Azerbaijan GP: 2 winners and 2 losers in Baku

Max Verstsappen wins the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix proved a hugely positive one for Red Bull, as they capitalised on a double Ferrari retirement with a one-two finish in Baku.

The championships are now firmly in their hands on the back of the eighth round of the championship, and Ferrari need to try and strike back this weekend in Canada if at all possible.

First, though, it’s time to look back on events on the shores of the Caspian Sea, with our latest two winners and two losers piece…

Winner – Max Verstappen

Sunday was a reminder of just what a talented driver Max Verstappen is.

Some had even written him off from winning the race heading into the Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez having the measure of him in practice and qualifying, but in the race Max was supreme.

Of course, things may have been different had Leclerc’s engine not given up the ghost but Verstappen still had buckets of race pace, and would have fancied catching the Ferrari man.

His team-mate could not live with him either, and it’s a reminder that Max is the man to beat in this championship.

Loser – Charles Leclerc

Leclerc’s only comfort has to be that he has used a season’s worth of bad luck up in the last three races, and it can surely only get better from here.

He was supreme at the start of the season and, in fairness, has not put a foot wrong in the last few Grands Prix, either, with reliability or strategy errors costing him potential victories.

A 34-point lead in the championship has become a 34-point deficit, and he’ll just need to believe that he can claw that back, as Max Verstappen has done after his own reliability woes at the start of the year.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – JUNE 12: Smoke pours from the car of Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 as his engine fails leading to him retiring from the race during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 12, 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Winner – Sebastian Vettel

Vettel had a stellar weekend at a track that he clearly enjoys driving at.

Strong qualifying showing was converted into a sixth place finish, and he might well have felt more could have been achieved had he not run long at one point and had to perform a stylish 180 degree spin to get himself out of trouble.

He’s looking in decent nick at the moment, and the Aston seems to be developing nicely, so he’ll hope to build further in Montreal.

Loser – Ferrari and their clients

It seems perhaps a bit drastic to throw so many into the same bracket but Ferrari really did have a nightmare weekend, and so did several of their customers inside Formula 1.

Whilst Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc suffered retirements for the works team, Alfa Romeo saw Guanyu Zhou drop out from a fine drive and Haas had Kevin Magnussen retire as well, with both teams using Ferrari power.

What had looked the strongest power unit on the grid, now has serious question marks over it as we head to Canada.

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