Verstappen braced for “strong” Mercedes fightback in Azerbaijan F1 GP
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Verstappen claimed the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time in his F1 career following his maiden win in Monte Carlo.Mercedes endured a torrid weekend in the principality as Lewis Hamilton struggled for pace all weekend, while Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire midway through the race due to a botched pit stop.Despite Mercedes’ difficulties on the streets of Monte Carlo, Verstappen believes it will fare better in Baku.“The track is OK but probably not a favourite of mine if I’m honest,” Verstappen said. “I’ve never been on the podium there so it’s time to change that. Let’s see how competitive we are, I do expect Mercedes to come back strong there though.”Despite taking the lead of both championships, Verstappen isn’t getting carried away.“It was a very good weekend and of course I’ve never stood on the podium there before so it was very nice to get the win,” Verstappen added. “Taking the lead in the championship feels good but we need to be there at the end of the final race, that’s all that matters. “Where we are now feels good and of course it shows that we had a decent start to the year but we have to keep on pushing because we still need to improve and do better. Nobody is ever perfect or standing still in this sport. Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); How can I watch the Azerbaijan GP? F1 timings and TV schedulesaccImages.createImage(); F1 Gossip: Red Bull doesn’t regret losing Sainz – Marko“So far we have made the smallest mistakes but nothing major and that is why we are first at the moment but we all know it can change very quickly.”Sergio Perez has a strong record in Azerbaijan, finishing on the podium in 2016 and 2018 for Force India. The Mexican stressed the need for a strong qualifying, after struggling for one-lap pace in the last three rounds.Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Aston Martin teams up with Racing Pride to raise LGBTQ+ awareness in F1accImages.createImage(); Aston Martin teams up with Racing Pride to raise LGBTQ+ awareness in F1“I’m really looking forward to Baku and I hope we can put a strong qualifying together because we’ve proved that our race pace is right up there with the best,” Perez explained. We just have to improve our Saturdays and then we should be fine.”
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