Max Verstappen might have taken victory at the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but the memories of what happened in 2021 seem likely to live on for some time. During a season famed for a tense championship battle between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the Red Bull driver looked to be on course to take victory at the Baku race. However, just five laps from the end, the left rear tyre on Verstappen’s car failed, forcing the Dutchman to retire from the running. While teammate Sergio Perez claimed the race lead, Hamilton was set to take over at the top of the Drivers’ standings. That all changed when the event was restarted for a two-lap sprint to the finish, where a mistake from Hamilton resulted in the Mercedes going straight on into Turn 1. This dramatically dropped the seven-time World Champion out of the points, and Verstappen can still recall the reaction. ‘A hundred messages’ after Hamilton error “I hear the restart [happening],” Verstappen explained on Red Bull’s Talking Bull podcast in 2022. “At one point I hear the guys brake and I could hear [a screeching noise], and then everyone’s [cheering] like, ‘Yeah!’ “I think Gemma [Lusty, Red Bull press officer] was with me, and the phone was like [buzzing], like a hundred messages! I said, ‘What happened? What happened?’ “And then you [Perez] were back in the lead again.” Perez went on to clinch his first win for Red Bull in the race, while Hamilton finished in 15th.
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