Sergio secured his first win of 2021 and Pierre picked up his first podium, with both Honda-powered teams finishing in the top three, but that doesn’t tell half the story of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Max started from third on the grid alongside Pierre in fourth, with Sergio sixth and Yuki seventh after a strong qualifying performance all round. In the early stages, Max sat third before quickly clearing Charles Leclerc and setting off after Lewis Hamilton, while Sergio made a brilliant start to rise to fourth by the end of the opening lap. One lap after Max passed Leclerc, Sergio also overtook the Ferrari so Red Bull Racing were running second and third.
Pierre was a strong fifth at this point, while Yuki had lost one position at the start but regained it with a good move on Fernando Alonso, and was then the first of the Honda-powered drivers to make a pit stop as Scuderia AlphaTauri called him in on lap nine. Pierre followed suit two laps later - with both drivers switching to hard tyres - before Max also stopped on lap 12.
That strategy saw Max jump ahead of Hamilton to take the lead, while Checo also produced a number of quick laps at the end of his first stint before stopping a lap after Max. Despite a slightly slow stop, Sergio still emerged in front of Hamilton and Red Bull ran one-two for the majority of the race.
A Safety Car was needed on lap 30 after a high-speed left rear tyre failure for Lance Stroll, and although Max and Sergio could retain their positions in the lead on the restart, Pierre dropped to fifth behind Sebastian Vettel who was on newer tyres.
Entering the final five laps, disaster struck as Max - who was comfortable in the lead - suffered a left rear tyre failure on the pit straight and crashed at 200mph. Fortunately he was unhurt but the debris and concern regarding tyres in general, meant the race was red-flagged.
All drivers could change tyres and a standing restart was called with two racing laps, with Sergio restarting from pole position, Pierre fourth and Yuki seventh. All drivers restarted on soft tyres and although Hamilton tried to overtake Sergio at Turn 1, the Mercedes driver overshot the corner and Sergio was able to cut back inside to regain the lead and go on to take his first victory for Red Bull and Honda.
With Hamilton dropping back, Pierre was now third and had a thrilling fight with Leclerc for the final podium spot as he was overtaken at the end of the penultimate lap but instantly picked up the slipstream and re-passed the Ferrari into Turn 1.
Yuki crossed the line seventh after some close fights on the restart, picking up the best result of his rookie season so far. Sergio’s victory was our 81st in Formula 1 and with Pierre third it was our first double-podium since Bahrain last year. With Red Bull and AlphaTauri each picking up a trophy, it also marked the first time we’ve had two teams on the podium together since Max and Pierre in Brazil in 2019.
The result sees Red Bull extend their lead in the constructors' championship to 26 points, while AlphaTauri are now fifth in the standings after moving ahead of Aston Martin.