Breaking: George Russell and Sergio Perez under investigation by the FIA

George Russell and Sergio Perez sparked controversy in Azerbaijan over their efforts to secure speedy pit stops.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was, on the whole, an unusually quiet affair, with only one Safety Car deployed after the AlphaTauri of Nyck De Vries clipped the wall and retired from the race.

The tight and tricky circuit often sees several yellow flag incidents that can lead to Safety Car scenarios due to the difficulty in recovering cars safely from certain sections of the track.

With the De Vries incident resulting in the sole Safety Car, teams were determined to take advantage of the moment to hold their positions in a race where it can be tough to overtake, especially with the reduced DRS zone.

When the Safety Car was announced, George Russell took the chance to dive into the pits, getting too close to the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, as he sought to pass his rival. 

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Russell’s move was successful, putting him temporarily ahead of Stroll, but Aston Martin demanded the FIA investigate the close call.

The FIA ultimately decided that Russell had not breached any rules, although it would all prove irrelevant later, as Stroll would get back in front of the Mercedes, holding on to P7 until the finish line.

Eventual race winner Sergio Perez was also the subject of an investigation over a potential unsafe release when he pitted under the safety car but the FIA also sided with the driver on this occasion, choosing to not penalise him.

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With no punishment for his pit stop, Perez was free to remain out in the lead, winning his second race of the season and closing the gap to his teammate in the title race.

Heading to Miami, Verstappen’s lead in the Drivers’ Standings has been cut to 6 points, while Red Bull’s lead in the Constructors’ Standings has grown to nearly 100 points.

Following a weekend that saw Red Bull dominate and Ferrari return to the front of the grid, the title-leaders sit on 180 points, Aston Martin is on 87, Mercedes are on 76 and the Italian outfit are on 62.