Perez wins the Azerbaijan GP! What an incredible race and Perez takes the chequered flag, his first race victory as a Red Bull driver! It was a bad day for the top two championship leaders, with Verstappen failing to finish and Hamilton making the massive error on the restart.
Vettel in P2 and Leclerc in P3! Such drama in Baku!
'Mercedes had no grounds for complaint' - Horner
50/51 - HAMILTON OUT AT TURN !
Hamilton goes on! Disaster for Hamilton who locks up and goes on at Turn 1 and that is essentially his race over. Perez is away at the front of the pack.
Wisdom from Hamilton
"We've got to remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Got to be measured, how risky we go," says Hamilton ahead of the restart. Bono: "Copy Lewis." Wolff: "Absolutely agree, Lewis."
The race will restart at 18:10 local time. Standing start. So that's in about 15 minutes time. The early investigations are already going on about what has happened with these tyres...
49/51 - RED FLAG!
Session is stopped! The race stewards have decided that it's better to clear the track with the drivers in the pit lane and with just three laps remaining the red flags are out!
48/51 - Safety Car deployed!
Unsurprisingly, we are now behind the Safety Car and there's a good chance that this race will finish behind the Safety Car. Has there been an issue with the tyres? Have Pirelli gone too soft? Keep in mind that we saw something similar happen with Stroll earlier in the race.
47/51 - VERSTAPPEN CRASH!
Disaster for Verstappen! What happened there?! Verstappen is in the wall! He had this race as good as wrapped up, but there has been a problem with one of his rear tyres! Horner has his head in his hands. He can't believe what has happened!
45/51 - Fastest lap!
Verstappen has just set the new fastest lap of the race and is that the sign that Hamilton is now out of the tyre window? Do Red Bull now have this one wrapped up? It's looking good for Verstappen and Perez.
42/51 - Hamilton message
"I'm not getting any closer," says Hamilton on the Mercedes team radio. Red Bull and Perez might just hold on here...
41/51 - Mercedes re-energised
Hamilton is looking quite a bit better since the Safety Car. It seems to have cooled things down and the defending world champion is trying to find a way past Perez. The Mexican will be sweating, and not just because it's a warm afternoon in Baku...
40/51 - One to keep an eye on...
39/51 - Fastest lap!
Hamilton has just set the fastest lap of the race, but the two Red Bulls are still leading this race pretty comfortably with just 12 laps left. Meanwhile, Bottas is down in 14th...
37/51 - Vettel past Gasly!
Vettel up into fourth! These tyres are working very well for Vettel as he passes Gasly and now the former world champion is behind Hamilton. Surely he couldn't, could he?
36/51 - Racing again!
High drama at the restart! Hamilton thought about going down the inside of Perez, but backed off. Then Vettel passes Leclerc before the Ferrari very nearly goes into the back of Hamilton following a lock-up!
34/51 - Hamilton is worried
"Restart is going to be difficult" says Hamilton on the Mercedes team radio. Indeed, getting some heat into the tyres behind the Safety Car will be tricky. This restart is going to be interesting.
32/51 - Medical car deployed
The medical car has been deployed on the Baku Street Circuit, but Stroll looks to be fine. It was a tyre failure for the Aston Martin. A puncture, perhaps?
31/51 - STROLL CRASH!
A big incident! Stroll went longer than anyone else in this stint of the race, he was the only driver not to put, and he's into the wall! The Safety Car has been issued and there is a lot of debris across the track.
29/51 - Red Bull radio message
Verstappen's race engineer has been on the radio to tell the Dutchman that there is some wind in Turn 15 and 16 and to take care there. Red Bull are in complete control at the moment.
28/51 - Sums things up...
27/51 - Hamilton concerned
Hamilton is worried that he is losing the Red Bulls. Mercedes have the straightline speed, but the Red Bulls have been the better balanced cars all weekend. This is going very well for Verstappen and Perez.
26/51 - Mazepin lock-up!
Oh dear! It's another lock-up for Mazepin. That has become his trademark in F1 this season. The Russian is at the back of the pack by 38 seconds...
25/51 - More pain for Bottas
24/51 - Brave from Sainz!
Sainz up into P13! The Spaniard is having to make his way through the pack after a lock-up earlier in the race and he showed good bravery to get past Giovinazzi into Turn 8, going the long way round after braking late.
23/51 - Going to plan for RB!
Red Bull couldn't have planned this race any better. They have a one-two at the moment with Verstappen and Perez leading the pack! Red Bull look to have the best balanced car this weekend. Can they convert that into maximum points?
22/51 - Bottas update
We haven't mentioned Bottas yet. He is still stuck down in 10th position, which is where he started the race. He's struggling to find a way past Norris.
21/51 - Vettel pits!
Vettel into the pits for a new set of tyres and the former world champion emerges in seventh place out of the pit lane. Stretching out the first stint of the race has worked rather well for Aston Martin.
20/51 - As it stands...
1) Vettel 2) Verstappen 3) Perez 4) Hamilton 5) Stroll 6) Gasly 7) Leclerc 8) Tsunoda 9) Norris 10) Bottas
18/51 - Vettel leads!
He has yet to pit, so it's a bit of a false position, but just to let you know - Vettel is leading the race! It's the first time he has led a race since Brazil 2019.
17/51 - Perez pits!
Slow stop for Perez! A 4.3-second stop for Perez, but the Mexican comes out still in front of Verstappen! Without that slow stop Perez might well have come out in front of his teammate.
16/51 - Verstappen pits!
Verstappen back out in front of Hamilton! As expected, the slow stop by Hamilton has cost him and Verstappen has pitted and rejoined the race ahead of the defending world champion.
15/51 - Slow Hamilton stop!
