Sergio Perez took advantage of Max Verstappen’s poorly-timed pitstop to storm to victory in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix because the System One season acquired again underway following a 28 day break.
The Purple Bull driver outperformed his team-mate to complete over two seconds forward of the reigning world champion and ignite the this 12 months’s title race.
In the meantime, Verstappen confirmed his nasty facet by slamming George Russell in a distasteful confrontation on the finish of Saturday’s dash occasion.
Mail Sport picks out 10 issues we discovered from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez (center) received his second Grand prix of the season in Azerbaijan on the weekend
The newly formatted dash shootout made it is debut in Azerbaijan on Saturday
1. SPRINT SHOOTOUT MAKES UNCONVINCING DEBUT
If System One need to make an progressive change to their weekend schedule then the dash shootout – though it sounds thrilling – is not the concept will drag spectators in.
The shootout was easy. Drivers hit the observe Saturday morning earlier than the dash race to find out their place on the grid for the preliminary occasion, with their respective qualifying instances figuring out their place for the afternoon.
The complicated half is that qualification for the Sunday GP occurred on the Friday, qualifying for the dash race occurred on Saturday with the principle occasion following that afternoon, after which the grand prix happening 24 hours later.
F1 modified the foundations over the dash race this season in order that in impact it counts for nothing greater than the eight championship factors up for grabs. Final 12 months the occasion decided the positions for Sunday’s beginning grid.
The change would not work and the previous format must be restored if the game desires to make their newest addition a hit moderately than a hinderance to the weekend format.
2. MAX VERSTAPPEN CRIES OVER SPRINT RACE
Max Verstappen likes to voice his opinion whether or not he is requested for it or not and the primary dash of the season did not go down properly with the reigning champion.
The Purple Bull driver completed the 17 lap occasion in the identical place the place he began, ending third behind team-mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Fuming after the race, Verstappen admitted he wanted the sprint race to be scrapped: ‘Simply scrap the entire thing,’ he mentioned.
‘It is very important return to what we had and ensure each workforce can battle for a win. That’s what we have now to attempt to purpose for and to not implement this synthetic pleasure’.
Max Verstappen fumed in Baku after ending third within the dash race and admitted he desires the occasion scrapped
3. GEORGE RUSSELL ISN’T A D***HEAD, DESPITE VERSTAPPEN’S PROTEST
Verstappen is undeniably a fantastic driver, he has two world champions to show it and goes for a 3rd consecutive title this season, however he additionally has a foul angle as George Russell found out on Saturday.
The Mercedes driver bumped into the facet of Verstappen within the early exchanges of the dash race, leaving a gap within the facet of the Purple Bull automotive, however it was the Dutchman who was at fault.
Russell had the within line on one of many avenue circuit’s notorious tight corners, Verstappen refused to concede area which left his competitor nowhere to go apart from into him.
The championship chief overtook the Englishman a few laps later however Verstappen had seen pink as he confronted Russell on the finish of the race and labelled him a ‘d***head’ in a foul-mouthed alternate.
Reigning world champion Verstappen (left) informed George Russell (proper) he was a d***head for crashing into him
4. AVOIDING THE BAKU WALL ISN’T EASY
The primary avenue circuit of the 12 months in Azerbaijan’s capital metropolis featured tight bends, a 2.2km flat-out straight, and a wall at flip 15 that was troublesome to keep away from.
Drivers approaching the sharp left-hand bend wanted to time their strategy to perfection, in any other case they might discover their race dropped at a untimely finish.
That is precisely what occurred to Purple Bull pair Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez who each clattered into the barrier at high-speed after Alpine’s Nico Hulkenberg had achieved so simply a few laps earlier.
Fortuitously injury to their automobiles was minimal and did not cease any of the trio from ending the race, though eventual winner Perez did admit he was anxious his close-call might have burst his tyre.
5. FERNANDO ALONSO IS WILLING TO LEND A HELPING HAND
The 2-time world champion hasn’t all the time been the cool-headed, charismatic character that everyone knows and love at present.
His relationship with Lewis Hamilton broke down through the Englishman’s breakthrough years at McLaren and ex-Ferrari driver Felipe Massa labelled the Spaniard as his most ‘troublesome’ team-mate to work with throughout their time collectively on the Italian storage.
