Perez wins as Hamilton and Verstappen fail to score in race of dramas

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix summary

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Sergio Perez won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix which was interrupted by two serious crashes, both of which appeared to be caused by tyre failures.

The 51-lap race was restarted for a two-lap sprint after a lengthy suspension, which was caused when Max Verstappen crashed out of the lead. The Red Bull driver suffered an apparent tyre failure.

Perez lined up in pole position for the restart of the race alongside Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver got away better, but his brakes had been smoking heavily before the restart, and he failed to slow in time for the first corner, sliding into the run-off area. He took the chequered flag in 16th.

With Hamilton slipping back, Sebastian Vettel grabbed second place for Aston Martin. Pierre Gasly won a thrilling last-lap tussle with Charles Leclerc for the final podium place.

Behind them, Lando Norris recovered from a poor start to claim fifth and Fernando Alonso elbowed his way past Yuki Tsunoda for sixth. Behind Carlos Sainz Jnr in the second Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo took points for ninth, despite being clouted by Antonio Giovinazzi at the restart

Kimi Raikkonen took the final point in 10th, his first point of the year. He passed Valtteri Bottas on the way, the Mercedes driver suffering a dire weekend as he laboured to 12th behind Giovinazzi.

Leclerc held his lead from pole position when the race began over two hours before the final restart. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen held their positions from second and third, while Sergio Perez worked his way up to fourth position.

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Hamilton relieved Leclerc of the lead as lap three began. He did not draw away, however, and Verstappen stayed close. In time the Red Bull pair also made their way past the Ferrari driver and took up position behind Hamilton.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2021
Poll: Rate the Race – 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The Mercedes driver was the first of the three to pit, but lost time in his box as Pierre Gasly came in on the same lap. That meant Verstappen was easily able to take the lead after his trouble-free pit stop the next time around.

Perez also jumped ahead of Hamilton, despite a slightly slow pit stop, and took up second place behind his team mate.

While most of the other drivers made their pit stops within the first half of the race, Lance Stroll pressed on with his original set of hard tyres. But on the 31st tour his left-rear tyre appeared to fail unexpectedly, pitching him hard into the barrier. A shocked Stroll emerged from his car unscathed, while the race was neutralised by a Safety Car.

The leaders did not pit during the interruption, and Verstappen resumed his lead when the race restarted. He was five laps away from victory when he suffered a similar-looking failure to Strolls as he approached the pit straight, hitting the barrier opposite the pits. A disconsolate Verstappen kicked his left-rear tyre after climbing from his car, but Hamilton’s subsequent failure to capitalise on his exit may have improved his mood.

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix reaction

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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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196 comments on “Perez wins as Hamilton and Verstappen fail to score in race of dramas”

  1. I think Lewis will fully take this on himself. That was so heartbreaking for Max and Lewis. But anyway, 0 points so it’s even.

    As for the blowouts, let’s wait for the analysis of Pirelli.

    1. I honestly don’t understand Lewis here. He said it before the restart, and did arguably a grave error that could cost him the 8th championship.

      1. Apparently he was in the wrong setting (they talked about ‘brake magic’ with his engineers in parc fermé) and that might have overheated the brakes at the restart, at least that’s what the Hungarian commentators pondered @krichelle

          1. Lewis just said it in the interview that he must’ve hit the switch with his hand, which effectively disabled his brakes.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            6th June 2021, 16:06

            Im not convinced – his brakes looked like they were on fire on the grid…. I wondered if he’d make it into the first turn. Looking at the replay, he does have his hand weirdly positioned on the wheel when he starts so it’s possible but I think he’d already damaged his brakes.

          3. Confirmed by Toto just now – “it cannot be seen as a mistake, we have a procedure that didn’t work”. I guess they’ll revisit the location of that switch!

          4. I dont understand why you would have a switch which disables the breaks, under what condition would that be necessary?

            Is this about energy recovery where instead of breaks, that energy recharges the batteries?

        1. Thanks @hunocsi

          Tough luck then. Goes to show how this is one cruel sport…

    2. As for the blowouts, let’s wait for the analysis of Pirelli.

      They will never admit that their product is trash and will continue shopping from their favourite mall of excuses.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        6th June 2021, 16:03

        I’d trust Toto Wolff’s opinion of Ferrari in pre-season before I’d trust Pirelli!

        I don’t understand why they are in F1… Would anyone on here dare drive down a motorway with Pirelli tyres on your car? I wouldn’t take the risk. They’ve tied their brand to words like “dangerous” and “unreliable” which is surely the last thing a tyre company would want!?

        1. @petebaldwin

          I don’t understand why they are in F1…

          That is one of the last legacies of Bernie Ecclestone in F1. He personally intervened to award them their first contract in 2011 to produce those high degrading tyres to artificially spice up the show. The last tender which was agreed in 2018 for the tyre supply for the 2020-2023 period which was later extended for the 2024 made it harder for example for a Michelin to return because it required them to provide rubber which will fit the current-specification 13-inch wheels in 2020 (shifted to 2021 due to Covid-19), and a new 18-inch format from 2021 (shifted to 2022 due to Covid-19) because they weren’t interested at all in providing 13-inch tyres.

        2. Probably because Pirelli road tyres have practically nothing in common with Pirelli F1 tyres….
          Other than being black and round, they are not even slightly related.

          I’d suggest they are still in F1 because no other company wants to be while F1 are issuing targets to the tyre supplier.
          Could also be that no other manufacturer wants to go through the enormous expenditure for so little reward – how can they know they’d do any better? They can’t.

