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Live: F1 Azerbaijan GP commentary and updates

Follow the live action of the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

F1 is in Baku for round four, with Charles Leclerc beating the Red Bulls to pole in both qualifying sessions for the sprint and grand prix.

But after Leclerc lost out to Sergio Perez in the sprint race, the Ferrari driver will aim to fight back with a second shot from pole for the main race.

As part of the 2023 sprint race weekend format tweaks, the starting grid was decided by Friday’s qualifying session rather than the finishing order in the sprint race.

But both Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg will start from the pitlane due to car changes in parc ferme conditions.

By: Haydn Cobb, Stephen Lickorish


  • Sergio Perez won F1's 2023 Azerbaijan GP, becoming the first driver to take two victories in Baku. He was joined by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on the podium
  • Leclerc kept the lead from pole at the start, followed by Verstappen, Perez and Sainz
  • Verstappen overtook Leclerc at the end of lap 3 with a DRS-assisted move. Perez followed through a couple of laps later
  • De Vries stopped on track on lap 11, with the safety car neutralising the race. Verstappen lost out to Perez and Leclerc but quickly fought back to second
  1. Perez, Red Bull
  2. Verstappen, Red Bull
  3. Leclerc, Ferrari
  4. Alonso, Aston Martin
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Hamilton, Mercedes
  7. Stroll, Aston Martin
  8. Russell, Mercedes
  9. Norris, McLaren
  10. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
Status: Stopped
It's a two-Bull title race after four rounds, but it is set up very nicely. Next up is Miami on 5-7 May, just a few days away. Until then, have a lovely rest of your Sunday. Go well!
So, after all that, Verstappen retains his F1 world drivers' championship lead on 93 points with Perez six points behind. Then it is Alonso in third, 23 points off Verstappen.
Here's the full race report:
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The podium trio get busy with the fizzy, Perez getting a face full from Verstappen. That's probably the only thing that's gone wrong for the Mexican in the last 24 hours!
The Mexican anthem plays on the podium for Perez's win, as he beats his chest with his fist. That one meant a lot.

We have a feeling this will be the biggest talking point post-race...

Leclerc takes the middle winners' seat in the cooldown room, but when Perez arrives he offers to move over, but the Mexican declines. "You were unlucky there [with the safety car]," Perez says to Verstappen on the safety car timing.
Perez on his grand prix win: "It really worked out today for us. We managed to stay in the DRS, kept the pressure on Max, it was looking good already and then the safety car came and bunched everyone up."
Verstappen on second place: "The safety car [timing] was unlucky and then I had to push to stay close and stay in the DRS and then the tyres overheated when trying to follow. The balance also, I was struggling to be consistent."
Leclerc on losing out to the Red Bulls: "They are in another league when it comes to the race. The good first lap managed to put us in front but then over 51 laps it was not possible, they have so much more pace than we do."
A sprint win and a grand prix win for Perez - not a bad weekend all told!
Perez leaps into the arms of his Red Bull mechanics to celebrate the sixth F1 grand prix win of his career. He's also the first repeat winner in Azerbaijan!
Norris and Tsunoda round out the points places, as Ocon's last-lap pitstop sees him finish 15th, even if he almost took some photographers for a ride on his car for the final lap.
Leclerc keeps clear of Alonso to complete the podium by 0.8s. Sainz takes fifth ahead of Hamilton and Stroll. Russell, in eighth, also bags the fastest lap bonus point thanks to his late soft tyre switch.
Perez wins the Azerbaijan Grand Prix! It is a Red Bull 1-2 with Verstappen in second!
And so Ocon now stops on the final lap, his wait for a safety car ultimately proving unsuccessful. But it's not a simple entrance to the pits as he has to dodge the gathering photographers getting ready for the post-race parc ferme images.
Final lap time, Perez leads by 2.5s, so that could be that.
And, finally Hulkenberg does now pit to discard those well-worn hards. But he has now fallen back to a lowly 17th place and it wasn't exactly the fastest stop either.
It is the fight for the fastest lap, as all of the top six set their personal bests last time around. Alonso holds it, but Russell is pitting for softs...
There was a brief scare for Russell there as he closed on the back of Stroll. He locked up and went very deep into Turn 1 but keeps it out of the wall.
Albon and Magnussen are the next ones to blast past Hulkenberg as he tumbles down the order.
Not for long, as Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1m44.541s to close to 2.7s off Leclerc.
Verstappen shaves Perez's lead to just under three seconds, as he sets a new fastest lap of 1m44.566s to take back that fastest lap bonus point.
Piastri is now the latest to pass the ailing Hulkenberg. This strategy gamble isn't really paying off for the Haas man.
There are going to be some frustrated drivers at the end of this race, either having been stuck behind a rival without the chance to pass or waiting for a safety car to shake up the strategy.
"I think we need to pit, the tyres are really bad," says Hulkenberg, who is still yet to stop.
Tsunoda does get ahead this time as he blasts past Hulkenberg on the pit straight and into 11th place.
Tsunoda doesn't quite follow Norris ahead into Turn 1 - but the AlphaTauri is still on for a points finish when Ocon and Hulkenberg stop.
Wow, we are being treated, another overtake! Norris has now finally got by the struggling Hulkenberg and is up into 10th. Hulkenberg was slightly wide at Turn 7 and Norris got the better exit.
Perez, barring disaster, looks to have this one in his hands. The gap is 3.7s over Verstappen with five laps to go. Further back, Leclerc is third with a 3.4s gap on Alonso.
Hulkenberg is clearly struggling on his ancient tyres and has now clonked the wall at Turn 15 again. But, as with his earlier strike, no major damage is done - although he's fall adrift from Ocon in ninth.
Leclerc is tracking the pace of Alonso behind him, as he posts a new fastest lap of the race of anyone with a 1m44.670s.
It was down the pit straight and around the outside into Turn 1 that Gasly swept by the Williams in that moment of excitement.
Now we have a genuine overtake! Gasly has passed Sargeant for that all-important 16th spot!
An overtake! OK, it was Perez lapping last-placed Bottas, but it still counts, right?
Ocon and Hulkenberg are seemingly leaving as late as they can before pitting, just in case a safety car creeps into play. But, when they do eventually stop, they're going to plummet down to very nearly last place.
With 10 laps to go Verstappen has trimmed Perez's lead back to 2.9s. Game on?
But Hamilton's Mercedes just doesn't have the straightline grunt to get alongside the Ferrari, so he remains stuck behind in sixth.
Hamilton is as close to Sainz as he has been all race in the fight for fifth place, with just half a second between the two.