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Gasly on the podium after a chaotic race in Baku!

Pierre Gasly once again succeeded in a race disrupted by spectacular punctures.

A weekend full of twists and turns like Baku has the secret! Absent from the calendar last year due to Covid, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix made its return on June 6, with a spectacular race. The unexpected from qualifying elsewhere, with a pole position signed Charles Leclerc for Ferrari, ahead of the two title contenders, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

But the Ferrari, diabolical in qualifying in recent weeks, has clearly not yet solved all its problems in the race, with an obvious lack of power. From the first laps, Charles Leclerc had to bow to the usual forces present. For Verstappen, and his teammate Sergio Pérez, the hunt is on against Hamilton. And during pit stops, the Red Bulls take the advantage! Everything seems to be off to a good start for a Red Bull double, the first since Daniel Ricciardo left the Austrian team.

Two flat tires that put the race on the line

But in Baku, nothing is ever won, and it is already time for our first twist. Lance Stroll, who had made the bet to start with the hard tires, suffered a puncture in the middle of the very fast straight line of Baku, and took off Straight into the wall. More fear than harm for the Canadian pilot, and the opportunity to regroup the peloton for a rolling start behind the safety car. Sebastian Vettel for Aston Martin and Pierre Gasly for AlphaTauri took the opportunity to get closer to the podium.

Everything seemed under control for Red Bull, 5 laps from the finish… But at the end of the very long straight, Max Verstappen spun around and hit the wall! A rear left puncture, the same tire as Lance Stroll, after a similar number of laps … For now, Pirelli denies any responsibility, but the whole is suspicious to say the least. And while there are very few laps left, the race management takes the gamble of interrupting it with a red flag. Time to clean everything up, and the drivers can get a fresh start on the grid, on new tires, for 3 very intense laps where anything is possible.

Lewis Hamilton’s rare mistake

But what we weren’t expecting is a Lewis Hamilton’s masterful mistake ! Starting second, he got off to an excellent start and was already up to Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull when it came time to jump on the brakes. But the Briton blocks his wheels and pulls straight: he had inadvertently launched an adjustment which allows his Mercedes to change the brake distribution to better heat the front brakes. He will not mark no points in this race : a real draw in the championship, therefore.

But the misadventures of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton left the field open to two drivers who did not ask for so much: Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel. They both withstand attacks from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari to complete an atypical podium. Sergio Pérez therefore becomes the first driver of the hybrid period (since 2014) to win a race for two different teams, after his unexpected victory last year in Sakhir. A very nice return to form for Sebastian Vettel, and a Pierre Gasly magistral who signs his third podium for AlphaTauri. The Frenchman always seems to be at the forefront to take advantage of a chaotic race!

See you on June 20 for the Grand Prix of France.

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