Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2021

Azerbaijan Grand Prix stopped after huge crash costs Verstappen victory

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has been stopped after Max Verstappen crashed out while leading with five laps to go.

The Red Bull driver appeared to suffer a left-rear tyre failure which sent his car into the barrier opposite the pit lane on the 46th lap of the race.

He was the second driver to suffer an apparently left-rear failure. Lance Stroll crashed out earlier in the race, approaching the same part of the track, suffering a heavy contact with the barrier.

Shortly before the race was stopped, Red Bull’s sporting director Jonathan Wheatley was heard telling Formula 1 race director Michael Masi they had no indication Verstappen’s tyre was about to fail.

“Michael I know you’re busy,” he said. “We got zero warning of that failure, nothing on a metric, not a vibration. Our point is: Consider red flag and the opportunity for everyone to change tyres.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was shown in the race broadcast discussing the failure, saying it occured without any warning. Verstappen had been running on the set of C3 hard compound tyres for 32 laps.

Verstappen’s crash promoted Sergio Perez into the lead ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Formula 1 has announced the race will restart at 6:10pm local time.

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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56 comments on “Azerbaijan Grand Prix stopped after huge crash costs Verstappen victory”

  1. They should just stop the race here. It’s absurd restarting for 2 laps

    1. A 2 race sprint – that I want to see!

    2. @paeschli
      If they stop the race now they will have to do a count back because a full lap after the crash was not completed, meaning the positions of the previous lap would be the finishing order, meaning Max would win.
      It’s bad luck for Max but you can’t have a car that crashed out of the race being the winner.

  2. Sir Lewis wins another championship on merit

    1. And that’s put pay to my planned post praising red bull and expressing disappointment for Max, you suck all the positivity out of this community. I can’t wait for Max to retire and you lot to follow one of your countrymen in whatever other sport you’re doing well in. For the record, the two cars with tyre failures are the two that just so happen to get up to temperature the quickest. This is not a coincidence and Red Bull knew better. They were warning Max to look after his tyres many many laps prior to the failure.

      1. Oh come on. Pirelli just can’t make good tires. It’s not the first time. For the race 40 rounds on the hard is possible according to Pirelli. And most important, a tire shouldn’t explode on +200mph. This is a disgrace in a sport that wants to make it safer.

        1. I’ve been saying the same since the first time they stopped a race while everyone was on inters because conditions were too wet for the tyres. You still design to the formula, and tyres, they do fail. Of course we’ll never find out if it’s a flaw in that tyre or the load limit was exceeded, but two identical failures in the hardest cars on tyres is strong evidence of the latter

      2. What positivity should there be when a race, and by extension a championship, is determined at random by flukes, and even better, people like you actually blame the victim? Bore off, you hypocrite

        1. You’re not the victim, and I’m blaming Newey, not Max.

          1. Sorry, but Newey?

          2. The guy who designed a car, knowing this circuit was on the calander to exceed the load of the hardest tyres, yes, that’s who I’m blaming for the failure of the tyre, the one guy who could have prevented it but rolled the dice for lap speed instead. You know, like exactly what he says he does in his book

        2. Reported this comment by accident when one of you ads shifted the whole screen around

        3. NEVERMIND

          1. Best reaction so far on these distorted “fans”.

    2. Lewis deliberately provoked Max with that fastest lap – that’s the only possible reason for it. Max immediately retaliated didn’t he. Perhaps that made the difference, I mean it is the accumulation of stress, as far as we know so far.

      1. Yeah, I’m sure Stroll was going for the fastest lap when his tyre failed.

      2. wow.
        This should get CotD.
        Please, consider it @keithcollantine

    3. I’ll report my own comment

      1. LMAO, what an ending

        It’s a marathon, not a sprint

    4. You think?

    5. Tommy Scragend
      6th June 2021, 15:28

      This didn’t age well.

      1. Even the most avid Hamilton detractors didn’t think it was possible for him to throw this one away

    6. @hahostolze
      Your comment aged like fine wine. Fantastic !

    7. Calm down @hahostolze you’re making a bit of a fool of yourself.

      1. Just for reference Max was easily the best and also unluckiest driver this weekend and should have won. Some of us Lewis supporters actually respect Max you know. Unfortunately for yourself and @paeschli it’s not the same the other way around. Keep it up.

