Nico Rosberg has taken the first victory at the Grand Prix of Europe to extend his lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the championship. Rosberg took the control at the start overtaking Hamilton on the first lap where he was able to stay ahead through much of the race.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished second ahead of Sergio Perez’s Force India who overtook team-mate Kimi Raikkonen on the last lap. However the Mexican wasn’t required to pass the Fin because he was within the five second penalty that Raikkonen had for crossing the white line on entry to the pits which puts him fourth.
Hamilton had issues getting the power down in the closing stages after he ran into a problem with the ERS energy recovery system. He rectified the problem when he found the right setting and may have got back third from Perez as he gained time on the closing laps but ultimately was too late for the Brit.
Mercedes were unable to help Hamilton because the regulations prevent teams from telling their drivers how to change the settings on their car. “This is ridiculous guys, I don’t know. I’m looking at my dash every five seconds trying to find a switch in the wrong position,” Hamilton said over the team radio.
It emerged after the race that both Rosberg and Hamilton were both been afflicted by the same issue with Rosberg seemingly able to fix the fault quicker than Hamilton.
“Nico had made a change during the race that caused the issue. So when told it was an issue with the mode, as permitted by the FIA, he switched back out of it,” Mercedes confirmed.
Williams Valtteri Bottas finished switch ahead of the Red Bull’s of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Ricciardo gave chase through the early race to Vettel but was unable to keep with the German and switched to a two stop race.
The race was predicted by many to have a safety car which would have meant drivers would change there strategy from a one to a two stop race. However, Ricciardo stayed with the strategy on his way to seventh.
It was another tough race for McLaren with Jenson Button just missing out on points and Fernando Alonso being forced to retire because downshift problems.
It was also difficult for both the Toro Rosso’s with both Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat retiring with mechanical problems.
Felipe Nasr finished ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer in the Renault, Esteban Gutierrez in the second Haas, Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber and Rio Haryanto’s Manor.
- Notebook – Baku Qualifying
- Qualifying Result
- EUROPEAN GP – Rosberg takes pole as Hamilton crashes on last run in Q3
- NOTEBOOK – Friday Baku
- EUROPEAN GP – Hamilton tops second practice from Rosberg as Ferrari look to be struggling
- EUROPEAN GP – Hamilton tops first practice as drivers make mistakes while learning the circuit
- PREVIEW – Grand Prix of Europe