Verstappen wants retribution when he heads back to Baku

Azerbaijan has not been a happy hunting ground for the Red Bull Racing man

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 6:00 am

Max Verstappen wants to put to bed the ghosts of Baku by getting back to winning ways in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this Sunday.

The street circuit has not been kind to the Dutchman down the years, amassing just two finishes in six attempts.

In 2018, he famously collided with then Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo as the pair scrapped heading into the first corner, while last year he looked on course for an easy victory before his tyre blew a few laps from home, sending him crashing into the pitwall – an incident he wants to get closure for.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Baku, we have some unfinished business there after last year,” he said. “It’s a tricky track with big braking zones and a tight run off, finding the best set up for the car will be difficult in terms of making sure we get the correct wing level.

“It will also be interesting to see if we can make our one lap performance better for qualifying as we’ve been lacking a little.”

The beneficiary of Verstappen’s dramatic retirement last year was Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who went on to take his first win for the Tilbrook team.

Heading to Baku this time around, Perez is just 15 points behind Verstappen in the championship standings after his second win for the team in Monaco last time out.

He said: “It was very special winning my first race with the team in Baku last season, it brought me great joy. I like street circuits because it is where the driver can really make the difference. It is easier to make a mistake when you’re trying to go on the limit, but that is what gives you the tenths you need.”