Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that Lewis Hamilton is doubtful to compete in next weekend's Canadian Grand Prix due to a back injury sustained in Azerbaijan. 

The seven-time world champion had an impressive drive to finish fourth in Baku, one place behind team-mate George Russell, but encountered physical struggles due to severe bouncing during the 51-lap race. 

Mercedes' W13 has encountered issues with bouncing throughout the season so far and the addition of a bumpy street circuit left Hamilton describing the race as the "most painful" of his illustrious career, having complained over team radio about the pain in his back during the race. 

Wolff said there is a "definitely" a risk that Hamilton will sit out of the next race in Montreal, stating: "I haven't seen him or spoken to him afterwards, but you can see this is not muscular anymore. This goes properly into the spine and can have some consequences. 

"He's really bad and we just have got to find a solution at this stage. He's maybe the worst affected of all drivers, but pretty much everyone, as far as I understand from the drivers, said something needs to happen. I couldn't give you an explanation as to what that is." 

A debate in the paddock has been developing as to whether Formula One's design regulations for the 2022 season need to be revised to protect the drivers, with bouncing being an issue for several drivers across the grid. 

There were questions as to whether the issues in Baku were caused by bottoming, where the bottom of the car makes contact with the road, or whether it was bouncing in general, but Wolff believes it is both. 

"I think they are very much linked together. We are seeing tracks where we have porpoising and then we have bouncing," he said.

"Some cars are bottoming so it's not really clear – it's all interlinked with the aerodynamic performance of the floor." 

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo was among those to suffer with bouncing in Baku and, while it hasn't been a regular problem for him throughout the course of the season, he expressed his sympathy to Mercedes and stated he will support any push for changes. 

The current regulations are in place until 2026 but are likely to be revised along the way, with increases to the annual budget and the potential of a driver salary cap currently being hot topics throughout the paddock. 

Andy Murray is unsure of the severity of his abdominal injury, but is hopeful it will not affect his preparations for Wimbledon.

The three-time grand slam winner struggled with the issue during Sunday's 6-4 5-7 6-3 defeat to Matteo Berrettini in the Stuttgart Open final.

Murray, who was competing in his first tour-level final on grass since 2016, twice received medical treatment but was able to finish the match.

He played five matches in Germany last week and four matches in Surbiton the week before en route to reaching the semi-finals.

Murray is due to play at Queen's this week before Wimbledon in a fortnight.

While frustrated with the manner in which his bid for a first grass-court singles title in six years ended, Murray says it is understandable that he is struggling physically.

"I felt like I was playing well enough to win and I got myself in a really good position going into the third set so a frustrating end to what was a good week," he said.

"I got some pain in my abdomen when I was serving. It's not something I've had before. I'll need to get it checked when I get home.

"This is the most matches I've played in two weeks since probably 2016. That's a really long time. 

"It's probably normal that I would feel some stuff in my body but I don't really know the severity of it. Hopefully it's all right."

 

Adam Duvall homered twice of Jose Quintana as the Atlanta Braves secured a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

William Contreras and Matt Olson also went deep off Quintana and Chase de Jong respectively, as the reigning World Series champions claimed their 11th consecutive victory.

Kyle Wright pitched solidly for the Braves in his start, striking out seven and giving up five hits over 79 pitches in six innings with an ERA of 2.57, moving to a 7-3 record over 12 games started.

Atlanta have outscored their opponents 74-30 over that 11-game winning streak, with an ERA of 2.47 over that period.

They continue to chip into the New York Mets' lead atop the National League East, moving to 34-27 for the season so far.

Mets account for Angels

The Mets were able to recover from Saturday's defeat away to the Los Angeles Angels however, winning 4-1 to claim their second game in a three-game series.

J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso homered for the NL East leaders, while Starling Marte had two hits and one RBI as they ended their two-week Californian road trip.

