Formula 1 street races have long had another level of thrill to them, however, the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix brought with it a fresh wave of excitement. With a new Sprint race format introduced to the weekend, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc taking his first pole of the season, and fans looking out for Baku’s first two-time winner—the anticipation was at an all-time high.
While championship contender Max Verstappen was quick to overhaul Leclerc with Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in the early stages, he soon dropped to third position due to the timing with the Safety Car. The two-time world champion pitted under the yellow flag, and Perez came in after the Safety Car was deployed, which allowed the Mexican driver to rejoin the race as leader.
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Now in third, Verstappen was able to overtake Leclerc a second time, but could not get close enough to make a move on Perez, and ultimately finished second after him, and earned a 1-2 win for Red Bull. “I think, of course, the Safety Car was a bit unlucky. Then I had to push again, I tried to stay very close [to Perez], to try and get into the DRS, but I think the tyres were overheating a bit because of that, trying to follow,” the Dutch driver said post-race. “But also, the balance, I was struggling to be really consistent. [It was] just a little bit too late [to challenge Perez], [but] I think a lot of things learned again throughout the race, and, of course, at the end of the day, a good team result.”
Leclerc was able to hold third place for the majority of the race and even held off a late attack from Fernando Alonso. This meant a broken streak of podiums for the Aston Martin driver who came in fourth, and a first podium of the season for the Monegasque racer. Over at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton finished in sixth, after being the first to pit for fresh tires, while George Russell finished eighth after the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.
The Perfect Race Weekend in Baku
This weekend, Vogue Man Arabia had the best seats for all the action, courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Baku. Located in the heart of Azerbaijan’s capital, the recently-opened property is making the most of the exciting F1 season by introducing ‘The Perfect Race Weekend in Baku’ package. With its multi-year partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix staying on the calendar until 2026, this is the time to make the most of the experience with the hotel, which promises much more than seats to the thrilling spectacle.
A stay with The Ritz-Carlton, Baku promises not only the ideal blend of modern amenities, and local traditions, with the brand’s renowned hospitality, but also the most memorable experiences: Round-trip transportation between the hotel and circuit to exclusive access to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team hospitality amenities as well as limited-edition merchandise, and an e-sport simulator experience to test your own mettle. Racegoers are also invited to indulge in the food and beverage over at JW Marriott Absheron Baku Circuit, and The Ritz-Carlton Baku, Club Lounge to unwind before an exhilarating day,
Starting at AED 3,990; reserve via Ritzcarlton.com