However, this season the grid’s oldest driver is demonstrating his maturity whereas driving for Aston Martin and was prepared to lend a serving to hand to his co-driver Lance Stroll all through the race.
Alonso dished out studies on the situations of Stroll’s automotive whereas tailing the Canadian, updating the pitwall on tyre situations and different potential issues he noticed.
Earlier colleagues shall be wishing they might have gotten the identical therapy over time.
Fernando Alonso (left) was prepared to provide his Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll (proper) a serving to hand on Sunday
6. ‘SHAMBLES’ PIT CHAOS ALMOST COSTS LIVES
You’d assume that the a whole lot of tens of millions invested in elevating the profile of System One would incorporate state-of-the-art know-how that stops individuals from getting harm.
On Sunday, it was a mere miracle that nobody was seriously injured or even killed within the pit-lane as Esteban Ocon flew in on the ultimate lap.
The Alpine driver got here into the pits for a cease however upon arriving discovered his path blocked by celebrating Purple Bull workers and photographers who wished to seize a shot of Sergio Perez crossing the end line.
Onlookers had been shocked as these in Ocon’s means shortly leapt apart, however this was a near-disaster that ought to by no means have been allowed to occur. Sky’s Ted Kravitz labelled the second as an ‘absolute shambles’ and rightly so.
Esteban Ocon arrived into his pitstop solely to search out F1 personnel and photographers blocking the pitlane as they ready for the rostrum ceremony earlier than the race was even over
7. SERGIO PEREZ IS A SERIOUS TITLE CONTENDER
The one individual that may cease Max Verstappen’s bid for a 3rd world championship title occurs to be the motive force he shares a storage with: Sergio Perez.
The Mexican clinched his second grand prix victory of the season and an extra eight factors by profitable Saturday’s first dash race of the season.
Perez has now moved to inside six factors of his championship main team-mate and if he continues to drive like he did in Baku’s baking warmth might quickly catch him.
The query now could be will Purple Bull let their drivers battle it out as Mercedes did years in the past with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg or will Christian Horner look to guard his prized asset?
8. ALFA ROMEO GOT EVERYTHING WRONG
When it rains it pours and Alfa Romeo actually discovered that out in Azerbaijan throughout a weekend of motion that could not have gone worse for the workforce occupying eighth spot within the constructors’ championship.
Zhou Guanyu did not get among the many factors and it was even worse for former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas who completed final and regarded like he was competing in his personal race out the again.
The Finnish driver was referred to as into the pits on three separate events through the 51-lap race as Alfa Romeo pulled out each plan of their arsenal to salvage their weekend.
Alfa Romeo tousled their race as they referred to as Valtteri Bottas (in automotive) in for 3 pit stops
9. FERRARI MUST MAKE QUALIFYING PACE COUNT
For all of their efforts in qualifying, Ferrari got here undone on race-day with Charles Leclerc ending third to take the storage’s first podium of the season and Carlos Sainz in some way managing to carry off a late cost from Lewis Hamilton.
Leclerc blitzed qualifying to complete on pole for the third consecutive 12 months in a row across the Baku avenue circuit and was additionally on the entrance of the grid for the dash race.
He conceded his main place in each occasions to the faster Purple Bull automobiles whereas his team-mate barely threatened to problem Fernando Alonso after being handed early on within the GP.
Purple Bull has the quickest automotive this season, however with clear air off pole place there’s a feeling that Leclerc ought to have achieved higher in holding of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen.
Ferrari want to start out turning their qualifying tempo into race tempo to start out competing for GP wins
10. NOTHING WILL STOP PIASTRI FROM RACING
This season’s rookie is not letting something get in his means from stopping him from securing one other seat within the McLaren storage subsequent season. Not even an terrible abdomen bug.
Piastri misplaced 3kg of weight over all the weekend as he battled a illness bug, however nonetheless managed to miraculously end the race and end only one place out of the factors in eleventh.
If there’s something that you simply would not need to do when feeling tough then it is hurtling spherical a race observe underneath extreme g-force at near 200mph. The Australian did simply that and did not complain about it both.