F1 2023
Round 4

Sergio Perez wins the first sprint of the season

az Baku Street Circuit

Round 4 of the season, The Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint took place at the Baku Street Circuit. Sergio Perez of Oracle Red Bull Racing, supported by Honda as a Team Partner, won the race, with Max Verstappen finishing third place.

Sergio Perez wins the first sprint of the season

Scuderia AlphaTauri driver, Nyck De Vries finished 14th and Yuki Tsunoda didn't finished.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It was key to make sure we had good pace, good rhythm and that we pushed in the key moments of the race, that really made the difference today. I had to push quite hard initially to get past Charles, especially at the restart because on the first lap I could see he had good pace and very good mechanical grip. Later on, I was able to make the move early enough and that to me was important. In the end I think it was a really nicely executed race and it’s been a great weekend from the whole Team so far. I am really proud of my Team because we have come back from a four week gap and then straight into a new format. We have done a tremendous job but tomorrow is what matters and we must focus on that now. I am confident I will be fighting for the win tomorrow but let’s see, it is Baku and anything can happen! I just have to make sure I deliver when it happens.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 1
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It was a bit of a messy first lap and then with the damage I think it was a bit tricky to pull forward throughout the rest of the Sprint. I think overall third was fine, and to manage the damage that we had, we did alright. I need to look into the data to see how much the damage affected the race today, but it’s never ideal to have a hole in the car. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we have a good race car, you could see that today with Checo’s performance. I think the most important thing tomorrow is to stay out of trouble and I think we can go for the win.

Nyck De Vries
Nyck De Vries 21
Scuderia AlphaTauri
We were lacking a lot of grip in today’s SQ1 and tyres were far from ready, which I think was the same for others too, so we didn’t get the chance to properly go for it. The track was still very green, so my first lap was a warm-up lap, and then the next push lap was interrupted.
For the sprint, we have to look at the positives. We had encouraging pace and were racing forward. Compared to other cars in the midfield, we didn’t seem to struggle as much with tyres, which is encouraging for tomorrow. We gained four places in 17 laps, so if we keep that up for the race, I will be a happy guy tomorrow night. It was good to get out there under racing conditions because it gives you an idea of how to race the first couple of laps. Our top speed has been more competitive than at previous races and the team has put a lot of effort into focusing on that asset of the car at this track. With our package, I believe points will be possible tomorrow.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
This morning, I think we could’ve gotten through to SQ2, but unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to do the last push lap. The track was hotter today, but the pace of the car was similar to yesterday. Obviously, the result of the Sprint Shootout was frustrating, but it was interesting with everyone on the same tyre compound.
On the first lap of the Sprint, Nyck and I touched as I was trying to pass. I had no space and after the contact, my front wing was damaged, I understeered into the wall and my race was over. It's very frustrating, as we weren't able to maximise today’s opportunity. For tomorrow, I’ll reset myself, and starting from a good position I’ll try to score as many points as possible. Our car suits this track well, so there is huge potential.

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