A dramatic twist to a race that served up the most unpredictable podium of the season (so far).
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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.

Results

PosDriverTeam
1.Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing-Honda
2.Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes
3.Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda
4.Charles LeclercFerrari
5.Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes
6.Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault
7.Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda
8.Carlos SainzFerrari
9.Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes
10.Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari
11.Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari
12.Valtteri BottasMercedes-AMG
13.Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari
14.Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari
15.Lewis HamiltonMercedes-AMG
16.Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes

Did not finish: Lance Stroll, Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon, George Russell.


2021 Driver Standings

PosDriverTeamPts
1.Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing-Honda105
2.Lewis HamiltonMercedes-AMG101
3.Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing-Honda69
4.Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes66
5.Charles LeclercFerrari52
6.Valtteri BottasMercedes-AMG47
7.Carlos SainzFerrari42
8.Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda31
9.Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes28
10.Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes26
11.Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault13
12.Estaban Ocon Alpine Renault12
13.Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes9
14.Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda2
15.Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari1
16.Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari0
17.George RussellAston Martin-Mercedes0
18.Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari0
19.Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari0
20.Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes0

2021 Constructor Standings

PosTeamPts
1.Red Bull Racing-Honda174
2.Mercedes-AMG148
3.Ferrari94
4.McLaren92
5.AlphaTauri-Honda39
6.Aston Martin Racing37
7.Alpine Renault25
8.Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari2
9.Williams-Mercedes0
10.Haas-Ferrari0