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Hamilton wins insane race in Baku

30 April, 2018, 03:49 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Story of Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying: Kimi Raikkonen costs Ferrari a front-row lockout in Baku

Lewis Hamilton won an incident-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sunday to take over the championship lead.

A flawless restart after the Safety Car and Bottas was on course for the victory.

Valtteri Bottas admitted he may have to drown his sorrows after a late puncture cruelly denied him victory in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

His two rivals out of the way, Hamilton was given victory and the championship lead on a plate after looking set to finish third.

Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, last year's victor in Baku and also in China two weekends ago, smashed into the back of team-mate Max Verstappen in a lap 40 collision that ended the race for both of them.

"It's a humbling experience", said Hamilton, who ended a barren run of six grands prix and leapfrogged Vettel at the top of the drivers' standings.

After a start in cool, windy conditions, the safety vehicle was out nearly immediately on lap 1 as several cars collided in the middle of the pack. However, so did the drivers behind him to take on fresher ultrasoft tyres with just a handful of laps remaining.

But Bottas was in a jovial move when speaking to the media after the race.

As a stop under the safety vehicle costs less time than one in racing conditions, Bottas was able to emerge in the lead.

Perez held on to claim third for Force India and become the most successful Mexican driver of all time.

However, on lap 48 of 51, Bottas ran over a piece of debris on the city track to blow out a back tyre.

"It was really quite an emotional race to be honest", said Hamilton. "Valtteri did such an exceptional job and really deserved the win. It feels a bit odd, but I've got to take it". Carlos Sainz (Renault) - +7,5156.

Ricciardo initially moved to go down the outside of his teammate but then jumped down the inside and the Dutchman followed him across.

All hell broke loose from start to finish that eventually saw the two Red Bull cars whack each other at Lap 40, which reportedly made their boss Christian Horner furious.

Next time around, Ricciardo sought to make amends. Ricciardo had fallen behind Verstappen at the restart and was desperate to reclaim the position.

Far tamer racing ensued after the safety auto came in on lap six. "Let's go." Race engineer Simon Rennie to Daniel Ricciardo regarding team-mate Max Verstappen.

That decision would also have provided more racing laps at the end.

"The Ferraris were faster than us all weekend and Valtteri [Bottas] did an exceptional job and really, after that safety auto, deserved to win the race".

And that's where the race started to turn on its head.

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