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Perez leads Red Bull 1-2 on streets of Baku

Ferrari’s Leclerc finishes a distant third

Sergio Perez won Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix with teammate Max Verstappen in second to ram home Red Bull’s supremacy over the rest of the Formula One grid.

Ferrari’s pole-sitter Charles Leclerc completed the podium, a respectable third.

“Vamos!” exclaimed the Mexican on the team radio after making it a hugely profitable weekend in Baku where he also claimed Saturday’s sprint race.

Red Bull’s roll through 2023 after four races now reads four wins plus Saturday’s sprint, three poles, and three 1-2s.

Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship by just six points ahead of the fifth round of the record 23-race season in Miami.

Perez’ engineer told him on the team radio he was the “king of the streets” and with justification as five of his six F1 wins – not counting Saturday’s sprint – have come on street circuits, twice in Baku alongside victories in Saudi Arabia, Monaco and Singapore.

The popular Perez, who believes he can really challenge Verstappen for the title, said: “It really worked out today for us (me), we managed to keep the pressure on Max. I think it was very close between us, we pushed to the maximum, we both hit the wall a few times but we (I) managed to keep him under control.”

Leclerc conceded that for the time being at any rate Red Bull were in “another league once it comes to the race”.

“Over 51 laps it was not possible, they have so much more pace than we do. Everyone is working flat out to understand what we can do in the races to close the gap.”

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