The result of Sunday’s Grand Prix in Azerbaijan on the Baku City Circuit gave Formula 1 something it had not seen since 2013.
Through the first five races in 2021 Formula 1 season, Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas had shared the podium with Red Bulls Max Verstappen on three occasions, giving them 16 shared podiums in total, a record at all times.
Verstappen finished in the top two in all five of these races and won twice, while Hamilton won three times and finished in second place on another occasion. Bottas had taken three third places.
But in Sunday’s Grand Prix in Azerbaijan on the Baku City Circuit, none of these three riders came on the podium.
In fact, neither of them managed to score points.
The race was a disaster for Bottas, who qualified for a 10th place and simply could not work his way up through the field on his way to a 12th place.
It went much smoother for both Verstappen and Hamilton, but at the end of 51 laps around the 20 laps, 6,003 kilometers (6,003 kilometers) temporary street turn on Azadliq Square, Baku, Azerbaijan, Bottas was actually the highest finisher of the usual podium trio.
In lap 46, Verstappen led the race comfortably ahead of teammate Sergio Perez in second place, and Hamilton ran in third place. But a tire problem immediately sent Verstappen into the wall in front, leading to a retirement and a red flag period.
At the subsequent standing restart with two laps left, Hamilton briefly took the lead from Perez, but he unlocked his brakes and went sailing into one of the downhill areas. He came back on the field, but he finished only in 15th place.
This marked the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit in October 2013 that these three drivers had not all scored points in the same race.
Prior to today, 147 races had been contested since this event, with Sebastian Vettel leading a 1-2 finish for Red Bull ahead of Mark Webber.
In that race, Hamilton was forced to retire due to a puncture, while Bottas was a rookie running for Williams, still looking for his first career points. He finished in 17th place.
Verstappen competed in kart and still two seasons away from his eventual Formula 1 debut, so this type of result had never happened before in his career, which now includes 125 consecutive starts going back to his first start in March 2015 .
The next race in the 2021 Formula 1 schedule is the French Grand Prix, which is set to be broadcast live on ESPN from Circuit Paul Ricard, starting at. 9:00 AM ET Sunday, June 20th.