The Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) reinforced his leadership in the Formula One World Championship by winning, ahead of his Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the eighth of the year, which was held this Sunday at the urban circuit of Baku, the country’s capital; where the two Ferraris left, that of the Spaniard Carlos Sainz and that of the Monegasque Charles Leclerc, who had started from pole position and who retired, for the third time this year, when he was leading the race.
The 24-year-old Verstappen scored his 25th F1 victory, his fifth of the year, by leading Red Bull’s third ‘double’ of the season; in a race that ‘Checo’ finished second -signing his twentieth podium in the queen category- and Englishman George Russell (Mercedes), third.
The new sporting idol from the Netherlands and his Mexican partner – who had just won two weeks ago in Monaco – dealt an important psychological blow to the championship, signing another ‘double’ while Ferrari staged a shipwreck in the Caspian Sea, that bathes the Azerbaijani capital, with the withdrawal of its two single-seaters.
In a new triumphant day for the red bulls, Red Bull extended its advantage in both championships. Verstappen He now leads the Drivers’ World Championship with 150 points, 21 more than his Mexican teammate, who set the fastest lap in the race and rose to second place in the competition.
Leclerc, who on Saturday had signed his fifteenth ‘pole’ in F1 -the sixth of the season- started first, ahead of the Red Bull of ‘Checo’ -second on the grid- and Verstappen; and Sainz, who after signing a great qualifying in which he bordered on the best time, had to settle for starting from fourth place.
After the first 20 laps, Leclerc was leading ahead of the Red Bulls and Russell: fourth, ahead of Norris’s two McLarens -with media- and Ricciardo -hard-, who had not stopped. And that they would conclude the test -reversing order- in eighth and ninth position.
But just at that moment, the Ferrari’s engine broke again and the pilot from the principality of the Côte d’Azur had to leave – for the third time this year – when he was leading the race. Leaving the way open for Verstappen and Red Bull, who considerably extended their advantage in both championships with the third ‘double’ of the course in just eight races.
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