          1. Coventry Climax
            6th June 2021, 17:31

            And the common man is so aware of – as you claim – that there’s two Pirelli’s instead of one, that they go to their tyreshops by the millions to have splendid new Pirelli’s fitted to their hard earned cars.

            The only reasons they are in F1 is commercial reasons. There are no companies with a samaritan basis.
            Even if there were no other companies interested (but there were and are), Pirelli was under no obligation to continue beyond what their previous contract stated, and is under no obligation to continue beyond their current contract. If that means F1 has no tyre manufacturer, that’s F1’s problem. I think the F1 contract must be a very, very lucrative one for I can not for the love of god imagine happening what I described in the first paragraph of this reply.

            From the FIA side: There’s so many safety measures taken, yet they continue with this tyre disgrace.

        3. Isn’t the extra Callateral damage why Pirelli made their tyres softer for this race? Isnt this extra drama what they expected, or planned for.

          Never mind the drivers placing their lives on the line for these 200+ mph blow outs.

        4. Pirelli road tyre are not exactly in the same ballpark as Pirelli F1.

          However, while their road tyres are nowhere near the performance leaders they once were (and that might be debatable). I would have ZERO safety concerns putting them on my car.

      2. Verstappen said as much, noting with resigned amusement that Pirelli would probably blame it on debris and that there wasn’t much they could do about it.

    3. I would have preferred them to finish in their positions. Max could use the points gap to Lewis

    4. Not even but a consolation. Max lost 25 points while Lewis lost 15. That’s 10 points difference!

    5. He SHOULD take it on himself – it was 100% his fault even if Wolff tried to cover for him. For a driver with his experience to screw up so badly is telling. He chokes under pressure.

      He has made a series of mistakes this year and if not for a red flag in which he was allowed to basically rebuild his car and easily pass everyone but VER, he would be further behind.

      In Monaco the team made a mistake and he berated them for all the world to hear – classless. Although it’s good to see karma at work and see him humbled, it won’t change him – always someone else fault unless it’s obvious as today.

      1. @Jim, what Hamilton did was accidental. Even still mistake/error/accident would’ve resulted in the same conclusion.

  2. What a crazy ending to the race! Uncharacteristic error from Hamilton, but at least it keeps the title interesting. But seriously Pirelli, this is unacceptable and disgraceful. How can we still have exploding tyres? And especially, at literally the quickest point of anywhere in the whole season. A tyre failure at 350kph is probably one of the scariest things that could happen while racing.

    1. 2 big errors from Hamilton this year. He got away with then one in Imola but this one hr paid for dearly. It’s the pressure, he hasn’t had anything like this to deal with for years.

      As for Pirelli let’s wait and see. Maybe it was a drain cover or something on track that caused damage. But right now it doesn’t look good for them.

      1. In fact a got away with two errors. Imagine Verstappen just winning this one.

        What would the comments if Verstappen made those two mistakes?

        I wonder…..

        1. To play devil’s advocate (hamilton being the devil), he only made that error as a consequence of verstappen’s problem, had that not happened he’d have ended 3rd.

    2. Not quite uncharacteristic. Already 2 big mistakes. And him underperforming in Monaco while Bottas put in a 1:10.6 in quali and was 2nd in the race was a scrappy effort too.

      In a dominant car it’s easy to drive at 95% , but now the pressure is on.

      1. @trib4udi – More accident than mistake.

  3. Great race and a brilliantly unpredictable track.

    1. The race was extremely boring tho untill lap 47. I fell asleep but our dutch commentator went again crazy ballistic waking me up for the blowout on Verstappen. This race was made in 5 laps, the rest was just a dull parade.

      1. Imo it was interesting even before that, with the leclerc vs verstappen vs hamilton battle early on and the overcuts and the defense by perez against hamilton.

    2. Yes great race, and the track is growing on me. One can attack, but also defend. Just as it should be.

  4. petebaldwin (@)
    6th June 2021, 15:41

    It was far from the pinnacle of Motorsport but it was an enjoyable watch. I’m glad the Championship fight was neutralized – it would be a shame to have such a big swing of points come about because of Pirelli’s dangerous tyres. I want to see either Lewis or Max win on merit.

    1. It still would have been a bigger difference if Max would have scored. This was RedBulls strong track so its kinda Merc and Ham got away with it.

  5. This was madness! So gutted for Max, did everything he needed to do. So unlucky in the title fight so far, I hope the title won’t be decided by luck. Lewis actually had brilliant two days only to throw it away. He was mighty in damage limitations up to that point. So happy for Checo, Seb, and Pierre, well deserved!

    1. Indeed, hamilton did great damage limitation up until verstappen had the problem, as a separate event I felt sorry for hamilton because he extracted the best from the car, look what bottas did in comparison, both in qualifying by ending 2nd with I presume the 3rd best car, when it could realistically have happened to qualify 4th (behind both ferraris and verstappen, doubt perez has the quali pace) and in the race, he was a bit unlucky in the pit stop, but that’s more incompetence from mercedes pit crew than bad luck, which cost him every chance to defend from verstappen’s overcut, then ofc he’d have lost the place anyway with his out-lap pace, then he attacked perez relentlessly but hasn’t managed to pass him, and in any case it seems to me like red bull was the best car in the race with mercedes 2nd, so to throw away such an awesome work due to a mistake that I thought was because of being a racer, so trying to win even when a 2nd place would be good enough already, sucks.

      On other hand, because of what happened to verstappen, I’m glad of hamilton’s mistake, and this is not enough compensation to verstappen.