Taijuan Walker was in impressive form, striking out ten and giving up six hits over 97 pitches in six innings, maintaining the Mets' five-and-a-half game lead over the Braves.

Carpenter crushes Cubs for series sweep

Matt Carpenter claimed two home runs and tied his career high of seven RBIs, propelling the New York Yankees to a massive 18-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The 36-year-old Carpenter only signed for the Pinstripes in May as a free agent, with a release by the Texas Rangers following his Triple-A ball assignment, to account for injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson.

The three-time All-Star has now hit six home runs in his first 10 games, with the Yankees now winning 11 of their past 12 after this three-game sweep.

After two-and-a-half seasons on the sidelines due to injury, Klay Thompson is savouring every moment before the Golden State Warriors face the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

The Warriors were on the verge of forcing a Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, when Thompson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee with two minutes remaining in the third quarter of Game 6.

On 28 points at that point on eight-of-12 shooting, he ended up sinking both free throws before being forced off the court and did not return for the Warriors until January this year, missing the whole of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

Monday is the three-year anniversary since that game but ahead of Game 5 against the Boston Celtics, Thompson revealed he did not realise the extent of his knee injury and had only one thing on his mind.

"I never had such a severe injury, so I didn't think it was that serious," Thompson said. "I thought I might have sprained something in my knee, but when you're playing in front of your fans, your adrenaline is so high, you kind of disregard anything that makes sense.

"Running around on a torn ACL doesn't make very good sense. I just thought, 'I don't want to leave these points on the board, man. This is the Finals, I'm going to go get this 30-ball.'

"On top of that, I went to the back, and they did a little test, and they came out with the conclusion that I should probably put some crutches on. Wow, what a time, three years ago. It goes by fast."

The 32-year-old has been in patchy shooting form over these playoffs and hit a nadir in the opening two games of the NBA Finals, going a combined 10-of-33 from the floor.

Thompson found his feet as the Warriors evened up the series in Game 4, coming up with big shots on the way to 18 points and 40 per cent shooting from the perimeter.

Playing in his sixth-straight NBA Finals on an individual level, following that absence due to injury, Thompson is not taking the magnitude of the occasion for granted.

"Man, it seems routine, but I know how special this is," he said. "I mean, I'm trying to just be present in everything I do during this time – even this interview. Not even looking ahead to tomorrow but just enjoy this day before the big one.

"I mean, the NBA Finals is such a cool thing to be a part of. I remember being in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013, doing some stuff for the NBA and waking up real early just to watch it. To realise that these games are broadcast worldwide just reminds you how special it really is.

"I know when my dad [Mychal] played back in the day, the NBA was not as global so to be here now, it's special."

Familiarity is not breeding contempt for Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, as his side approaches a pivotal Game 5 on Monday, tied 2-2 against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

For the third consecutive playoff series, the Celtics will come into a Game 5 with the series tied, after the Warriors reclaimed home court advantage on Friday in a 107-97 win.

Stephen Curry had 10 points during the game-ending surge and finished with 43 as Boston’s normally dependable defensive scheme had no answer for the two-time MVP.

The Celtics have demonstrated a knack for responding during these playoffs, where they’re 7-0 following a loss and have twice won on the road when facing elimination - Game 6 of their second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks and Game 7 of their Eastern Conference finals with the Miami Heat.

That familiarity, combined with the resiliency his team has shown throughout its run to this series, has Udoka maintaining a positive outlook with the series now down to a best-of-three affair.

"It could have been an easier road, obviously,” Udoka quipped. "We know we can do it. We’ve done it before.

"I think the narrative gets shifted to Curry and what he’s doing," Udoka said. "But even throughout the game, we had several opportunities, being up five, six, seven, and poor offence or turnovers let them back in the game.

"The difference in the game that we stretched the lead [Game 3] was we took advantage of those opportunities. Against this team, anytime you run some poor offence, turn the ball over, live ball turnovers, let them get out, we know how quickly they can get back in the game."

