MAX VERSTAPPEN and Lewis Hamilton crashed out of a wild Azerbaijan Grand Prix – with Sergio Perez taking victory.
23-year-old’s Verstappen’s 200mph accident should have given Hamilton victory and top spot in the Drivers’ Championship – but then he dramatically crashed out at the restart.
Verstappen’s tyre blew at 200mph making him crash
Verstappen took his frustration out on his crashed Red BullCredit: Reuters
Lewis Hamilton crashed at turn 1 when the race restartedCredit: Getty
It meant Red Bull driver Perez took victory in Baku, with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel second and Pierre Gasly third.
Verstappen, with clear road in front of him, lost control of his Red Bull in the 47th lap and crashed into the wall.
His rear left tyre gave way – the same problem Lance Stroll experienced in his Aston Martin earlier in the race.
The title candidate couldn’t believe his luck, getting out of his knackered vehicle and kicking the faulty tyre in frustration.
Thankfully he appears to have been uninjured during the crash.
The car hit the wall after the left rear tyre gave wayCredit: Getty
The dejected 23-year-old makes his way back to the paddockCredit: AP
Verstappen then stormed off the track before the race was stopped two laps later.
The incident should have been a huge boost to Hamilton, who was on the verge of going top of the Drivers’ Championship.
But when the race restarted for a two lap shoot-out, it all went wrong.
The reigning world champion crashed out on the first corner of the restart as he tried to get past race leader Perez.
The Brit’s brakes appeared to be overheating at the standing start and they were totally unresponsive as he flew off the track.
EARLIER IN THE RACE
Hamilton had made a great start to the GP when he overtook Charles Leclerc, who failed to take advantage of a second successive pole.
Esteban Ocon was the first retiree of the race, pitting after five laps with an engine problem.
Red Bull pair Verstappen and Sergio Perez then overtook Leclerc to move into second and third respectively and pile pressure on Hamilton.
And then the Mercedes driver had a moment to forget as a 4.6-second pit stop saw him drop back into third.
Lance Stroll crashed out in the middle of the race with the same problem as Verstappen.
After Hamilton’s costly mistake at the restart, Perez took the lead and stormed to victory.
There was a fascinating battle for third between Gasly, Leclerc and Lando Norris – but the Frenchman held out for a place on the podium.
Vettel also picked up a podium – his first for new team Aston Martin.