Hamilton into the pits! It's a slow stop for the defending world champion. Gasly coming in caused a bit of a jam in the pit lane and that could be a big moment in this race! Red Bull are capable of sub-2 second pit stops!
14/51 - Sainz into the run-off!
Sainz goes wide! That's a blow for the Ferrari who has gone straight on at Turn 8! Sainz has to reverse back on to the track and is now down in P15. That's far from ideal for the Spaniard.
13/51 - Norris passes Alonso
McLaren have tried the undercut with Norris and he is making his way through the grid. Norris passes Alonso and is now up to P13. Keep in mind that many of the drivers ahead of him haven't pitted.
11/51 - Tsunoda LOL!
"Yuki, we need to push hard now. Create a gap to Vettel. Push hard," is the message to Tsunoda on the AlphaTauri team radio. The response? "I AM! SHUT UP!"
10/51 - Leclerc pits
Leclerc is into the pits. Ferrari have shifted him on to the hard compound tyres. Leclerc can still have a good race here despite dropping down to fourth place over the course of the first 10 laps.
9/51 - Perez up into third!
As expected, Perez closes up on Leclerc after Verstappen gets past the Ferrari and he joins his Red Bull teammate in pushing forward. This is a very important stage of the race. Very interesting at the head of the pack.
8/51 - Hamilton's complaints
Hamilton has been on the Mercedes team radio to complain about some balance issues - "it's on the nose." And that message has been relayed to Verstappen as well.
7/51 - Verstappen is through!
Verstappen up into second! That had been a few laps in the making. Verstappen bides his time, went late on the brakes and gets past Leclerc. Now let's watch out for Perez making a move on the Ferrari as well.
6/51 - Hamilton's lead
Hamilton is at the lead of the pack, but it's fair to say that he isn't exactly pulling clear of Leclerc. The Ferrari is still only one second behind the Mercedes. Meanwhile, Verstappen is doing his best to get past Leclerc.
5/51 - Ocon out!
Ocon retirement! It sounds like the Renault has some sort of gearbox problem and that's the end of Ocon's race.
4/51 - Debris
There looked to be some debris on the track at Turn 15 and that prompted a number of cars to cut the corner. Was it a bit of a branch off a tree?!
3/51 - HAMILTON LEADS!
Hamilton into first! The world champion doesn't even need DRS to pass Leclerc who was powerless to stop the Mercedes. Hamilton had the slipstream on Leclerc. Perfect move.
2/51 - Perez up to P4!
Perez has enjoyed a very good start to the race with the Mexican up two places to fourth. However, Norris has not had a good start and has fallen all the way down to 12th, behind his teammate Ricciardo.
1/51 - LIGHTS OUT!
Leclerc gets away! It's a good start by the Ferrari who gets away well from the line and leads ahead of Hamilton and Verstappen! No incidents through the first few turns.
13:00 - Formation lap!
Okay, here we go. We are about to get under way in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. This has the potential to be a classic. There are so many different storylines to follow.
12:55 - Ferrari recovery?
Not long until we embark on the formation lap in Baku. Last time out, Sainz finished on the podium at Monaco. This was after Leclerc had claimed pole.
Now Leclerc is on pole once again. Are these signs that Ferrari are starting to recover?
12:50 - Title duel
Of course, the big storyline this season is the developing title duel between Hamilton and Verstappen. The former is in P2 while the latter is in P3. Do Red Bull have the pace in the car to win this afternoon? Verstappen is the championship leader at the moment.
12:45 - Time for the anthem!
It's time for the national anthem of Azerbaijan down on the grid. This is after F1's 'We Race As One' video plays. The sport has said a lot about doing more to ensure equality within its ranks, but there is still a lot of criticism that not enough is being done.
Also a minute's silence for former F1 president Max Mosely and McLaren's Mansour Ojjeh.
12:40 - Final prep
All the drivers and team engineers are now down on the grid. Of course, Baku is another street circuit, but this is a very different sort of track to Monaco. Expect overtaking. Expect drama. This should be a good one!
12:35 - Hamilton's chances?
Hamilton was very pleased with securing P2 in Saturday qualifying, happier than I have ever seen him in that position. That maybe reveals a lot about where Mercedes are at the moment.
They had a difficult Monaco GP and it seems this could be another challenging afternoon for them, although Hamilton is still getting the best out of his car.
12:30 - Can Leclerc convert?
A dramatic qualifying session yesterday saw Leclerc claim pole position. Of course, he did that at Monaco too, but wasn't able to make it to the grid.
This time he's on the grid, so can Leclerc convert pole into a race victory on this tricky street circuit?
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) - GP of Azerbaidjan 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
Charles Leclerc secured back-to-back pole positions for Ferrari with success at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton joined the Monegasque on the front row for Sunday’s GP.
In a qualifying session punctuated by four red flags after a spree of crashes, Leclerc was gifted top spot after the session was halted in the closing moments with a number of rivals on flying laps.
Red Bull were expected to lock down the top two spots after dominating free practice across Friday and Saturday, but Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez could only finish third and seventh respectively.
Leclerc’s lap of 1:41.218 was +0.232s clear of Hamilton and +0.345s ahead of Verstappen.
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly ensured that four different manufactures were represented in the top four, with Carlos Sainz taking fifth for Ferrari.
Lando Norris posted the sixth fastest time, but was subsequently handed a three-place penalty for not following red flag procedure, with Perez, Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri), Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) rounding out the top 10.
The late red flag was issued after Tsunoda and Sainz crashed in separate incidents at Turn 3.
- Singapore Grand Prix cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions
- Hamilton frustrated by slow Mercedes as Perez is fastest in Azerbaijan practice
Verstappen: 'I don't feel sorry for Hamilton'
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
'No assurances' Hamilton will race next season, says Mercedes boss Wolff