Red Bull’s Verstappen storming away after overtaking pole-sitter Leclerc on the track and title rival Hamilton via an overcut during the first round of pitstops. Hamilton had also managed to overtake Leclerc at the start using the impressive straight-line performance yielded by the Mercedes engine, however, he started to struggle when Verstappen cleared Leclerc.
Verstappen cleared Hamilton and stormed off, but even his teammate had managed to clear the 7-time world champion. Verstappen’s lead was hampered by the instant deflation of Lance Stroll’s tyres which caused him to crash into the side walls violently bringing out double yellow flags and the safety car, but once the car was back inside, Verstappen again stormed off with his teammate Perez trying to hold off the charging world champion.
But unfortunately for Verstappen, he had the same fate as Stroll in the 48th lap of the 51 lap race with him crashing into the main wall at over 300 km/h bringing out a red flag just before the end of the race. The red flag was meant to allow all the cars to change their tyres as there were suspicions that the Pirelli compound was not strong enough to handle the extreme speeds that the cars were producing at the Baku straight which is the longest one in the 2021 season.
With new tyres, Hamilton had a great opportunity to take back the lead in the world championship from Verstappen and propel Mercedes ahead of Red Bull in the constructors. And the world champion indeed had a flying start with him overtaking Perez but he had locked up his brakes because of an error that shifted the full brake bias to the front and he was forced to take the car into the slip lane and take a U-turn which pushed him all the way at the back of the grid since the cars had bunched up after the standing start post red flag.
Hamilton ended only P15 just behind his struggling teammate Valtteri Bottas who managed P12. Mercedes took him no points while Red Bull added 25 to the kitty as Perez held off a charging Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin to take the win. It also brought an incredible 50 race spree of being in the points for Hamilton to an end.
But clearly, the world championship is heating up as now it enters a triple header at Paul Ricard in France and back to back races at Red Bull’s home turf the Red Bull Ring in Austria. These tracks, however, are expected to favour the low rake concept of the Mercedes.