Max Verstappen crash: Heartbreak as rear-left tyre failure crashes Red Bull man out of Azerbaijan Grand Prix race and championship lead.
It was all going smooth for Max Verstappen at Baku in his quest for a first world championship this season. Leading Lewis Hamilton by 4 points before the race, he was comfortably leading the race behind teammate Sergio Perez and Hamilton.
But an uninformed Pirelli left-rear tyre failure meant the Red Bull crashed straight into the barriers, sending him out of the race. Verstappen was visibly frustrated and heart-broken, as he got out, put up the steering wheel in place, and kicked hard at the failed tyre.
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As things stand, FIA Race Director Michael Masi has called for a Red Flag after Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley suggested he do so, considering Lance Stroll had also crashed in his Aston Martin a few laps earlier due to the same tyre failing.
With just two laps left, Sergio Perez leads the race, behind Hamilton and the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel, who has driven a Driver of the Day winning race so far.
The drivers are now all seated in their cars after spending time with their team in the pit lane. Masi has opted for a standing start to the race, with two laps to go out of 51.
Pirelli is likely to face the heat after the race, and Mario Isola, the Pirelli motorsports in-charge, was seen talking to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. It will be interesting to see what Wolff’s Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner has to say about this.