  6. Before even taking into account the results, I’m just thankful everyone got through the race without serious injury. Watching drivers have tyre blowouts at 200mph is not something you want to see on a Sunday. If Verstappen goes left instead of right on that crash, it’s a very different headline.
    Pirelli are just not good enough, if they can not guarantee the safety of the drivers they should not be the supplier. Masi also way too late to deploy the safety car, if someone crashes on a 200mph straight it should be instant, the drivers won’t slow themselves.
    In the end, no change in the championship, feel Hamilton had to take that chance, apparently had a warmup braking switch on, but that could be hugely costly.
    Great podium, very happy for Vettel, all his haters seem to have disappeared after race one!

  7. HAM had a chance of taking 18 points over his closest rival but threw everything up, so the battle stays close.

    1. Could actually have been 25 @jerejj, he appeared to have the move on Perez done at the restart, and given the Red Bull was in the process of breaking down he would have been in with a fair shout of winning.

  8. P10, yahoo! Also happy for all the guys who made it to the podium.

  9. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    6th June 2021, 15:43

    That was a crazy race. Went from extreme highs to extreme lows, very strange but very good.

    I had a private bet with myself that I believed Vettel would grab a podium at least this year, and I’m pretty happy with that. A podium lineup of Perez, Vettel and Gasly is a very good one.

    1. @rocketpanda Nice, what did you win? ;)

      1. @j-l

        A back massage…

        1. Coventry Climax
          6th June 2021, 17:37

          Didn’t realise you were partners. Never had a massage from a gorilla, and wouldn’t care for it either, but each his taste. Enjoy, Adam!

          1. @Coventry Climax

            I’ve got something for you too. I’ll fling it to you…

  10. Although I was furious about the decision to red flag the race and proceed with the standing start, there must be some curious working of justice in all of this. By the way, there is some kind of poetic irony in Hamilton’s mistakes this year – his mistake in Imola was almost a 100% copy of Vettel’s from Hockenheim 2018, and his mistake now hugely resembled Vettel’s lock-up after the restart in – where else – Baku 2018.

    Still, I’d like to see Masi and the Liberty clique influencing races way way less than they do now.

    1. Red flagging the race was smart. Two tyre failures at high speed with no warning.. yeah, red flag it and let the runners change those POS Pirelli tyres before someone gets seriously hurt.

    2. @pironitheprovocateur – I also did not like red flagging the race, totally unnecessary. Seemed really artificial. I don’t like Masi’s tenure, he meddles too much on things.

      By the way, there is some kind of poetic irony in Hamilton’s mistakes this year – his mistake in Imola was almost a 100% copy of Vettel’s from Hockenheim 2018, and his mistake now hugely resembled Vettel’s lock-up after the restart in – where else – Baku 2018.

      Funny you mentioned that, the moment he locked up, instantly came up to mind VET’s lockup, which I reckon a far bigger mistake than was at Hockenheim. Though, be careful there. Comparing Vettel’s mistakes to the indisputable GOAT might get you some flak from some ‘facts posters’.

    3. Still, I’d like to see Masi and the Liberty clique influencing races way way less than they do now.

      The red flag + tyre change + restart was suggested to Masi by Red Bull’s Jonathan Wheatley. The radio call was in the tv broadcast.

      1. Indeed @Leo B, that was truly sporting of the team and in some ways I feel it was Karma paying them back that Lewis didn’t finish either…

        1. I wouldn’t say it was sporting. And even it it seems that way, than you just know for sure it isn’t. They’re only in it for the gains and this message was no different it appeared. At the time we didn’t know Perez had e serious issue with hydraulics. They made the call to try and give Perez the best chance of finishing the race, regardless of winning

    4. Hamilton did Vettel again.

    5. There is a piece of concrete at the end of the straight that someone could have smashed into if their tyres failed at the wrong moment. Changing the tyres was the right call. Better to have some impact on the race than a dead driver.

      1. Coventry Climax
        6th June 2021, 17:41

        The call to change tyres should have been made already at the end of Pirelli’s previous contract.

        This is not the first time that the things they call tyres, but are actually deserving of a far less flattering name, are downright dangerous.

        1. It’s primarily FIA’s fault that we have poor tyres. They demanded these degrading monstrosities. Although Pirelli is to blame for not telling them to stuff it.

          1. Coventry Climax
            7th June 2021, 0:10

            That last sentence about stuffing, now that’s something I can absolutely agree with.

    6. True, I didn’t think about it, as in I likened this to vettel’s mistake in 2018 baku when discussing the race, but didn’t notice that both hamilton’s mistakes had a parrallel in 2018 vettel.

  11. What was it David Croft said back in 2018?

    ‘Crazy, crazy, crazy race; can we race in Baku every week?!’

    1. They go to Vietnam and Saudi Arabia this year, and also to Miami next year so we are closing in on Baku every week.

      1. @f1mre Not Vietnam.

  12. At the beginning of the year Perez said he needs 5 races to get used to the new car. This was sixth race of the season.

    1. Yeah that was funny

    2. Leaving aside the Verstappen/Hamilton crash and button mishap, this was a very interesting race because of Perez’s performance. In the race itself he was totally on it and only lost out on a chance to race Verstappen for the lead after the first pitstops when Red Bull took an extra two seconds on his stop. A shame as I was looking forward to a team mate battle at Red Bull – last seen really with Ricciardo (especially at Baku, maybe not one of Max’s strongest circuits?). It will be fascinating to see how that develops, though maybe Perez is already ‘too far’ off the championship race and Red Bull will already tend towards favouring MV? It hasn’t been a question to be asked of them for a long time.

      1. @david-br this is a rear limited circuit, and I am pretty sure the front tyres do not wear out at the same rate as the rear. It was no surprise that Perez was on form all weekend, and in fact I somehow had given him a high chance to win the race. We all know how gentle he is with the rear tyres. I also kind of think that if it was Verstappen that Hamilton was chasing, he might have overtaken him because this season Verstappen has been quite aggressive with the rear tyres, and that is pretty important at Baku.

