Max Verstappen made up for his grief from the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix by emerging victorious this time around and becoming the sixth different winner in as many races in Baku – but it wasn’t all smiles for everyone on the ground. We picked six winners and five losers from a hot and sunny Sunday…
Winner: Max Verstappen
For much of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, it looked like Max Verstappen could be eclipsed by Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez for the second race in a row.
But despite seeing Perez take the lead at the start, putting a Ferrari between them, Verstappen showed superior race pace to catch and pass the Mexican for the lead (after Charles Leclerc retired).
FACTS & STATS: Verstappen equals Clark-Lauda win tally with record 66th Red Bull podium
It was his first podium in Baku, a fifth win from eight races this season and a 25th career victory, putting him on par with greats Jim Clark and Niki Lauda in the all-time list.
Loser: Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc was in scintillating form in qualifying, taking his 15th career pole and fourth in a row. While he lost his lead at the start, an aggressive pit stop during a virtual safety car brought him back into the race.
He regained the lead when the Red Bulls pitted and was showing good pace on the hard tire – but a power unit issue forced him to pull out of the lead for the second time in three races.
READ MORE: ‘It hurts’ – Leclerc ‘beyond frustrated’ as Ferrari duo lament Ferrari double retirement in Baku
The Monegasque last converted pole to victory in Australia five races ago and now trails championship leader Verstappen by 34 points.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2022: Race leader Leclerc retires after engine failure
Winners: Red Bull
Red Bull’s reliability showed at the start of the season, with three retirements in the first three races. But they improved things considerably and the reward was three one-two finishes in five races.
It is also only the third time in Red Bull’s history that they have won five races in a row (Vettel won nine races in a row in 2013, while Verstappen and Perez won five at the trot last year) and their 81st F1 victory, tying them with Lotus for fifth place on the all-time list.
READ MORE: Bad luck ‘balanced out’ in title fight, claims Verstappen, as Perez says ‘miscommunication’ cost him in Baku
Two races ago, Ferrari was rather at the top of the constructors’ championship. They are now 80 points behind rivals Red Bull after their first double retirement since the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
However, we must go back to Australia 2009 for the last double DNF of the red team linked to mechanical failures. They are now on a five-race winless streak and have only three podiums since Leclerc’s victory in Australia.
Mercedes’ chances of scoring a podium in Baku looked slim on Saturday because while George Russell secured his second-best grid position of the season with a fifth-place finish, he was still 1.3 seconds off pole.
But after both Ferraris retired, Russell inherited third place to comfortably clinch his third podium of the year and maintain his record of being the only driver to finish every race in the top five.
READ MORE: ‘We were a bit quicker than expected’ – Russell seizes chance on unlikely Baku podium
Teammate Lewis Hamilton finished fourth – his first top four since Australia and their third three-four of the season, helping them close to Ferrari on 38 points.
Loser: Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda had one of the strongest – if not the strongest – weekends of his Formula 1 career in Baku, as he hovered in the top 10 during practice before getting his best ever start to the season with an eighth place finish.
The Japanese driver was then in a comfortable sixth place when he had to go to the pits due to mechanical damage to the rear wing DRS system. It lost him points and there was no going back.
HIGHLIGHTS: Watch exciting race action in Baku as Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two
Winner: Pierre Gasly
There’s just something about Baku getting the best out of Pierre Gasly, with the Frenchman securing a stunning podium finish there last year.
He put his AlphaTauri in a season-best sixth on the grid and converted it to fifth for his first points since Australia, and the team’s best result of 2022.
2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix: AlphaTauri tapes up Tsunoda’s broken rear wing
Loser: Zhou Guanyu
Baku could have been Zhou Guanyu’s second score of the season – and deservedly so after climbing up the points from 14th on the grid.
But a hydraulic problem forced his Alfa Romeo team to retire in what was the Chinese driver’s third DNF in four races. That means his tally for the season sits at one point out of eight attempts.
READ MORE: What the teams said – Race day in Azerbaijan
Winner: Sebastien Vettel
It hasn’t been the easiest start to the season for Aston Martin, but they have started to gain momentum since introducing a significant upgrade in Spain – with Sebastian Vettel giving them their best ever result. the year with a sixth place in Baku.
Not only does this maintain the Silverstone team’s record of having a car in the top six at every Baku F1 race (including when they raced under the Force India and Racing Point banner), but also puts them in the level of Haas in the constructors’ championship.
Loser: Lance Stroll
While his Aston Martin team-mate Vettel shone, Lance Stroll had a more troublesome weekend. He clipped the barrier in qualifying and as he continued he then crashed into another barrier causing damage that forced him out.
The team later said its difficulties were triggered by an engine configuration issue. On race day he made some progress from 19th place, but eventually had to retire from the car when the team said they spotted a vibration problem.
Winner: Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has been on a tough road lately, with the Australian arriving in Baku with just one point from seven attempts so far this season.
READ MORE: ‘I could have finished 8th if I was more of a rebel’ says Norris – but accepts McLaren team orders were ‘right’
But the McLaren driver seemed to have turned a corner already in FP2 and continued to improve throughout the weekend, matching teammate Lando Norris for pace. He then took a step up and beat the Briton in the race, moving into the top 10 and eventually finishing eighth.