(Baku) On another planet: Sergio Pérez, winner of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of teammate Max Verstappen, championship leader, the Red Bulls gave their opponents no chance on the streets of Baku.

“Everything worked out for us today!” “Reacted Pérez after the arrival of the 4th round of the season. He had already won in Baku in 2021 and becomes the first driver to win twice on this circuit, adding his victory in the sprint race on Saturday.

On the shores of the Caspian Sea, where more spectacle was expected in the narrow and tricky streets of the Azerbaijani capital, the holder of the leading position Leclerc will not have resisted the Red Bull assault for long.

Second on the grid, Verstappen took the advantage over the Monegasque at the start of the 4th lap, Pérez at the start of the 6th.

The intervention of the safety car could have reshuffled the cards, especially since Verstappen, called into the pits too early to change his tires, found himself behind Pérez and Leclerc.

“The safety car was somewhat unwelcome,” admitted the Dutchman.

But when the race restarted, Leclerc was again dominated by “Mad Max”. The Scuderia driver will never see the powerful single-seaters of the Austrian team again, which only widened the gap with the rest of the grid. This is the third double in four Grands Prix for Red Bull.

At the finish, more than 20 seconds separated Verstappen from Leclerc. “They play in another category when it comes to racing,” reacted the Monegasque disillusioned at the finish. “They have so much more pace than us, everyone is working hard to figure out what we can do in the race to close the gap.”

Big winner of the weekend, Pérez leaves Azerbaijan with 36 of the 37 points offered this weekend. Only the point of the fastest lap, recovered by the Briton George Russell (Mercedes), escapes him.

Already the day before, the Mexican had won the sprint, taking the eight points for victory.

Thanks to his two weekend victories, the 33-year-old has closed the gap to Verstappen in the championship and is now just six behind the reigning double world champion.

Behind, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) retains 3rd place overall. He finished off the podium for the first time since the season, in 4th place.

Quebecer Lance Stroll finished 7th.

The fourth round of the season marked the return on Saturday of a sprint race, a format introduced in 2021 and which will be found on five other Grand Prix this season. But, unlike what has been done so far, F1 has revised its format to ensure the show.

Thus, the sprint, which usually determined the grid for the Grand Prix contested the next day, no longer has any impact for the day on Sunday. He also has his own contested qualifying session earlier on Saturday in which Leclerc took the lead.

In order to determine the starting grid for the Grand Prix, the drivers had competed in a first qualifying session on Friday where, there already, the Monegasque had shone.

King of the leading position on the Azerbaijani track, Leclerc was – once again – unable to confirm his rank in the race.

The Monegasque did not lose everything, however, as he signed his first podium of the season for Ferrari in Azerbaijan – and the first for the Scuderia under the era of Frédéric Vasseur, who arrived in January at the head of the Italian team.

Behind, the French Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, finish respectively 14th and 15th.

Ocon, who went through the pits for the first time in the race on the last lap (a minimum stop is compulsory during the Grand Prix, under penalty of being disqualified), was also given a good fright when he discovered on the last moment of the photographers on the pit lane.