AZERBAIJAN GP – Hamilton takes Mercedes first win of the season in another action packed race in Baku

Testing & Race Reports

Lewis Hamilton has taken his first win of the season after a dramatic final few laps to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after his teammate Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncher while leading following the restart. The race proved a lot of drama after Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a collision early on for second.

Sebastian Vettel had been battling with Bottas for the lead of the race when he locked up on the restart with five laps remaining while leading the race. The safety car had been deployed after both Red Bull’s crashed out of the race while fighting for the lead of the race,

Hamilton said “It was quite an emotional race. Valtteri did an exceptional job and deserved to win, Sebastian also did a great job so it feels a bit odd to be up here. Definitely an untidy race for me.”

Raikkonen added “I was inside [for the crash with Esteban Ocon], he probably didn’t see me. It was not ideal the start for me, a difficult race after that, I tried to come back and certain moments I felt good. Just tried to play the long game. It paid off but it wasn’t very easy.

Daniel Ricciardo went into the back of Max Verstappen as they fought for the lead of the race into Turn One on lap forty. The Red Bull’s had been battle hard throughout the race and had already made contact on the opening lap. Sergio Perez was another benefactor in third ahead of Vettel.

Ricciardo looked the faster of the two drivers and tried to pass hit teammate several times. Both drivers looked as if they were culpable for the accident, Ricciardo undoubtedly misjudged it, there will be those who feel Verstappen paid the price for moving too many times in the braking zone, something he has made a controversial trademark since his debut.

Both Red Bull drivers were summoned to the stewards who decided to give them both a reprimand after deciding that both drivers actions contributed to the collision. However, there will be an internal investigation and warnings from the team.

Verstappen said “Disappointing for the team. We lost a lot of points unnecessarily. We don’t need to speak about who is at fault because we are representing a team. The tow was very strong. We were pretty similar speed and always very close.”

“Before that it was hard racing but very fair. What happened afterwards was not good. This has happened before, you learn from it and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Vettel had stuck on the normal strategy and re-joined behind Bottas, taking advantage of the German’s error on the restart as he went too deep into the first corner. Before the Finn hit debris on the restart of the race causing a puncher.

Then Perez made a move on the German in the closing stages of the race to take third, making him the most successful Mexican in the sport. However, he has been placed under investigation for using DRS outside the zone.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc became the benefactors of the Red Bull retirement with the two finishing fifth and sixth. That gives the Monacan the first points of his Formula One career, in a stunning drive from thirteenth on the grid and made him the first Monacan to score a point in F1. Sauber who also scored the team’s first points of the season with the best result the team since 2009.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso finished seventh that was despite the Spaniard being involved in incidents with Sergey Sirotkin at the start. Alonso was hit from behind by Sirotkin, as the Williams went around the outside at the first corner.

Raikkonen also made contact with Ocon on the first lap, the beginning of an action-packed race.

Nico Hulkenberg crashed out of the race on the second restart after making a mistake. Haas’s Romain Grosjean was another driver who crashed out from fifth, the Frenchman crashed while trying to warm his tyres.

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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