        I think Perez was matching Verstappen in terms of pace or even better today. But this is another unique circuit in which the rear tyres wear out faster by a higher rate than the fronts.

        1. @krichelle Good point Kribana, but there are a few other rear limited circuits to come, right? Also I expect this to boost his confidence in general, while Max remains with the one lap pace and some circuits where he’s clearly faster. Either way, today was clearly what Red Bull needed with their other driver taking good points when something happens to MV.

          1. @david-br
            I think the two races in Austria will be another rear limited track, so that’s a good place for Perez to add onto his confidence further, as well with the double header to really feel comfortable on that track at least.

          2. @david-br Only Canada in terms of track design, but that has already been cancelled. The rest is dependent on the other variables that affect the cars or car design. Silverstone for example last year in the second race, so both Mercedes struggle with left rear due to wrong biased setups.

      2. Greetings. I think the two extra seconds added to Perez pit stop shows who’s been chosen to play the wingman role.
        By the way, if the Alpha Tauri was called to pit just to hold Hamilton a second on the slot what a well synchronized move.

        1. @humb. There was a problem with the rear left wheel gun which caused the delay in Perez’s stop, which required a different gun to correct. RBR investigated this immediately after the stop and was mentioned by the commentators.

          RBR don’t have a record of deliberately slowing a pit stop and frequently have given a faster stop to the 2nd driver. Perez had the faster stop at Bahrain.

          1. I’ve just seen the post race interview with CH, who has said that SP missed his marks on the stop.

  13. Not too impressed with Ferrari here. Their race pace was mediocre, Leclerc gave up positions fairly easily, and Sainz was lucky to avoid a no-score finish after his off.

    The restart was a farce and shows F1’s race director is having faux-entertainment too high on his list of priorities. That he even admitted that “all” drivers failed to observe yellow flag rules, but the stewards handed out not a single penalty, shows how serious they really are.

    1. @cashnotclass Indeed. Masi is lucky HAM made his error because otherwise, people would’ve blamed him for handing victory to him, LOL.

    2. It was a reason for a second red flag. Second tire to blow… If it isn’t, I really don’t know what should be. But in this specific case, the safest would be finish the race AT red flag. Restart was a commercial decision.

      What is very complicated is that all regulation change from last year was to relieve pressure from tires. They say a tire should last 40 laps and it blows way before that, not one, but twice. And other pilots surely were close to a blow too. I’m not sure that C2-4 would be better. Most teams would stick to soft and mediums. And the problem would still be there.

  14. Like seeing Perez score a 90th minute winner against Mercedes.

    1. More like seeing Lewis missing a 90th minute penalty

      1. Could be either moment.

        1. DEEEENEYYY! (Hope you understood that reference)

          1. I know that one!
            There’s also “AND DAVID GRAY HAS SCORED!” (Know this one?)

          2. That was the 2016 Scottish Cup Final

  15. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    6th June 2021, 15:49

    I’ll be the minority in here, but this race weekend is not going to be one of my favourites. I can’t enjoy a race when the safety of drivers cannot be secured due to poor tyres…. I am also not a fan of the new red flag procedures introduced since 2019…

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      6th June 2021, 15:57

      I know what you mean. I enjoyed seeing them fight at the end but it felt very American and hollow today….

    2. @miltosgreekfan I agree, the quali was quite frustrating to watch, when many drivers were unable to get a clean lap. The decision to go softer from 2019 seems bizarre now.

      1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
        6th June 2021, 20:26

        It was the second consecutive race weekend that we didn’t get the last laps in Q3… Definitely not ideal

  16. The Sebastian Vettel Cracking Under Pressure Trophy for the 2021 WDC standings:
    1. HAMILTON, Lewis – 2 pts (BAH, AZE)
    2. VERSTAPPEN, Max – 1 pt (BAH)

    1. Hehe, where is Pirelli on this list? ;)

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        6th June 2021, 15:59

        Ah no – that’s the Exploding Under Pressure Award. They’ve stopped doing it as an annual thing now and have awarded Pirelli the trophy for life.

      2. More importantly, where is Imola on that list?

        1. Woah @j-l, thanks, completely forgot! Gonna rectify at next entry.

          1. And what about damaging his car during q3 in Monaco by Lewis?

          2. Davethechicken
            6th June 2021, 19:27

            MaxBots are out in force

      3. That’s a separate list: BLOW IT LIKE MICHELIN – 2005 STYLE

    2. hahaha really good.

  17. Inherited win, but congrats to PER for maintaining his focus. In a normal race, he would easily have completed the Red Bull 1–2. Feel for VER and for STR with their Pirelli issues. VET easily DotD!

    Merc are in disarray and Red Bull are keeping up the pressure beautifully with PER making strides. The moment PER starts to outqualify HAM, Merc will effectively be dethroned in both championships. What on Earth was going on with BOT in Baku, one of his strongest circuits?

    1. Some comments yesterday suggested Hamilton had reverted to a different rear wing whilst Bottas did not, thus keeping him in pretty much the same place Mercedes had been throughout the practice sessions. Not sure if that was true or not. Still, it was quite bewildering to hear his engineer targeting P5 while it was rather obvious that he was going nowhere.

      1. It was.. look at pictures.. Lewis only has one central pillar and Bottas two.

      2. @cashnotclass I think everyone at Merc and outside realises this is the last year for Bottas at this team. They have given up even the pretense of him being Hamilton’s equal and are quite happy to throw him to the wolves.

