Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s 1-2 in the driver’s championship is for the first time since 2011 for Red Bull. Are they back to rule F1?
This Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw Ferrari endure another dose of race day misery, with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz forced to retire due to bizarre troubles.
As for Red Bull Racing, their title opponents, couldn’t have dreamed of a better finish. While Max Verstappen ran a dominant race to victory, Sergio Perez picked up the slack to finish second behind the Dutchman.
Perez took the lead from the very first corner of lap 1 but his loss of traction cost him a lot of time which resulted in max taking the lead from lap 15.
This led both the red bull drivers to a dominant victory. Furthermore, Verstappen and Perez may have successfully ended one of Red Bull’s longest droughts.
In 2011, Red Bull witnessed both of its drivers accomplish an incredible feat. Following the double-podium at the Belgian Grand Prix where four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber managed to clinch an incredible 1-2 in the driver’s standings.
After suffering a few tire damages, the 2011 Belgian GP saw Vettel and Webber finish a Red Bull 1-2 and to get on top of their tires, also securing the constructor’s championship with a clear lead.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) June 12, 2022
The Austrian team has been in reaching the distance of that top step for some time now, but it’s finally happened. Ten years in the making after none of the red bull drivers managed to replicate the 1-2 finish.
Did Sergio Perez break the second driver curse at Red Bull?
Over the years the second seat to Max Verstappen has mostly stayed unguarded despite repeated line-up changes. Ever since Daniel Ricciardo left the team, nobody has been able to keep up with Max Verstappen and everyone who has been given a chance has failed to live up to the expectations placed on them.
Pierre Gasly massively overperformed at Toro Rosso before appearing helpless and lost at Red Bull. Then, The driver who took his position, Alex Albon, found himself on the sharp side of the garage with dwindling chances of keeping his seat.
These constant changes in the lineup for the second red bull seat led to the birth of a theory called the ‘second driver curse’. However, a year later red bull signed Perez who initially seemed to be the third victim of ‘the curse’.
But moving forward to the 2022 Formula One season, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The 32-year-old has clearly adapted well, and his previous experience is finally paying off. Not to mention the long-term contract extension, which has boosted morale.
After his glorious win at Monaco and P2 in Baku, the Mexican has now also dragged himself into the championship fight maybe even breaking the curse.