Red Bull's Sergio Perez wins dramatic Azerbaijan GP

Mexican Sergio Perez won a dramatic Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Red Bull yesterday after a tyre blowout denied championship-leading teammate Max Verstappen certain victory and Lewis Hamilton failed to score.

The race was red-flagged when Verstappen crashed five laps from the end, the Dutch driver clambering out of the wrecked car and kicking the rear left tyre in fury with his hopes in tatters.

Baku's street circuit then provided another crazy twist at the standing restart when Mercedes' seven-time world champion Hamilton lined up second, with two laps remaining, and looked set to take back the overall lead.

Instead, the Briton got it all wrong - his prospective points haul disappearing as he locked up and ran down the escape road in the sprint to the first corner.

He finished 15th and out of the points for the first time since Austria in 2018.

"I'm so sorry, guys," Hamilton said over the radio. "I clipped a switch that places the brakes off so I just went straight on at turn one on the restart."

Second place dropped instead into the lap of Sebastian Vettel, a first podium finish for Aston Martin, with Frenchman Pierre Gasly taking third for Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri.

Perez said: "I have to say sorry to Max. He deserved the win today and it would have been incredible to get that 1-2 for the team." - REUTERS