The Celtics do face another weighty assignment with potentially two more games to be held at San Francisco’s Chase Center, where the Warriors are a near-perfect 10-1 this post-season.

That one defeat did come at the hands of Boston in the series opener, with the Celtics outscoring Golden State 40-16 in the fourth quarter to turn a 12-point deficit into a 120-108 win.

"We know it’s a long series,” Udoka said. “We’ve been battle-tested in two seven-game series in Milwaukee and Miami."

The Celtics are also optimistic regarding center Robert Williams’ availability for Game 5. The All-NBA Defensive second team selection missed the final few minutes of Friday’s loss after landing awkwardly on the surgically repaired left knee, often limiting him during the post-season.

"Feeling good,” Williams said following Sunday’s practice. "A little sore, but on the side of the better days [I’ve had]."

Steve Kerr singled out the drive to improve as fuel for his "superstar" Stephen Curry to lift the Golden State Warriors, ahead of Monday's Game 5 matchup with the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Curry was at his transformative best in Game 4 on Friday as the Warriors evened the series up with a 107-97 win, scoring 43 points on 14-of-26 shooting along with 10 rebounds and four assists.

The 34-year-old has averaged 34.3 points in the opening four games of the NBA Finals on astounding shooting splits of 50/49/86 per cent, for a true shooting percentage 66.4 per cent and net rating of +12.

Speaking in the leadup to Game 5, the Warriors head coach cited Curry's valuing of preparation and work to maximise his shooting talent as the reason behind his play at such a high level.

"Just the consistency of his routine," Kerr told reporters. "He's a like a metronome, every day it's the exact same thing. He's in the training room, he's in the weight room, he's on the court and it's clockwork, but there's also a sense of joy and energy within that work.

"He enjoys it so much. He loves the process, and I think that's the thing that ties all great athletes together. Like, I'm talking about the superstar athletes, the Roger Federers of the world and Steph Currys of the world.

"There is a routine that is not only super disciplined but it's really enjoyed each day, there is a passion that comes with it, and that's what sustains it over time. When you love something like those guys do, you work at it, you get better and you just keep going."

Kerr also reserved some praise for Andrew Wiggins, who has provided valuable support in the face of Klay Thompson's shooting slump and patchy form from Draymond Green.

Only making the playoffs once in his career before this season, the 27-year-old has averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, along with a steal and a block over the opening four games.

Traded to the Warriors in 2020, Wiggins has proved a compatible fit on both ends of the floor, with Kerr taking pride in his development.

"He's a very mild-mannered guy, but he's taking a leap in these playoffs, in terms of his impact on the game," the Warriors coach said. "Defensively, on the glass, you saw the other night with 16 rebounds and I think because the games are obviously so meaningful, there's more emotion from him and from everybody.

"The biggest thing is that he's a two-way player, you've got to have two-guys to make it this far and to succeed, and he has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. It's really fun to watch that growth."

Steve Kerr singled out the drive to improve as fuel for his "superstar" Stephen Curry to lift the Golden State Warriors, ahead of Monday's Game 5 matchup with the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Curry was at his transformative best in Game 4 on Friday as the Warriors evened the series up with a 107-97 win, scoring 43 points on 14-of-26 shooting along with 10 rebounds and four assists.

The 34-year-old has averaged 34.3 points in the opening four games of the NBA Finals on astounding shooting splits of 50/49/86 per cent, for a true shooting percentage 66.4 per cent and net rating of +12.

Speaking in the leadup to Game 5, the Warriors head coach cited Curry's valuing of preparation and work to maximise his shooting talent as the reason behind his play at such a high level.

"Just the consistency of his routine," Kerr told reporters. "He's a like a metronome, every day it's the exact same thing. He's in the training room, he's in the weight room, he's on the court and it's clockwork, but there's also a sense of joy and energy within that work.

"He enjoys it so much. He loves the process, and I think that's the thing that ties all great athletes together. Like, I'm talking about the superstar athletes, the Roger Federers of the world and Steph Currys of the world.