        For example, compare Toto’s reaction to Hamilton’s self-admitted blunder today (“It’s a car problem”) to the botched pit stop that cost Bottas a podium in Monaco (“He missed his marks by half an inch”). Mercedes don’t do anything by accident, so I suspect this is a deliberate decision to make Bottas look like he’s doing worse than he actually is.

        1. To be fair: Bottas is quite an avg driver though. Hulk, Magnussen category.
          In free air he can put in lap times but now the car is less dominant his avg racecraft comes to the surface.
          Can you recall any knife edge overtake by Bottas in past 6 seasons? Eg race winning moves?

          He makes Lewis look great.

          1. Agree with this, “makes hamilton look great”, while judging by this site often you’d think he’s the best ever.

            Having said this it was a good race of damage limitation by hamilton, up until the verstappen issue.

      3. Mercedes were concerned about qualifying pace, so they switched Lewis to dragster spec and left Bottas in truck racing spec to give him a tow.

        Bottas is always terrible if he qualifies in the pack, but he was getting passed with ease on the straights, whereas Lewis could stay ahead of the Red Bulls even when they had DRS. Sacrificed at the higher altar. Sad to see.

        I feel sorry for Valterri. But mostly sorry that he really seemed to think he had a fair shot at winning, when he’s just there as a soft #2.

        I’m sure George will take the seat next year if it is offered, but I hope they don’t treat him with the same disdain they’ve started to treat Bottas.

    2. This will improve Perez moral, and will relieve some pressure. He should be consistently at podium from now on.

  18. Not really a fan of the decision to bring out the red flag & then do the standing restart at the end, Just made it feel a bit too much like a lottery to me.

    I’m sure none of us like seeing a race end under a SC but for me that would have been the fairest, most sporting outcome at that point & I just don’t like this feeling that they did the red flag/standing restart purely for entertainment/spice things up purposes & i’m just not that fond of that approach.

    1. @stefmeister I was surprised they did the standing restart, as I thought they weren’t going to do those with so few laps remaining in a race, in general. But I suppose if they were steadfast on resuming racing those last two laps out, the only way they could do it was with a standing restart, for normally they’d have used up those few remaining laps behind a safety car until it pulled off and they could go again. So the options were standing restart or end it there. As I say, I thought I had read, back when they were talking about going back to standing restarts, that they weren’t go to do those with something like less than 5 laps to go. I must have misunderstood.

      1. Safety wise, the race should have been ended at red flag. No need to restart with 2 laps to go. Surely for viewers it was great to see a great mistake for Lewis trying to get P1 and even better for Gasly and Leclerc battle. But I don’t think it should be necessary to restart.

      2. @robbie Why? There was no reason to not have a standing restart, just as there was no reason to not finish the race.

        1. @scbriml No that’s fair, I just thought I had read a few years ago that they wouldn’t do a standing restart with such few laps remaining. I think it was when some were debating having them at all, and rather just using rolling restarts only.

    2. It was great entertainment. As uncomfortable as I am with the decision to take a standing restart, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on the action it gave us.

    3. @stefmeister Why? There was no reason to not have a standing restart, just as there was no reason to not finish the race.

      1. @scbriml Because it was done for the wrong reasons.

        If you get towards the end & a SC comes out with no time to clear the incident & go back to green then the race should end under a SC. Throwing a red flag just to try & have a final restart comes across as something been done simply to try spice things up & that to me just starts to feel a bit artificial.

        Safety cars & Red Flags are things that are intended & should be used purely for safety purposes & not things that should be used to ‘spice up the show’.

        And in terms of the standing restarts after red flags now. It was again a regulation they introduced purely to try & spice things up & I simply don’t like that reasoning. Especially given how unfair it could be in situations where half the grid later in a race is covered in marbles & other dirt/debris meaning half the grid are going to get a significantly worse start.

        1. I fully support the red flag, I was thinking “Get everybody out of those hard compound tires ASAP” just before they announced it. I do agree with the standing start being neither necessary nor fair to the pilots.

  19. What a dumb race. The tires blowing out and Hamilton’s mistake nullified what I have been enjoying all weekend. In my opinion they should have red flagged the race immediately after the Verstappen crash and called it. It would have been fair end for all drivers. In a way it is “fair” that Hamilton hasn’t benefited too much from this, but this still leaves an unsatisfying bitter taste.
    I do hope we will not see the tires acting unpredictably and potentially ruining the championship in the rest of the season.

    1. Davethechicken
      6th June 2021, 16:34

      Why would they change the rules now? Where to stop, with this logic, if the leader has a mechanical failure call the race too?

      1. Not restarting the race is at the desecration of race control. There is no rule change needed to not restart the race. I am welcoming of new viewers but please refrain from pretending to know what you are talking about.

        1. Davethechicken
          6th June 2021, 19:09

          Lol. Seen it all long before your young dutch driver was even born.
          You argue thet should red flag the race immediately and give positions on the callback… As that would in your mind be “fair”.
          I am pointing out the absurdity of your argument.
          But keep the insults coming as it highlights your lack of thought and silly argument.

          1. But keep the insults coming

            a bit confused you are little man?

          2. Davethechicken
            6th June 2021, 19:24

            Erijke, are you another max obsessed fan?

          3. “My” young Dutch driver? What makes you think that I am in any way associated with Verstappen?
            You did not point out any “absurdity”, you claimed that they would have to change the rules, which they don’t. Since you are new I will explain it to you: Once a race has been red flagged, it is at the discretion of the race director to restart the race. They could have chosen not to, considering that it was two laps to the end, and two incidents that were likely caused by the condition of the track or the mandated minimum pressure allowed in the tires. Your poor spelling reflects just how poorly you thought your argument out.

