News : Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel triumphs in chaos races in Baku – cloud seven is green
203 days waiting: Until shortly before the end, Red Bull had been preparing for a double victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – and rightly so. At the time, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, as a spectator you could already work out how big the points lead Verstappen would be on his worst competitor in the fight for the world title. But then Verstappen crashed into the wall on the start-finish line and Hamilton braked so hard after the restart of the temporarily interrupted race that the chaos of Baku washed a man on the podium who had not been there for 203 days: Sebastian Vettel.
The result: Perez saved the victory for Red Bull after a strong performance, ahead of Vettel in the Aston Martin and Pierre Gasly in the Alpha Tauri. Hamilton finished the race on the Baku city circuit as penultimate. You can read the complete race report here.
“I’m really excited”: With the trophy for second place in one hand and a champagne bottle in the other hand, Vettel enjoyed his podium success a little later. It was the first with his new team at all, the last with Ferrari dates from November 2020 (third place). “I’m really on cloud nine now. We didn’t expect a podium, that makes it all the better, «said the four-time world champion. Although Vettel benefited in Baku from the Verstappens crash as well as from Hamilton’s mistake, he had previously driven a good race himself, the AMR21 was able to keep up with the pace of the competition in midfield. Having started from eleven on the grid, Vettel made up four positions with a late stop, and after restarting the race two laps before the end, he was able to gain further positions. “We had good pace. I’m really excited, ”he was quoted as saying at Motorsport Total.
Frozen title fight: The mood among the two World Cup competitors was significantly more subdued. “It’s frustrating, of course, because I had the race under control by then. There was no pressure behind me, the lap times were okay and we had a good strategy for both cars, ”said Verstappen, who climbed out of his car after his hard impact on the track and then kicked the tire. Hamilton said that after the restart his brakes “practically switched off” and that he had to leave the track because of that: “That is difficult to accept”. Above all, certainly because the Briton was unable to benefit from the failure of his rival in terms of the drivers’ championship. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas also failed to score, Red Bull is 26 points ahead of Mercedes after Perez’s victory in the constructors’ championship.
Into the wall at 300 kilometers per hour: Before Verstappen, Vettel’s team-mate Lance Stroll had strayed off the track at a similar point without outside interference and also crashed into the wall at high speed (lap 31), both accidents were due to damage to the rear left tire. There was lively discussion about the cause.
Tire wear or debris? Christian Horner was surprised by the sudden flat tire on Verstappen’s car, the tires would have looked good before. “The tire failure was very similar to Stroll’s. Perhaps there was some part on the road, which is always dangerous on such routes, ”said the team boss and announced a joint investigation with the tire supplier. Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola said that exact results could only be available afterwards. However, he considers damage due to wear and tear to be unlikely, the hard tires are designed for longer lap times, and the left rear tire is not particularly stressed in Baku. In addition, a cut was found on Hamilton’s tires, which speaks for debris on the track. It is unclear where these should have come from in the Stroll accident.
Verstappen sees it differently: The Red Bull driver, however, does not believe in it, the damage has not been announced at all: »Several laps, several drivers always drove the same line, I don’t think it was a part. Pirelli will of course say some part because they always say that, “Verstappen is quoted as saying in Motorsport Magazin.