        1. Some do but most do not

  3. This one hurts

  4. this is unacceptable. bring back other tyre manufacturers these Pirelli condoms have ruined the races. its dangerous to have your tyre fail at that speed especially in what is considered to be a pinnacle of motorsport
    maybe then Pirelli can have some competition and we can have better races

    1. Shouldn’t have run them for longer than Pirelli suggested then

      1. 36 to 40 on hard Pirelli advised as fastest strategie with a 11 to 15 on soft.

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    6th June 2021, 15:02

    How long before Pirelli blame it on debris?

    1. Or the teams voting not to let them change them

    2. If you listen carefully to the video you can hear what sounds like a small explosion just prior to both drivers’ loosing control of their car and then crashing. The sound is one or two seconds before the car starts to weave. My suspicion is both cars had their left rear tyre blow out. This is especially noticeable when Lance crashed. I’m not sure why that would happen.

  6. F1 has been very lucky so far today that Stroll and Verstappen only had glancing blows with the wall and neither speared back across the track. If Verstappens car had gone to the left rather than right (Stroll’s went to the left when the tire failed notably) he’d have slammed into a wall at a 90 degree angle at about 300kms

  7. 29 points swing. Max would have had 26 vs Lewis 15. Now Lewis 18?

    These 29 points are very very expensive.

    1. Championship will be decided by Pirelli’s failure to make proper tyres, think about that

    2. Lewis messes up

    3. There are like 20 races to go so this result is but a blip. If the RedBulls are faster, they are going to win the championship.

  8. This is the right thing to do and a standing start….will be a nail biting last few laps…

  9. A standing start is nuts

    1. It’s a show, not a sport.

    2. Only way to get a race…

    3. No race can go down to the wire without it. Today it happens.

    4. Told ya that was necessary. Dead craziest finish ever since Brazil 2019.

  10. This is so artificial!

    1. it gets worse ;-/

  11. Aren’t we done yet with these disaster pucks. Other series can produce tires that take much bigger loads for much longer, so why can’t Pirelli make one that lasts more than 30 minutes.

    You know this leads to even higher pressures used for the rest of the season, making the “working zone” that’s hard to hit even smaller and smaller


    And the extended red flag wait to ensure all possible repairs were finished. More rubbish

  12. Shades is 2016, some guys still need to learn their starts

  13. I think forcing the tyre change with red flags was sensible. I didn’t fancy seeing another car lose it at 300+kph… I feel like Lewis’ misfortune on the restart makes up for the lap he regained in Imola…

    1. No misfortune, this was a glaring error. The second in a few races. And still got get-out-of-jail free card the first time, and nothing compensated for it

  14. I’ve timed it, and it took race control 89 seconds between the TV showing Max spinnning and them upgrading from a local yellow flag to a safety car. For the first 40 seconds, they had 14 cars passing at approaching 200mph, with debris on the racing line next to the ‘blunt impact angle’ pit lane entry barrier.

    What on earth was race control doing during those 89 seconds??? It’s one of the fastest points on the whole F1 calendar, so it is obvious that at least a VSC was going to be needed to clear the car. But instead, Masi attempted to divert blame, complaining that all of the drivers drove too fast through waved yellows, such that they’ll be penalised with a stern talking to at the next driver briefing. They’re racing drivers, that’s what they do (especially when they historically rarely get penalised for it). That’s what happened to Bianchi, and that’s why the VSC was invented, to protect the drivers from themselves, and at the very least to allow the field to be slowed down without racing consequence whilst race control work out whether a full safety car is needed.

    Pirelli were the root cause, but FIA very badly mismanaged this massive near miss.

    1. Leclerc even had to be told over the radio that ‘we are still racing’, to which he replied’ That’s a joke, that’s a… joke… Safety car right away, right away. Why are we still racing.

    2. What’s even MORE alarming is that Masi has done this on numerous occasions. His absolute inability to react quickly when a driver is in danger will end up killing or maiming someone. He needs to be replaced ASAP.

    3. 100% agree. Masi is not up to the task, deflecting blame on the drivers. He should be reminded why the VSC was developed in 2014. I remember.

    4. Yes a complete scandal, but only one of many. Luckily for FOM employees, it’s a job for life, and can’t be criticized.

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