Round eight of its world tour takes Formula 1 to Azerbaijan. World champion Max Verstappen has a score to settle with Baku. Mick Schumacher is driving against doubts after his Monaco crash.
After the rather chaotic Monaco race, Formula 1 has the next city race coming up. In Baku, too, the drivers rush through urban canyons, and even the smallest mistakes can lead to accidents. Red Bull and Ferrari are likely to lead the field again.
Who will start the eighth race of the season as the favourite?
Recently in Monte Carlo, Ferrari seemed to have the slightly faster car, but gave away a possible victory due to strategic mistakes. The Scuderia urgently needs to turn things around after Charles Leclerc lost a lot of ground in the title fight with his engine failure in Barcelona and frustrating fourth place in Monaco. But Max Verstappen is also thirsting for redemption after a puncture stopped him on his way to victory in Azerbaijan last year shortly before the finish. “We still have a score to settle here,” said the Red Bull world championship leader.
What role does Verstappen’s colleague Sergio Perez play?
The Mexican is coming to the Caspian Sea with a good boost after his Monaco triumph. As a reward for his rise in form, Perez received a new contract until the end of 2024. He is now only six points behind Leclerc and 15 behind Verstappen in the World Championship. The 32-year-old has “significantly reduced” the performance gap to the world champion, praised Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. If this continues, Perez could even turn the world championship into a three-way fight – and cause headaches for the Red Bull team, which is actually tailored to Verstappen. Last year, Perez took his first victory in the Red Bull in Baku.
How is Mick Schumacher doing after his Monaco crash?
Schumacher’s Haas was torn in two before Monte Carlos harbour. The 23-year-old’s violent accident recently fuelled doubts that the son of record world champion Michael Schumacher has what it takes to be a top driver. At least: the young star remained without major injuries. “I’m okay, thanks for the kind messages,” he wrote to his fan community via Instagram. He has long been fully focused on the next race again. Haas team boss Günther Steiner, however, warned before his departure for Baku that the cash-strapped racing team could not afford any more scrap for the time being.