"There is a routine that is not only super disciplined but it's really enjoyed each day, there is a passion that comes with it, and that's what sustains it over time. When you love something like those guys do, you work at it, you get better and you just keep going."

Kerr also reserved some praise for Andrew Wiggins, who has provided valuable support in the face of Klay Thompson's shooting slump and patchy form from Draymond Green.

Only making the playoffs once in his career before this season, the 27-year-old has averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, along with a steal and a block over the opening four games.

Traded to the Warriors in 2020, Wiggins has proved a compatible fit on both ends of the floor, with Kerr taking pride in his development.

"He's a very mild-mannered guy, but he's taking a leap in these playoffs, in terms of his impact on the game," the Warriors coach said. "Defensively, on the glass, you saw the other night with 16 rebounds and I think because the games are obviously so meaningful, there's more emotion from him and from everybody.

"The biggest thing is that he's a two-way player, you've got to have two-guys to make it this far and to succeed, and he has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. It's really fun to watch that growth."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan described the LIV Golf Invitational as a "series of exhibition matches" while defending his decision to suspend players who defected to the breakaway series.

Charl Schwartzel, who won the inaugural LIV event near London this weekend, has been suspended from the PGA Tour along with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia for their involvement in the series.

The LIV series is set to hold eight 54-hole, no-cut tournaments with 48-man fields this year, with players not only earning significantly higher prize money, but taking substantial sign-on fees. Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed have been the latest to defect.

Asked why golfers cannot compete on both tours, Monahan took an assertive stance.

"Why do they need us so badly? Those players have chosen to sign multi-year, lucrative contracts to play in a series of exhibition matches against the same players over and over again," he said on CBS' broadcast of the Canadian Open.

"You look at that versus what we see here today, and that's why they need us so badly.

"You've got true, pure competition, the best players in the world here at the RBC Canadian Open, with millions of fans watching. And in this game, it's true and pure competition that creates the profiles and presences of the world's greatest players."

Monahan was particularly critical of LIV's source of investment, with the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia which has been accused of sports washing and using the tour to take attention away from a history of human rights abuses.

He also said players who defected would "have to be living under a rock" to not consider that context, but chose instead to relate the significant outlay to sign players and hold events to the potential return on investment.

"It’s not an issue for me, because I don’t work for the Saudi Arabian government," Monahan said. "But it probably is an issue for players who chose to go and take that money. I think you have to ask yourself the question, why?

"Why is this group spending so much money — billions of dollars — recruiting players and chasing a concept with no possibility of a return? At the same time, there’s been a lot of questions, a lot of comments, about the growth of the game. And I ask, how is this good for the game?

"I would ask any player that has left, or any player that would consider leaving, have you ever had to apologise for being a member of the PGA Tour?"

Rory McIlroy saved his best for last to defend his Canadian Open title on Sunday and could not resist a sly dig at LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman afterwards.

At the end of a chaotic week for the sport, with the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series commencing in competition with the PGA Tour, McIlroy posted his best round of the tournament at St. George's with an eight-under 62.

Playing in the final group with Tony Finau and Justin Thomas, the 33-year-old finished on 19-under for the tournament in front of a packed gallery and secured his 21st PGA Tour win, moving him ahead of Norman's 20.

Though evidently happy he secured the win heading into the U.S. Open, as one of the more vocal critics of LIV Golf, the world number eight made sure everyone knew he was aware he had overtaken Norman.

"Twenty-first PGA Tour win. One more than someone else," he told CBS. "That gave me a little bit of extra incentive today. Happy to get it done.

"It's incredible. Playing with Tony [Finau] and JT [Thomas], two of the top players in the world, and all of us playing the way we did, the worst score in the group was six-under par.

"This is a day I'll remember for a long, long time. I've sort of rededicated myself to the game a little bit, sort of realised what made me happy and this makes me happy."

