Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Mexican racer Sergio “Checo” Pérez won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, taking his second victory of the 2023 Formula 1 season. 

Victory on the streets of Baku marked a successful end to a dominant weekend for Guadalajara-born Pérez, who also took victory in the 17-lap short-form “sprint” event on Saturday. 

Perez standing on his RBR car
The Mexican driver scored a victory in the sprint feature and in the main race this weekend, bringing him to within 6 points of the championship lead. (Sergio Perez/Twitter)

Success in both races gave the Mexican 33 out of a maximum of 34 points. Pérez is the first driver to score multiple wins in Azerbaijan, a track that has been part of the championship since 2017.

In Saturday’s sprint, Pérez started third but quickly took the lead from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc as his Red Bull Racing teammate, two-time world champion Max Verstappen, made contact with Mercedes’ driver George Russell.

In the full race on Sunday, Pérez led home Verstappen and Leclerc, after taking the lead during a safety-car period, which allowed the Mexican to pull off a quicker-than-average pit stop. Pérez also capitalized on a mistake by Alfa Tauri rookie Nyck de Vries, who brought out a safety car on lap 10 as race leader Verstappen had taken a pit stop for new tires, dropping the Dutchman behind. 

The end of the race, however, was marred by an incident in which Alpine driver Esteban Ocon came perilously close to colliding with a crowd of people in the pit lane, after officials mistakenly closed the pit lane with one lap remaining.

Perez winds through the castle section of Baku City circuit
By winning this weekend, Peréz becomes the first driver to score multiple victories at the Baku City street circuit — a challenging street race through the historic center of the Azeri capital. (Sergio Pérez/Twitter)

As a result of the 1–2 finish, Red Bull Racing have assumed a dominant 93-point lead in the constructors’ championship, having won all four opening races of the 2023 season. There are 19 rounds remaining.

It is Pérez’s second victory this season, having also taken the checkered flag in Saudi Arabia in March. He currently sits second in the drivers’ championship with 87 points, 6 behind leader and teammate Verstappen, who has 93.

Mexico News Daily 

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