Azerbaijan GP
June 10 - June 12, 2022
Baku City Circuit
Race Winner
Max Verstappen
2 Pits
Azerbaijan GP
Free Practice 1
Free Practice 2
Free Practice 3

Verstappen wins as both Ferraris retire in Baku


Saunders: Deep issues for Ferrari after nightmare in Baku

Nate Saunders says the Formula One Championship could slip away from Ferrari after a disastrous race at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Ferrari's championship chances took a critical blow at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as both its cars retired from the race while Max Verstappen led a one-two victory for rivals Red Bull.

The two Ferraris suffered reliability issues in the first half of the race, with Charles Leclerc suffering an engine failure on lap 20 and Carlos Sainz pulling off the road with a hydraulic failure on lap nine.

The double retirement paved the way for Red Bull to take maximum points with a comfortable one-two victory, extending Verstappen's lead in the championship to 21 over teammate Sergio Perez and 34 points over Leclerc.

Red Bull now leads Ferrari by 80 points in the constructors' championship.

The retirements add to a dire run of form for Ferrari, with Leclerc retiring from the lead in Spain three weeks ago, missing out of victory in Monaco two weeks ago due to a botched strategy and retiring in Baku after securing pole position on Saturday.

"I can't find the words to describe it, it's very, very disappointing," Leclerc said after the engine failure.

Prior to the retirement, Leclerc had dropped to third place after losing a position to Perez at the start before Ferrari took a gamble on an early pit stop under a Virtual Safety Car for Sainz's retirement that moved Leclerc behind Verstappen.

The strategy may have paid off as Leclerc lost less time in his pit stop than the Red Bulls were due to under normal racing conditions, but when smoke emerged from the rear of his car while leading on lap 20 it failed to plan out.

When Leclerc made his early pit stop, Verstappen found free air and quickly cruised up to the rear of Perez's car in the lead. On lap 15 he lined Perez up and overtook him into Turn 1, but only after Perez had been told "no fighting" by his Red Bull engineer over team radio.

Verstappen clearly had a pace advantage over his teammate, and in the space of a lap extended his lead over Perez to three seconds.

Perez was the first of the two Red Bulls to pit on lap 17, but any chance of making use of his fresh tyres to gain an advantage over his teammate was lost when his car failed to come off the jacks after the tyre change.

Verstappen pitted two laps later and re-emerged in the lead before extending his advantage over Perez to 20 seconds by the end of the race.

With the two Ferraris out of the picture, George Russell secured his third podium finish of the year for Mercedes ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who found himself in a strategic battle with AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly for fourth place. Hamilton made an extra stop over Gasly and his fresh tyres towards the end of the race saw him take the position with an overtaking move on lap 45.

Gasly held on to fifth place to finish ahead of Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel in sixth, the Alpine of Fernando Alonso in seventh and the two McLarens of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris in eighth and ninth. Esteban Ocon took the final point on offer in tenth.

The next round of the season will take place in Montreal next weekend.