The 2023 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw a thrilling race with Sergio Perez claiming victory for Red Bull Racing in a fantastic 1-2 finish. Teammate Max Verstappen came in second, followed by a distant third place from Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari.
Throughout the event, fans were treated to a series of intense battles and dramatic moments that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. From a strategic pit stop under the safety car to late-race drama, this year’s Azerbaijan GP was certainly one to remember. Here’s a detailed look at how the race unfolded.
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Leclerc Holds the Pole Position Advantage
Starting from the pole position, Charles Leclerc managed to maintain his lead into Turn 1 ahead of Verstappen and Perez. However, Verstappen stayed in DRS range, overtaking Leclerc at the beginning of lap 4. Perez didn’t waste any time either, following suit and overtaking Leclerc two laps later, solidifying a Red Bull 1-2 lead.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton‘s Mercedes faced tyre graining issues, leaving him vulnerable to attacks from Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin. As Hamilton pitted to address the issue, Verstappen also took a pit stop under green on lap 11. Unfortunately for him, Nyck de Vries’s AlphaTauri stopped on track soon after, causing a safety car situation.
Perez and Leclerc Benefit from Safety Car
Perez, who was right behind Verstappen before the pit stops, pitted a lap later under yellow, allowing him and Leclerc to get ahead of Verstappen. Ferrari and Aston Martin’s double-stacked pit stops enabled George Russell of Mercedes to jump ahead of Lance Stroll of Aston Martin.
When the race resumed on lap 14, Perez led the pack, followed by Leclerc, Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, and Alonso. Hamilton, who struggled earlier in the race, found himself in 10th position. However, Verstappen didn’t waste any time, overtaking Leclerc for second place at Turn 3.
Mid-Race Update and Drama
By mid-race, the Red Bull duo had created a significant gap between themselves and Leclerc’s Ferrari, with nearly 11 seconds separating them. Perez maintained a lead of just over a second ahead of Verstappen. Further back, Carlos Sainz found it difficult to close the gap on Alonso, while Hamilton was hot on his heels.
Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon and Nico Hülkenberg, who started from the pit lane, managed to make their way up to the 9th and 10th positions. Lance Stroll survived a brush with the wall at Turn 5 but lost a position to Hamilton later in the race.
Final Laps and Perez’s Victory
As the race approached its final laps, positions seemed mostly settled. However, an exciting battle brewed between Sainz in 5th and Hamilton in 6th. In the closing stages, George Russell managed to secure the fastest lap and an extra point by making a late pit stop for soft tyres.
In the end, Sergio Perez crossed the finish line first, achieving a spectacular 1-2 victory for Red Bull Racing. Max Verstappen followed closely behind, with Charles Leclerc securing the final podium spot. As the championship battle continues, Verstappen’s lead over Perez narrows to just six points. The 2023 Azerbaijan GP will undoubtedly be remembered as a thrilling and action-packed race, leaving fans eager for more Formula 1 excitement.