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Deflated Max Verstappen Rues Azerbaijan GP Blowout

Max Verstappen was an image of ache on Sunday when a tyre blowout robbed him of a possible win within the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “Generally you’ll be able to hate this sport,” said the Red Bull driver after crashing in the closing stages with the sixth leg of the season at his mercy. Emerging from his car’s cockpit he kicked the shredded left rear tyre in frustration – evoking the scene in the British 1970s sitcom when Monty Python star John Cleese as Basil Fawlty gives his broken down car a serious beating. Verstappen, who started from the second row despite crashing in third practice on Saturday, drove a supremely controlled race, avoiding all the mayhem behind him until with five laps to go he suffered cruel luck with his 200mph crash on Baku’s long pit straight.

His frustration was tempered however when Lewis Hamilton locked up his Mercedes after the restart when trying to overtake eventual race winner Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull to finish pointless in 15th.

That left Verstappen retaining his four-point lead over the seven-time champion ahead of the next race, the French Grand Prix on June 21.

“Frustrating and very disappointing so close to the finish to retire with a tyre blowout,” stated Verstappen.

“It’s an enormous disgrace. Generally you’ll be able to hate this sport — for a number of hours, then I’ll be high-quality once more.

“Truthfully up till that time it was a fantastic day — the automotive was on hearth, I used to be simply matching no matter I wanted to do behind me, I used to be fairly comfortably within the lead.

“It will have, let’s say, have been a simple win. However, after all, there are not any ensures within the sport.”

Verstappen posted the fastest lap but failed to pick up the normal extra point as he had not finished the race.

He was full of praise for his Mexican teammate Perez.

“It should have been a one-two but nevertheless to see him win the race was very nice to see.

“He’s a great team mate and I think he had a great day today as well. He was doing everything that he should be doing as well, so was great to see.”

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