          4. Davethechicken
            6th June 2021, 20:02

            Okay then please expand your argument !

            To whom is it “fair” to declare the result in positions prior to crash. To Max? Does he “deserve” to be declared the winner?
            If not to whom is it fair ?
            Do you remember crashgate?
            If you do, can you understand how manipulation could easily occur?

          5. Simple, it would have been a fair outcome for anyone, including the viewer.

          6. Davethechicken
            6th June 2021, 20:22

            Ah OK. It is fair in your world to reward the car that crashed and caused a red flag the win.
            Are you sure you this isn’t your first race?

        2. Davethechicken
          6th June 2021, 22:55

          Discretion has an i not an e for the second letter. Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    2. It used to be a rule that the driver who caused the race stoppage be excluded from the results, or restart…which is fair. However this does not apply to qualifying as per Monaco eg Leclerc…well not yet anyway….

      1. Davethechicken
        6th June 2021, 20:44

        Not according to IVAYLO with his experience.
        He thinks race control should award the race to Max because he thinks that is fair.
        Obviously he immediately knows the causes of the crashes, so in future he can call up Michael Masi and tell him who it is fair to award the win to.
        I am puzzled by the red flag. Safety car could have brought the cars through the pits and the race was obviously bound to finish behind it as there was no way the debris could have been cleared before they completed the remaining laps behind the sc.
        A fast move by RBR with the radio call to Masi for sure.

        1. I agree with ivaylo then, verstappen deserved the win and hamilton the 3rd place, they both did well, verstappen for the whole race and hamilton up until the last 2 laps.

          1. Davethechicken
            7th June 2021, 6:14

            F1 races are not and never have been awarded on the basis of who “deserves” them. That is a subjective opinion.
            We could go back and rewrite lots of race results on who “deserved” to win.
            That is not how F1, sport or real life works.
            It is this notion that is absurd.
            Max was certainly unfortunate and I agree deserved the win. However he crashed after a tyre failed, for reasons still to be confirmed.
            He didn’t win, period. Whether he deserved to in your or my opinion is irrelevant.

  20. I’m waiting Toto to comment on that grave error from Lewis that cost them a win and the lead in both championships.

    1. “Not a driver error” from Toto. Disagree, but he’s a great leader that always protects people from his team.

      1. Unless it is Bottas ;)

        1. Yeah agreed, that relationship seems to have gone sour. Didn’t use to be like to though.

          1. Coventry Climax
            6th June 2021, 17:50

            I thought your first reply was meant sarcastic, but it turns out your serious? So ‘always’ is a very flexible concept, in your mind?

          2. @Coventry Climax No, I don’t really make sarcastic comments, I was serious. I genuinely like Toto, I think he is a great leader and seems like a great guy to work for. He often stresses “don’t blame the person, blame the problem”. Not sure what you’re trying to imply, tbh.

          3. Coventry Climax
            7th June 2021, 0:17

            @j-l: OK, that’s allowed, obviously. Personally, I don’t trust the man one bit. As in: eight of them make a byte. There’s a lot of people saying things that sound nice, but their reasons for saying it and the actions following most often show a quite different nature. To me, that includes mr. Wolff.

    2. At mercedes their life is based on lie, so toto will fart a lie soon about this driving error as well . But this time the voice of hamilton after his smoking fly out of the pist tells everything about the story. His voice was almost close to cry on the radio.

      1. Yes, it’s really shameful but indeed they’re based on lies 75% of the time.

    3. Yeah just throw him under the bus. Don’t worry about all the championships. Honestly I thought Lewis had a great race trying to stay with the Red Bulls

  21. Quick maths for my guesstimate of luck factor so far. Say conservatively +15pts for Lewis at Imola, -25 for Max today, and it would be another +3 for Lewis if he managed to finish second. That’s a difference of 43 points so far.

    1. Max had fastest lap (+1).

      And what if the Monaco wheel drama happened to Lewis instead of Bottas?

      1. No FLAP point for Max, yo have to finish in the top 10

    2. Yes, it’s really a lot, not a surprise hamilton is lucky.

  22. I noticed that lots of smokes coming out from HAM’s brakes at the 2nd start. I thought that would be bad for him. And it happened.

    Well, at least, this is the best result for the fans to get from this weekend. The championship race will go on.

    1. The brake balance was set to the front tyres. This is usually done during warmup of behind the SC. Lewis incidentally flipped it on again when up shifting during the restart.

  23. Happy for Sergio. He was very strong all weekend and climbed to 2nd even after the disappointment yersterday.

    He said it would need 5 ou 6 races to get to grips with the car, and there it is. Very nice.

    Vettel was also great.

    1. Vettel had a great race but I think Sergio was the best racer today.
      He held off HAM for a large part of the race and that isn’t easy.
      I’m happy for him – a likeable guy and a hell of a racer.

  24. Gutted for Verstappen and Hamilton. Absolutely delighted to see Seb on the podium today! The decision to red flag the race was the right one, the tyre blow ups were concerning, and given that they occurred without any warning whatsoever! Can’t imagine one or more drivers having a blow out at those crazy speeds

  25. With Perez driving like this, Mercedes really have to look into replacing Bottas with Russel. They will loose the constructors with his “form”.

    1. You may have a point. For sure it will cross their mind.

  26. @keithcollantine

    Please make Pirelli a struggler for this race.

    1. Pirelli is probably thanking the gods that Lewis made that mistake, because otherwise they would never have heard the end of it.

