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Verstappen wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Leclerc limps out

World champion Max Verstappen led a Red Bull 1-2 in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in a potentially key moment of the title race after Charles Leclerc and Ferrari endured another dose of raceday misery.

Sergio Perez had jumped pole sitter Leclerc to the first turn before Verstappen took control as first the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and then Leclerc retired with engine problems.

George Russell took third with teammate Lewis Hamilton fourth for Mercedes who suffered badly from bouncing on the streets of Baku this weekend.

Verstappen’s fifth win of the season tightened his grip on the drivers’ standings with Perez now moving into second, 21 points behind, while the luckless Leclerc slipped to 34 points adrift.

“Was that a good drive or was that a good drive?” a pleased Verstappen asked over the team radio, mindful that he had ended his Baku jinx having never made the podium on any of his previous visits. 

It was a memorable day for Red Bull who are now 80 points clear of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship ahead of round nine of the season in Montreal next week.

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