Formula One

China was dropped from the Formula One calendar for a third successive year as a record 23-race schedule for 2022 was released. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

On this Day: Sergio Perez wins chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez claimed his second career F1 win at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on Sunday 6 June 2021.

Formula One

China was dropped from the Formula One calendar for a third successive year as a record 23-race schedule for 2022 was released. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

On this day in 2021, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix threw in late plot twists to spice up an already entertaining day of racing with Sergio Perez the chief benefactor of the chaos.

It seemed Perez’ Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen would extend his world championship lead until the Dutchman crashed out from the lead with five laps to go.

Verstappen wouldn’t lose ground to Lewis Hamilton, as the reigning world champion locked up on the penultimate lap to finish 16th in a hugely dramatic race through the streets of Baku.

Leclerc lead didn’t last

Charles Leclerc led away from pole, but he was passed for the lead by Lewis Hamilton with no need for DRS, so strong was the tow, on the second lap of the race. Verstappen then swept past the Ferrari man on Lap 7. Perez followed suit soon after.

Hamilton tried to undercut the chasing Red Bulls but his 12th lap stop for hards was far from smooth with traffic in the pit lane costing him time, Both Verstappen and Perez would manage quicker stops and come out ahead of the Mercedes.

Red Bull took control after a tricky restart in the wake of the safety car deployed following Lance Stroll’s terrifying accident when the Aston Martin driver’s left-rear tyre appeared to gave way on the pit straight.

Verstappen inexplicably crashed from the lead on Lap 47, spinning after an apparent tyre issue of his own which saw him put the car into the wall. That crash also triggered the Safety Car, which turned into a red flag that suspended the race on Lap 48. 

Sprint finish to Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Sergio Perez
Red Bull have announced that they have rewarded Mexico’s Sergio Perez with a fresh two-year deal until 2024. Photo: Twitter @RedBullRacing

The race resumed with a standing start 35 minutes later on Lap 50, giving us two laps of flat-out action, the field all having switched tyres during the stoppage.

Perez would lead Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Leclerc off the line for the re-start. Hamilton got away well, his nose seemingly ahead of Perez’s, but the Briton locked-up heavily and went into the Turn 1 run-off. He finished 16th, leaving Perez in the lead, Vettel second and Gasly – having held off a charging Leclerc in the final laps – to take the final podium place.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix results

111Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA513:33.68625
25Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN MERCEDES51+1.385s18
310Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA51+2.762s15
416Charles LeclercFERRARI51+3.828s12
54Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES51+4.754s10
614Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT51+6.382s8
722Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA51+6.624s6
855Carlos SainzFERRARI51+7.709s4
93Daniel RicciardoMCLAREN MERCEDES51+8.874s2
107Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI51+9.576s1
1199Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI51+10.254s0
1277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES51+11.264s0
1347Mick SchumacherHAAS FERRARI51+14.241s0
149Nikita MazepinHAAS FERRARI51+14.315s0
1544Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES51+17.668s0
166Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES51+42.379s0

* Provisional results

Watch race highlights here