  27. If there’s a ‘deactivate brakes’ button you can accidentally brush in the heat of an on-track battle, that sounds like a design fault (one which Hamilton could, of course have picked up on too: ‘what if one day I accidentally touch the button while racing?’). However it can’t be put down to the tedious ‘Hamilton cracks under pressure’ trop some want to give it as usual. It was a costly accident and a real shame given the fight he and Mercedes had put up all weekend. But still Verstappen’s tyre blowout was a far more serious issue.

    1. You have a point. I think carbs twitted a picture from Rosberg’s car and the magic brake seemed to be more like a procedure through dials/button than just one button.
      We have a case where either Hamilton didn’t disabled the system or it engaged by its own.
      Anyway very weird.

  28. On another note well-deserved victory for Perez, especially given that he only missed a chance to get into the lead early in the race because of a very uncharacteristic slow pit stop from Red Bull that kept him 2 seconds behind Max when he came out.

    1. He was 4 seconds behind Max after his pit stop

      1. @anunaki Was he? Hmm, the commentary was talking about Perez having a chance to come out level with Verstappen. Maybe they got it wrong.

        1. @david-br I just checked the timesheets and it was in fact 3.1 seconds. But it was indeed close

          1. @anunaki I think MV would have held on to the lead, but it would have been intriguing nonetheless. Perez seemed slightly faster in the race if anything.

          2. @david-br
            I think this was indeed a great race for him and he did well battling with Hamilton. I disagree he had better race pace than Verstappen though. Verstappen seemed in total control to me, like Hamilton most of the time all those years. Allowing a certain gap. And then when needed no problem in opening the gap up to multiple seconds. Seemed to be managing fuel/tires most of the time. But after the SC restart no managing going on, pulled a gap on Perez with no problems at all. I don’t want to take anything away from Perez, he did great. I just don’t think he had a chance at first place under green with Verstappen still in the race…

    2. It was indeed quite close, but from what Horner said post-race, Checo stopped a little too far in his pit box and was therefore partially to blame for the subpar pit stop. Nevertheless, amazing race from him and a well-deserved win!

      1. Greetings.
        I wonder if the band wagon accusing Toto of throwing Valterri under the bus well do the same with Horner statement.

  29. Someone Enlight me on why the restart wasn’t a safety car restart or either decided to end the race after the red flag? Also, Masi’s excuse was lame “The track’s too dangerous…” yet it is OK for a standing start?!

    1. Standing start is default after a red flag.

    2. There was no reason to not have a normal standing restart. Just as there was no reason to end the race early.

      The track was only considered dangerous because of all the debris from Verstappen’s crash.

  30. Great race for Vettel which seems to be getting lost due to the exploding tires and Sergio winning. If the tire didn’t explode would we be discussing whether RB intentionally delayed Sergio during his pit stop? That would have made an interesting conspiracy discussion.
    Waiting two weeks for a race after a boring Monaco race and then two weeks for a race after a very interesting Azerbaijan race doesn’t seem right.

    1. He lost two seconds on Verstappen but was 3.4 seconds behind at that stage.
      So no conspiracy for you.

      1. Davethechicken
        6th June 2021, 19:29

        Erijke you are just making things up. In fact it was under 2sec.

        1. No, it wasn’t… see Patrick/Anunaki’s comment above.

          1. Davethechicken
            6th June 2021, 20:30

            Look at the live timings. It was 2 sec lead vers to Perez as he Perez entered t2

      2. Redbull is always delivering the world’s fastest pit stops, one can wonder, after all, that slow pitstop put Sergio as Verstappen rear gunner (like a lot of Mercedes/Hamilton detractors wanted him to be in order to help Max defeat the evil Merc).

  31. I enjoyed that. Top 3 close as anything, even top 4 in the beginning. And close fights further down the field as well. A track which one can both attack and defend on.

    Proper feel-good ending with Vettel and Gasly on the podium.

    The red flag restart with 2 laps to go was a joke. This has got to stop. It’s just not F1 or even sport. Sporting advantages should be protected as much as possible. Just 2 laps through the pit-lane and not endless waiting for a lottery finish.

  32. Keith, I don’t like the heading of your note, you make it seem like Checo won a lottery, and it wasn’t like that, Checo had an extraordinary race, on the first lap he won two positions, he managed his tires well, when Lewis and Max entered Pits, Sergio made laps at the pace of the champion, managing to take advantage even of Max, RB had to hold him for 2 seconds so that Max could pass, if not for that Pérez alone had the lead of the race, even so, Checo He managed to contain Lewis in his attempt to overcome it, showing at all times that Pérez had a better rite than LH, in the restart, Lewis made the mistake, Checo had the right to manage that first corner better.

    Keith, Checo’s victory is not worth questioning, Checo’s victory is totally fair, by itself.

    1. It is. In fact he had to fight until the end on merit one of the greatest drivers ever.

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        7th June 2021, 1:07

        Not to mention that’s the first time Perez races against Hamilton, so that’s a new territory for him.

        Well deserved victory.

  33. 1st Sacked by Racing Point
    2nd Sacked by Ferrari
    3rd Sacked by Red Bull

    1. Davethechicken
      6th June 2021, 20:57

      I think big factor in Seb being sacked was due to his wage no longer being judged value for money.
      Leclerc delivered more for less.

    2. Gastly wasn’t fired by Red Bull though, he was demoted back to the junior team.

    3. Let’s say the last 2 of those were justified, unlike the 1st, however in hindsight it was a promotion on a better team, so all good.

    4. A Hamilton fan in a nutshell. If it can’t be praise or defense of Hamilton, it’s to put others down. So basic.

  34. Red Bull directly influenced the race directors today. No different to a football manager trying to influence the referee.