McIlroy led the entire way on Sunday, starting the final round in a share of the lead with Finau.

He started fast, too, making five birdies on the front nine before commencing the back nine with another three on the bounce.

Bogeys on the 13th and 16th holes opened the door for Thomas and Finau but it was promptly shut, with the Northern Irishman closing out the round with another pair of birdies.

Finau and Thomas finished outright second and third on 17- and 15-under respectively, while Justin Rose tied Sam Burns on 14-under after bogeying the 18th to just miss out on a spectacular sub-60 score.

Wales great and former British and Irish Lions captain Phil Bennett has died aged 73.

Bennett is widely regarded as one of the best fly-halves to ever play for Wales, making 29 appearances for his country and helping them to two Five Nations grand slams and three triple crowns.

He was also an integral figure on the unbeaten British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 1974, while he enjoyed 20 outings with the Barbarians.

Bennett, who was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2005, was also just the second Welshman to captain the Lions on their 1977 visit to New Zealand.

Former club Scarlets confirmed the passing of their president on Sunday, with executive chairman Simon Muderack saying: "As a club, region and community, we are devastated by this news.

"Wherever the Scarlets travel around the world, people mention the name Phil Bennett. He was an icon of our sport, a rugby superstar, but someone who always remembered his roots.

"There was no finer ambassador of Scarlets Rugby than Phil, a player respected across the rugby world, both during his career and long after he finished playing.

"Phil was a hero and friend to so many people, not only in Llanelli and west Wales, but throughout the game and I am sure a lot of Scarlets supporters will have their own particular stories of the times they met and chatted to 'Benny'. He loved the club and epitomised the values we hold true – humility and pride in our community.

"On behalf of everyone at the Scarlets, we send our heartfelt condolences to Pat, Steven, James and all of Phil's family and friends at this incredibly sad time."

Linn Grant became the first female winner on the DP World Tour after triumphing at the Scandinavian Mixed in Sweden.

Grant, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour this season, went into Sunday at the Halmstad Golf Club with a two-shot lead.

The 22-year-old never let slip of that advantage at the event where 78 women and 78 men from the DP World Tour played over the same course for one prize fund.

Grant opened with five birdies in her first six holes before adding three more on the back nine en route to her eight-under 64.

That took her to 24-under for the tournament, a remarkable nine shots ahead of the second-placed Marc Warren and tournament co-host Henrik Stenson, and she hopes to have left a lasting impact on golf.

"It's huge. Just playing at home and having the crowds here, my family by my side, boyfriend on the bag – it's crazy and I'm proud of myself," she said after victory.

"I just hope that people recognise women's golf, more sponsors go to the Ladies European Tour and hopefully this pumps up the women's game a little bit more.

"It's a nice feeling. All week I just felt like it's the girls against the guys and whoever picks up that trophy represents the field."

Grant also finished 14 shots in front of her nearest female challenger Gabriella Cowley, who ended tied for 15th.

Matteo Berrettini secured his sixth ATP Tour title with a 6-4 5-7 6-3 victory over Andy Murray at the Stuttgart Open.

Berrettini, playing in his first tournament since injury, raced out the blocks to break Murray in just his second service game, before the Scot failed to capitalise on four break points in the following game.

A similar pattern continued for the remainder of the first set, with neither player able to capitalise on break-point opportunities before Berrettini claimed the 1-0 lead with a booming forehand down the line.

That was the first set that Murray had lost in the tournament and he responded by producing a gritty performance in the second.

Berrettini squandered three chances to break at 4-4 before a double fault in the tie-break handed Murray three set points, and the three-time grand slam champion duly obliged to level.

The Italian opened the decider with a break, with Murray requiring a medical timeout for a leg injury, and the world number 10 claimed victory after his opponent had required more treatment.

Berrettini added a second Stuttgart crown to his name, having lifted the title in 2019, while it was his third grass-court success.

