Max Verstappen was determined to win the Azerbaijan GP after last year’s crash

Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Max Verstappen leads the F1 Championship by nine points (Picture: Getty)

Max Verstappen says he wants revenge at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix after being cruelly denied victory in Baku last season.

The Dutchman was easily leading last year’s race at the Baku City Circuit when one of his tires punctured on the high-speed main straight, sending his Red Bull into the wall and out of the race with just five laps left.

Now Verstappen is determined to right that mistake and win his first race at a track that has become notorious for chaotic action and big falls.

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix

Verstappen cursed his luck after being robbed of the win last year (Picture: Getty)

“I’m looking forward to returning to Baku, we still have a lot to do there after last year,” said the reigning world champion.

“It’s a tricky track with large braking zones and a narrow run-out. It will be difficult to find the best setup for the car to ensure we get the right wing height.

“It will also be interesting to see if we can improve our one-lap performance for qualifying as we were a little lacking.”

Verstappen leads the standings ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in 2022, but he will face stiff competition to build on it in Baku, not least from his teammate Sergio Perez, who has a great track record that includes the Heard a win at last year’s event.

The Mexican won the previous race in Monaco and now finds himself unexpectedly in the title race, confident of his own chances this weekend.

He said: “Today I think I’m at the best moment of my career and I’m riding for a team that always strives for perfection, which is a perfect fit for me and for each rider.

“The fight for the championship is very close, so we have to be fully focused. It was very special to win my first race with the team in Baku last season, it gave me great joy.

“I like street circuits because the driver can really make the difference there. Of course it’s easier to make a mistake when you’re trying to push yourself to the limit, but at the end of the day it’s what makes a tenth you need to be competitive.’

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General Sports Max Verstappen was determined to win the Azerbaijan GP after last year's crash

Nate Jones

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