    1. Greetings.
      I was thinking the same, and I can’t help but thinking that Checo’s car had a potential terminal problem (seeing the way he didn’t get the car to the park). And man, that move from him on Hamilton, the energy drink guys are being so… Energetic. LoL. Looks like Zak Brown well have his wish granted.

      1. Hmm a bit slow here, but what was Zac Browns wish?

        1. A crash between vers and hamilton.

          1. Thanks, @esploratore

            Hmm as much as I don’t want to see that happen… as has been said several times recently – hamilton is only one DNF away from being near enough to the lead in the championship… and I can’t see max finishing every remaining race this season after so many dnf’s in 2020… but who knows – we didn’t expect him to walk away with the win last week in Austria either!

  35. I have been saying it for years Perez really is a special talent. Congrats Checo what a race. Also thanks for showing Lewis is not the only talented one on the grid.

  36. What a race, or rather scene of events. Gutted for Max and Lewis. I’d rather see them battle. Luckily, by some rare error or brake bias setting we didnt see the championship decided by Pirelli.

    1. Lewis will regret this error if he trails Max by 17< points at end of year.

      Max will feel unlucky if he trails Lewis by 28<points at end of year.

      1. @trib4udi I don’t get why people keep saying this stuff. We have 17 races to go in a very close title battle, there are bound to be heaps more incidents over these races where we’ll be able to say the same!

  37. Cristiano Ferreira
    6th June 2021, 22:53

    So much for “Sir” Hypocrite, the “GOAT”

    That’s what you get when you get close competition and are not being carried only by the car and a subservient teammate.

    1. Indeed, I never agreed with the goat term for him, nonetheless it was a good race from him as long as vers was in the race.

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        7th June 2021, 0:59

        Yes you are correct @esploratore

        I don’t consider him a GOAT, because to me, he is being carried by Mercedes since 2014 and the same thing can be said about his hollow stats. But he is a great driver and there’s no doubt about it.

        Things like this happening to Hamilton shows that he too cracks under pressure, like Vettel who was at one time a laughing stock for his errors.

  38. All a bit farcical after this race, but for what its worth here are the average quali stats (gives a somewhat unscientific perspective of which car is fastest over one lap)
    Average Quali across 6 races: (Merc still slightly in front as the fastest on average)
    Mercedes ——– 4.30
    Red Bull ———- 5.50
    Ferrari ———— 6.10
    McLaren ———- 9.80
    AlphaTauri ——- 12.80
    Alpine ————- 13.20
    Aston Martin —– 15.30
    Alpha Romeo —– 17.50
    Williams ———– 18.50
    Haas ————— 22.70
    I believe Merc will be out front for most of the remaining races:

    Average Quali per race:
    Alpha Romeo —- 13 — 16.5 – 13.5 – 15.5 – 12 —- 17
    AlphaTauri ——– 9 —- 12.5 – 11.5 – 14 — 11 —- 6
    Alpine ————- 12.5 – 12 — 9.5 — 7.5 — 14 —- 10.5
    Aston Martin —– 14 — 11.5 – 13.5 – 12 — 10.5 — 15
    Ferrari ————– 6 — 7.5 — 6.5 — 5 —- 2.5 — 3
    Haas ————– 19.5 – 18.5 – 19.5 – 19 — 19.5 — 17.5
    McLaren ———– 6.5 — 6.5 — 10 — 8 —– 8.5 — 9.5
    Mercedes ———- 2.5 — 4.5 — 1.5 — 2 —– 5 —– 6
    Red Bull ————- 6 — 2.5 — 3.5 — 5 —– 5.5 — 5
    Williams ———— 16 — 13 — 14.5 – 17 — 16.5 – 15.5

  39. Interestingly, 4th, 5th, and 6th in Monaco; now 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Azerbaijan.

  40. Thought it was a really good race! I was holding my breath towards the end there, then Max had a blow out and then Hamilton made a mistake. I could just see something was going to happen and in the end it did. Felt Lewis was just holding on for dear life to stay with the Red Bulls so he did a great job and Max was in total control. Congrats Sergio, a bit of a confidence boost hopefully

  41. My personal opinion is that the race should have been called after the second left rear tire failure. Once, ok, it happens. Twice is not a coincidence, being it was the same tire spec and location. It was a safety issue. Just end it there with the red flag, or end it under the safety car. They didn’t want cars to run at Indy with Michelins, once an issue was discovered. So they should have done the same here.

    What was really scary, and alluded to by Nico Rosberg prior to the race, was the entrance to the pits being dangerous. If Max had went to the other side of the track, he easily could have hit that barrier at a near 90 degree angle at quite some speed.

    Nothing more to say.

  42. Gunnar Nilsson
    7th June 2021, 5:30

    Ok, enough of the comments towards Pirelli. Max has only himself to blame.

    There is just no need to set fastest laps about 15 laps in a row when you are in the lead, unthreatened…..On old tyres. Perez guarding you. When Stroll already had an incident. When you are leading the championship and for the first time in years have a chance for the title……

    An experienced driver takes care of the tyres.
    On old tyres – when you are in the lead and one of two contenders for the championship – stay off the curbs, do not put extra strain on them. Remember Mansell in Adelaide 1986.

    If the problem was Pirelli, Marko and Hornet would be fuming, and demanding a change. But they know.
    Max made a fool out of himself, and is potentially throwing away the title. Like Vettel in the German GP in 2018.

    Michael Schumacher rarely did these mistakes, on the contrary, that is the reason Ferrari payed him so well.
    Hamilton, the same thing, even though he claims that it was his fault with the brake balance switch.
    I am not so sure though….

  43. Checo is the first driver to win for 2 different teams in the hybrid era. So underrated.

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