A Sunday to forget for Max Verstappen on the Baku street circuit in Azerbaijan.
A weekend that started with Ferrari in the lead, but that after a few laps turned into a great opportunity for Red Bull, with Max Verstappen at the helm of the group and a brilliant performance by Sergio Perez in keeping behind the main contender for the title after his teammate, Lewis Hamilton.
It was not a good weekend for Pirelli, who first saw Lance Stroll have a frightening impact on the wall, on lap 31, due to a failure on the left rear tyre, a fate that also happened to Max Verstappen a few laps from the end of the race.
The Dutch driver's misfortune caused the race to be suspended following a red flag, which subsequently decreed the restart on the grid for the drivers, who thus completed one lap behind the Safety Car and only two actual laps on track.
A lot of frustration for the number 33 of the Red Bull thinking of the wasted opportunity to return to the top in the drivers' Championship, alleviated by the error of Lewis Hamilton, which made him fall back to 16th position, immediately after the restart.
“Frustrating and very disappointing so close to the finish to retire with a tyre blowout,” said Verstappen.
“It’s a big shame. Sometimes you can hate this sport – for a few hours, then I’ll be fine again."
“Honestly up until that point it was a great day – the car was on fire, I was just matching whatever I needed to do behind me, I was quite comfortably in the lead. It would have, let’s say, have been an easy win. But, of course, there are no guarantees in the sport.”
💔on my own race… But happy for the team and a huge congrats to @SChecoPerez on the win 💪 The car, pit stops and strategy were amazing again, thanks to @redbullracing. Not much more to say at this time other than we’ll keep pushing until the end ⚔️ 🇦🇿 #AzerbaijanGP pic.twitter.com/Cwxp76LVZO— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) June 6, 2021
“It’s a shame because we missed out on the opportunity to make the gap bigger [in the championship] because we know when we get to normal tracks Mercedes normally are very strong. So it’s a bit of a shame not to open the gap a bit more," Max stated.
“Of course then at the end we got a bit lucky with Lewis going straight at Turn 1, so we are still leading the world championship, but it’s not the way we wanted it to be. I wanted to really open up that gap today and win that race because it would have been great for the team,” he explained.
Despite his disappointment, he looked very happy for all the drivers who conquered the podium today. When he was asked about Perez he said:
“I am, of course, very happy for him. It should have been a one-two but nevertheless to see him win the race was very nice to see. He’s a great team mate and I think he had a great day today as well. He was doing everything that he should be doing as well, so was great to see.”