The race around the streets of Baku started with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on pole position, as he maintained the lead on the first lap – the first time Ferrari has led a lap since 2019. It wasn't long, however, before Hamilton took the lead.
Max Verstappen was faster even though he sat behind Lewis, but it would come down to the pit stops, which Red Bull tends to be speedier at. And this time around that was the case yet again, as when Hamilton came in for the undercut he was held up an extra two and a half seconds due to traffic in the pit lane.
It wasn't long before Verstappen was able to take the lead after a 1.9-second stop, while team-mate Sergio Perez had an incredible start to his race and was in the lead until he had a problem with a rear tyre during his pitstop – through no fault of his own – emerging in second place, behind Verstappen but ahead of Hamilton.
Lance Stroll was running fourth on Lap 31 when he crashed heavily on the start/finish straight due to a left-rear tyre blowout.
A restart on lap 36 saw the Red Bulls lead the way until a carbon copy of Lance Stroll's crash happened to race leader, Max Verstappen, further down the straight. This raised questions for many down the pit lane about the Pirelli tyres, and also brought out a red flag suspending the race.
Once the race resumed for the final two laps, Sergio Perez sat on pole with Hamilton alongside him. However, it was a sea of smoke bellowing from his Mercedes' brakes – and sure enough Lewis flew straight off the circuit at the first corner with a lock-up on the restart. An odd error by Lewis Hamilton caused by an accidental press of the 'magic button' on his steering wheel that alters brake balance.
A podium no one would have guessed saw Sergio Perez on the top step, Sebastian Vettel in second and Pierre Gasly in third. Daniel Ricciardo finished in ninth. Max Verstappen still holds the lead of the championship by four points. Hamilton did finish the race, but didn't collect any points, crossing the line in 15th.
|1.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing-Honda|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes|
|10.||Kimi||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari|
|11.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari|
Did not finish: Lance Stroll, Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon, George Russell.
2021 Driver Standings
|1.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing-Honda||105|
|3.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing-Honda||69|
|9.||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||28|
|11.||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||13|
|12.||Estaban Ocon||Alpine Renault||12|
|13.||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||9|
|15.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||1|
|16.||Kimi||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||0|
|17.||George Russell||Aston Martin-Mercedes||0|
2021 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing-Honda||174|
|6.||Aston Martin Racing||37|
|8.||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||2|
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