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Perez wins Azerbaijan GP after crashing Verstappen’s lead


Sergio Pérez won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in a two-lap shootout after championship leader Max Verstappen crashed due to tire failure and Lewis Hamilton resumed

BAKU, Azerbaijan – Sergio Pérez won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in a two-lap shootout after championship leader Max Verstappen crashed into a tire failure and Lewis Hamilton tried to win on a standing restart.

Verstappen was four laps away from a second straight win on Sunday when his Red Bull suddenly hit the wall with a puncture in his left rear tyre. The Dutchman climbed out of his car, inspected the tires and kicked it angrily before stomping in disgust at the race-changing failure.

“Is he okay?” Radio rival and seven-time champion Hamilton.

Verstappen was fine but Red Bull was furious at the second failure of a Pirelli tire in the race and asked for a pause to allow a tire change for safety reasons. Lance Stroll had crashed earlier in the race after his unexpected tire failure.

Formula One red-flagged the race and pitted the field before deciding to resume with a standing start for a two-lap sprint.

Perez was the leader but Hamilton overtook him in his attempt to win the race and take the lead over Verstappen. But he failed to brake in the first corner and his Mercedes derailed. Hamilton broke a streak of 54 consecutive races to finish 15th with a point position finish.

“So sorry, guys,” he told the team.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel finished second for Aston Martin after an impressive campaign, finishing 11th. Pierre Gasly finished third for AlphaTauri.

Sunday’s race was the second red-flagged F1 round of the year after the crashes of Valtteri Bottas and George Russell at Imola in April, and the longest suspension since a horrific crash for Romain Grosjean in Bahrain last year The race was put on hold for more than an hour. .

It was a second career win for Perez, who is in his first season with Red Bull, and somewhat salvaged the race for a team that was heading for a 1-2 finish before Verstappen’s tires failed. was.

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More AP Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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