Max Verstappen demands review after Red Bull handed Sergio Perez advantage

Max Verstappen is the only driver to have finished on the podium at every race so far this season.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has called for Red Bull to review why the Dutchman was called into the pits when he was on Sunday, given that a Safety Car was summoned just seconds after he exited the pit-lane.

After starting the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from second, Verstappen found himself in the lead of the race fairly early on, after making light work of Charles Leclerc.

The championship leader looked comfortable in the lead and didn’t appear to be coming under any pressure from team-mate Sergio Perez, who’d also gotten past Leclerc.

Verstappen, though, was oddly called into the pits after yellow flags were waved in the opening sector, after Nyck de Vries had come to a halt.

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The AlphaTauri driver clipped the wall on the inside on Turn 5, damaging the front-left of his car.

A Safety Car wasn’t initially called; however, just a matter of seconds after the 25-year-old left the pits a Safety Car was released, hampering his chances of victory.

As a result, Perez was able to pit under neutralised conditions, meaning he lost significantly less time given how much slower everybody else was having to drive.

It meant the Mexican exited the pits ahead of Verstappen, with the Dutchman having actually fallen to third behind Leclerc.

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Whilst he did get back ahead of Leclerc not long after the restart, Verstappen had no answer to Perez’s pace, with the Mexican having cruised to his second win of the season.

There is no doubting that the pit-stop “hurt” Verstappen’s race, with the two-time World Champion having called for his team to “review” why they called him in at that precise moment.

“I saw that there was a car stopped, I thought he maybe just locked up,” Verstappen said in the post-race press conference.

“In hindsight, I mean, I can’t see that, but it’s something to review. I mean, clearly, you could see there was one wheel damaged and it looked like he was not going to drive that anyway back to the pits, even if he would’ve reversed.

“So something to look at, because of course that then did hurt my race after that.”

Even without taking the pit-stop into consideration, Verstappen explained after the race that actually he wasn’t “entirely happy” with his car, something which resulted in him “not pushing” as hard as he could.

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“I was not entirely happy with the balance, but also, in hindsight, I was probably not pushing it enough initially in some corners,” Verstappen added.

“But that should never be the indication that if there is a car stopped, to just pit, because you know that if there is a Safety Car, then you lose even more time by [pitting] than staying out.

“So there are a few things to look at. But I always know that the team tries to do the best thing and maybe just today we got unlucky.”