RACE REPORT | F1 Azerbaijan 2023

In Baku, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez emerged victorious at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the fourth round of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship.

Perez's teammate Max Verstappen was in the lead after overtaking pole-winner Charles Leclerc on lap 4. However, a safety car was called just after Verstappen's pitstop, causing him to drop to third place as his rivals pitted under yellow. Despite regaining his position above Leclerc, Verstappen could not catch up to Perez and fell out of the DRS range.

Leclerc led the race from the start, with Verstappen and Perez following closely behind. Verstappen overtook Leclerc at the start of lap 4, followed by Perez two laps later, creating a Red Bull 1-2. Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes struggled with tyre graining and was overtaken by Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin just before Hamilton pitted.

Verstappen pitted on lap 11 as Nyck de Vries's AlphaTauri caused a safety car shortly after. Perez, who was trailing Verstappen before the pit stops, gained an advantage by pitting a lap later under yellow, allowing Perez and Leclerc to surpass Verstappen. Ferrari and Aston Martin double-stacked their cars, allowing George Russell's Mercedes to overtake Lance Stroll's Aston.

The race resumed on lap 14, with Perez leading Leclerc, Verstappen, Sainz, Alonso, Russell, and Stroll. Verstappen overtook Leclerc for second place at Turn 3, while Stroll overtook Russell shortly after. Hamilton moved up to sixth place after Stroll hit the wall at Turn 5, with Stroll managing to hold onto his position despite Russell's late pit stop for softs.

Perez maintained his lead over Verstappen, securing his second victory of the weekend after his sprint win on Saturday. Leclerc finished a distant third, while Sainz held off Hamilton for fourth place. Stroll finished ahead of Russell, who secured an extra point for the fastest lap on the final lap.

There was a moment of drama on the final lap as Esteban Ocon, who started his Alpine from the pit lane, had to navigate around people running across the lane during his pit stop. Fortunately, he avoided any incidents.

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