Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Which teammates have crashed at Baku?

Kyle Archer June 3, 2021
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Which teammates have crashed at Baku? Formula One returns to the city streets of Baku this weekend for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The streets have seen plenty of chaos when the sport has descended on the Caspian Sea before.

Baku has hosted F1 on three occasions with Azerbaijan’s capital city first featuring on the calendar in 2017. The event was cancelled last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, alongside rounds in Japan and Singapore.

The race now returns as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen duel for the lead in the championship. The latter edged ahead after winning the Monaco Grand Prix last time out while the former finished more than a minute behind in seventh place.

Verstappen has also been involved in one of Baku’s more contentious moments as an F1 event. The Dutchman collided with his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo in a crash that would end both their races in 2018.

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Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen crash at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Ricciardo and Verstappen’s crash was the talk of the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The pair duelled lap after lap for Red Bull supremacy in a race-long battle that saw them touch several times.

But both their races would end on Lap 40 when Ricciardo ploughed into the back of Verstappen at Turn One. The Australian attempted to dive down the inside of his former teammate, who moved to cover the current McLaren driver.

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Verstappen’s defensive move was late and left Ricciardo with no time to react as they fought over fourth and fifth places. It also took away the downforce on Ricciardo’s front wing, ensuring he locked up under braking and had no control.

The pair were reprimanded by the FIA’s stewards for the incident, while team boss Christian Horner blamed both drivers. Ricciardo later revealed after moving to Renault for 2019 that the team’s handling of the crash was a factor in his decision to leave.

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Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon throw away Force India’s hopes of win

The first Azerbaijan Grand Prix returned Lance Stroll’s maiden Formula One podium while racing for Williams. He capitalised on safety car periods to move to the front, before Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas pipped the Canadian to second on the run to the finish line.

But before Stroll could celebrate, Force India were left heartbroken as they felt the team had a realistic shot at a first F1 win. Sergio Perez was running well in third during the early stages until contact with his teammate Esteban Ocon dashed any hopes.

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Ocon attempted to follow Felipe Massa through on the Mexican after a safety car period left Perez running third. However, the Frenchman clipped the inside kerb, sending him out wide and leaving Perez with nowhere to go other than the wall.

The contact left Ocon with a puncture and Perez with a broken wishbone, forcing him to retire. A red flag to clear the debris allowed Perez to re-enter the race, only to eventually retire again.

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Ricciardo and Kvyat unwanted reunion in Baku

Daniil Kvyat raced alongside Ricciardo for the 2015 season but Red Bull replaced him in early 2016 with Max Verstappen. He would have an unwanted reunion with Ricciardo at Baku three years later while racing for Toro Rosso.

On Lap 31 of the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Ricciardo calamitously saw his race end after crashing into Kvyat. The then-Renault racer attempted a pass on the Russian at Turn Three but overshot his braking and sailed deep into the runoff.

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Ricciardo frantically attempted to get back on track to fight for the last points scoring position, but found reverse. Yet, without realising Kvyat had also stopped behind him, rammed the Toro Rosso, forcing him to retire with floor damage.

The stewards issued Ricciardo a third-place grid penalty for the following Spanish round for the incident, which also forced his retirement. A disgruntled Kvyat joked after: “I’ll buy him a rear-view mirror for the next race!”

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Kyle is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from Bournemouth University, who has covered Premier League, EFL and European football for a number of years for online publications.