The 26-year-old will look to carry that form into Wimbledon, which starts on June 27, while the injury will be of concern to Murray, who was denied his first title since 2019.

Lewis Hamilton says he was "praying" for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to end due to back pain brought on from his bouncing Mercedes car.

The seven-time world champion complained over the team radio and later struggled to get out of his car at the end of Sunday's race.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff apologised to Hamilton for the ongoing porpoising issue, which has been a particular problem in Baku due to the high speeds and bumpy street layout.

"Lewis, we all know this is a bit of a s***box to drive at the moment. I'm sorry for the back also, we will sort ourselves out," Wolff said.

Speaking earlier this week, Hamilton's team-mate George Russell warned Formula One chiefs to expect a "major incident" if action is not taken to address the problem.

Despite the pain, Hamilton finished in fourth, one place behind Russell, and says he got through the race on adrenaline alone.

"Yeah, that's the only thing [that kept me going]," he told Sky Sports. "Biting down on my teeth through pain and just adrenaline.

"I can't express the pain that you experience, particularly on the straight here. At the end, you're just praying for it to end.

"We're in such a good position still, we got third and fourth which is a great result for the team. 

"The team did a great job with the strategy. Once we fix this bouncing, we're going to be right there in a race but we're losing over a season just with bouncing, for sure. 

"Or at least a second with bouncing… I'll be at the factory tomorrow. We've got to have some good discussions and keep pushing."

McLaren's car has also experienced bouncing problems and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished eighth, compared it to having his head knocked around like a basketball.

"You know when pro basketball players bounce the ball really low? That's what I felt like someone was doing to my helmet," he said.

"I know George has been vocal about it like it's not sustainable. I feel rattled. It's definitely not good. It's not good for our general health and well-being."

Beatriz Haddad Maia won her first ever WTA tour singles title on Sunday with an impressive 6-4 1-6 6-3 win against Alison Riske at the Nottingham Open.

A back-and-forth contest ultimately turned in the Brazilian's favour as she recovered from a dominant second set from her American opponent to claim the decider and the trophy. 

Haddad Maia made a strong start, and took the first set 6-4 after winning 90 per cent of points on her first serve (18 of 20).

Sixth seed Riske came out fighting in the second set, though, breaking in the second game before saving three break points on her own serve, and then breaking for a second time, racing out to a 5-0 lead.

Riske made just five unforced errors in the second set to claim it 6-1 and send the final into a decider.

Seventh seed Haddad Maia was being made to work hard at the start of the third and was broken again by Riske in the third game, but this time was able to break straight back.

Haddad Maia was angered by a line call that went against her in the seventh game, but she used it to find another level, breaking Riske again to take a 5-3 lead, before serving out to seal her maiden WTA singles title.

"It was just amazing. I never expected people here [in Nottingham] cheering for me so thanks a lot for making it special for me," Haddad Maia said in her on-court interview after the win.

"[Riske] improved her game so I tried to stay concentrated... I'm very happy that I was fighting with myself so I could get this trophy.

"It's crazy because I never thought my first [singles title] would be on grass.

"I came here to fight and to win this title, and Nottingham for sure will always be in my heart."

Tim van Rijthoven completed an astonishing week at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships by stunning Daniil Medvedev to claim the title on home soil.

World ranked 205 Van Rijthoven had never won an ATP main draw match before receiving a wild card into this event, in which he has enjoyed a dream week.

The Dutchman beat Felix Auger-Aliassime to progress to a final with Medvedev, who is set to return to world number one on Monday.

But he made light of the gulf in tour experience and ranking by powering to a 6-4 6-1 win.

He dominated the contest on serve, landing 74 per cent of his first serves and winning 84 per cent of his first-serve points. Van Rijthoven also lost just four points on second serve.

By contrast, Medvedev won just 56 per cent of points on his first serve and a paltry 38 per cent on his second, the US Open champion facing 10 break points in the contest.

