Leclerc's block allowed Sergio Pérez to take the lead from him at the start.  Photo: OZAN KOSE / AFP.

Saturday’s classification had sown illusion in Ferrari. Charles Leclerc had posted the fastest time on the final lap to go ahead of the Red Bulls at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Spaniard Carlos Sainz in fourth place. But before halfway through the race this Sunday, a sports catastrophe happened.

First it was the Spanish rider, who had started from 4th position, who had to leave reaching the fourth turn of the Baku street circuit, one of the fastest of the season.

Sainz -who had just finished second in Monaco- retired in the ninth of the 51 laps, due to a hydraulic problemwhich caused him to brake his car on the escape route of the fourth of the circuit’s 20 corners.

“It’s a negative day for the whole team and for me, who didn’t do the race again. It’s a day to be united as a team so that it doesn’t happen to us again in the future”said the Spaniard, frustrated, upon reaching the pits.

All hopes, then, were pinned on Leclerc, something that came in handy. Because beyond having lost the lead at the start at the hands of Mexican Sergio Checo Pérez, he managed to recover it on lap 18.


Leclerc’s block allowed Sergio Pérez to take the lead from him at the start. Photo: OZAN KOSE / AFP.

The Monegasque’s pace had picked up after pitting to switch to hard tires in the middle of a virtual Safety Car, even setting the fastest lap up to that point.

Thus he took advantage of the fact that the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and Checo Pérez entered the pits late to return to the top of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as at the start of the eighth date.

But on lap 20, Leclerc’s Ferrari began to smoke, the power unit failed on one of the circuit’s long straights through the streets of Baku and he had to end up in the pits.

“It’s hard to find words. It hurts, it’s three weekends in a row, it hurts, it hurts a lot. It’s three hard blows but the motivation is still there”commented Leclerc, who was fourth in Monaco and left in Barcelona, ​​to lose the top of the drivers’ championship at the hands of Verstappen.

“I have gone through more difficult moments, but five races ago I came with a very large distance. I am going to recover and try to find a solution”he completed, excited about the future.

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