Max Verstappen crashes out five laps from the end of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Max Verstappen crashed out of the lead of the Azerbaijan Grand with just five laps remaining following a horror tyre failure at 200mph.

Verstappen took charge of the race in Baku following a slow pit stop for Lewis Hamilton and looked poised to run away to the chequered flag before he suffered the high-speed puncture as he was completing lap 46 of 51.

The failure sent the Red Bull driver into the concrete wall on the right-hand side of the start-finish straight. He was able to walk away from the high-speed crash, kicking the tyre which had failed, with the safety car deployed, and the race then red-flagged on lap 49.

The drivers were permitted to take on fresh tyres for the re-start, with Sergio Perez set to start from pole ahead of Hamilton.

But questions will now be asked of Formula One’s tyre supplier, Pirelli, after Lance Stroll also suffered a high-speed blowout on lap 31.

Indeed, Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley implored FIA race chief Michael Masi to stop the race, fearing another devastating puncture.

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