Van Rijthoven raced into a 5-0 lead in the second set and, though Medvedev saved one match point to avoid a bagel, a fairytale win was sealed in the next game when the Russian could only return a serve into the net to spark jubilation among the home fans.

Max Verstappen accepts he was "a tiny bit lucky" after Charles Leclerc was forced to retire from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but the Red Bull driver was always confident of victory.

Leclerc once again failed to turn pole into victory in Baku due to a second engine-related retirement from the lead in the space of three grands prix.

He was passed into the first corner by Sergio Perez, who eventually finished second to team-mate Verstappen, and after doing well to recover his day soon got a whole lot worse.

Having dived into the pits under the virtual safety car after fellow Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz had retired with a hydraulics issue, Leclerc's engine failed on lap 20.

It was a procession for Red Bull from that point, with Verstappen leading Perez to a Red Bull one-two in the eighth race of the season, five of which the Dutchman has won.

Verstappen has 25 career wins to his name, meanwhile, and leads second-placed Perez in the 2022 drivers' standings by 21 points, with Leclerc 34 points back in third.

Reflecting on his latest triumph, coming on the same circuit where he himself retired when leading last season, Verstappen said: "We were a tiny bit lucky with what happened.

"But nonetheless our car was really quick, so I could have closed that gap, and then you have a race on your hands.

"You can never make up for what we lost last year, but we had incredible pace in the car and we could look after the tyres and chip away at it. Overall, I'm really happy with how the balance of the car was."

Verstappen has now claimed 66 podium finishes, breaking the record of Sebastian Vettel, who finished sixth for Aston Martin, for the most by a Red Bull driver.

With Perez finishing second, Red Bull are 80 points clear of closest challengers Ferrari in the constructors' standings with 14 race weekends remaining.

"To have a one-two as a team, it was a really good day for us," Verstappen added. "I don't know what clicked exactly – maybe tyre behaviour and general grip of the car? 

"That's what you need around here so you can look after your tyres."

Perez started strongly in the Azerbaijani capital and claimed a bonus point for setting the fastest lap, though he was ultimately unable to match Verstappen's pace.

The Mexican was instructed by his team not to fight against Verstappen for first place, a decision in which he accepts

"I think it was the right call by the team because at that time Max was a bit further ahead. It’s a good team result," he told Sky Sports.

"In this place anything can happen. At the end of the day we managed to do a one-two so it’s a great team result."

Despite climbing above Leclerc into second in the overall standings, Perez believes lessons can be learned ahead of next week's Canadian Grand Prix.

"Unfortunately we missed the virtual safety car stop," he said. "There was some miscommunication and in the end it was a bit too late. 

"We were a bit unlucky there because that would have made our race when we were leading.

"The degradation was extremely high on that medium tyre. It's something we have to understand because certainly Max was a lot stronger on that medium stint.

"There are a lot of things we have to review from today, but it was still a very good team result."

Stuttgart Open organisers are investigating claims made by Nick Kyrgios that he was racially abused at the tournament.

Kyrgios was defeated in the semi-finals by Andy Murray in straight sets on Saturday, with the former given a penalty by the umpire for smashing his racket and arguing with the crowd.

The Australian took to Instagram afterwards to say he was subjected to racial abuse by a spectator and called a "little black sheep".

"When is this going to stop? Dealing with racial slurs from the crowd?" he wrote.

"I understand that my behaviour isn't the best all the time – but 'you little black sheep', 'shut up and play' – little comments like this are not acceptable.

"When I retaliate to the crowd, I get penalised. This is messed up."

The tournament organisers responded on Sunday with a statement that read: "We stand for creating an inclusive environment for all players, staff members and visitors where discrimination of any kind is not tolerated.

"This attitude is lived by all people involved and responsible. These fundamental values are as important as values like fairness, tolerance and team spirit to us. Thus no discriminating actions by the spectators are accepted.

"We have expressed our regret towards Nick Kyrgios and his team and assured that any kind of discrimination is unacceptable. The incident is currently under investigation."

Charles Leclerc was left struggling for words after Ferrari's recent woes continued as he was forced to retire from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Leclerc claimed pole for the street race in Baku but became the first driver since Juan Pablo Montoya in 2001 to start on pole in four successive races and not win any of them.

An engine failure saw him retire on lap 20, ending any hope of what looked to be a looming battle with championship rival Max Verstappen.

His retirement followed that of team-mate Carlos Sainz on lap nine due to a hydraulics issue, with further worries coming as Ferrari customers Alfa Romeo and Haas saw Zhou Guanyu and Kevin Magnussen end their races early, the latter seemingly due to an engine problem.

Verstappen went on to cruise to a victory that puts him 34 points ahead of Leclerc, with his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez leapfrogging the Monegasque in the standings. Perez leads Leclerc by 13 points.

Ferrari are also 80 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' standings and Leclerc could not hide his disappointment after a second retirement in three races.

"It hurts, we really need to look into that for it not to happen again, I don't really find the right words to describe this," Leclerc told Sky Sports.

"It's very, very disappointing. I don't know.

"We really need to look into it. We've been fast and we didn't have big problems in the first part of the season.

"Now it seems we have a bit more compared to the beginning of the season, but we didn't change massive things, if anything we made the thing better.

"It's difficult to understand for now, we will have to analyse, obviously I don't have the full picture of what happened but just personally again it hurts."

Sainz was slightly more upbeat after his third retirement of the year.

He said to Sky Sports: "It's a bad day for the team, but we need to make sure that we stay together, we stay positive, better days will come and so far the 2022 season is definitely not going my way.

"On my side we've just been terribly unlucky the whole season, it's been quite difficult to get any kind of momentum going this season. I cannot do two consecutive races without anything happening.

"I need laps and I need races to keep understanding the car. It's a shame but we are a team, we're going to stay united, we're going to stay positive because better days will come."

Former rugby league winger Suliasi Vunivalu heads a six-man list of uncapped players selected by Australia for the Test series with England.

Australia coach Dave Rennie named his 35-man squad on Sunday for the three-Test series against Eddie Jones' side, which starts in Perth on July 2.

Jed Holloway, Dave Porecki, lock Cadeyrn Neville and Vunivalu, who switched disciplines in 2019 after a league career with Melbourne Storm, have all been named in their first international squad.

Tighthead prop Pone Fa'amausili and second-rower Nick Frost are the other two uncapped players to be called up, while the in-form Fraser McReight was a notable omission.

The experienced Reece Hodge and Kurtley Beale also missed out through injury, with Michael Hooper leading the Wallabies as captain.

Fly-half Quade Cooper and Fiji-born backs Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete, who all play in Japan, are the three overseas selections allowed to be picked under Rugby Australia rules.

"The core of this squad is a group who have performed strongly for us over the last two seasons, while strong form in Super Rugby Pacific has been rewarded with a handful of new faces," Rennie said.

"The past two years have allowed us to build strong foundations as a group but there's no doubt that we have a lot more in us.

"We're looking forward to working hard and preparing as a group to put in performances that make our supporters proud against England next month."

The group will assemble on the Sunshine Coast from Thursday in preparation for the Optus Stadium opener, with Tests to follow at Brisbane's Lang Park and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
 

Australia squad:

Forwards: Dave Porecki, Lachlan Lonergan, Folau Fainga'a, Taniela Tupou, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Pone Fa'amausili, James Slipper, Angus Bell, Matt Philip, Jed Holloway, Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Michael Hooper (captain), Pete Samu, Harry Wilson, Rob Valetini, Rob Leota

Backs: Nic White, Tate McDermott, Jake Gordon, Quade Cooper, James O'Connor, Noah Lolesio, Samu Kerevi, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Len Ikitau, Marika Koroibete, Andrew Kellaway, Tom Banks, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia

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