Heartbreak For Bottas, Red Bulls Clash, As Hamilton Steals Win Wild F1 Race In Azerbaijan

Mercedes ended a three race drought in Formula One victories on Sunday afternoon, as Lewis Hamilton took his No. 44 Mercedes to victory in a wild Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It ended a six race winless streak for Hamilton, the longest of his career in the hybrid era. But, it looked like it would be the other Mercedes winning the race instead.

Valtteri Bottas took over the lead of the race after the first pit sequence and was well in control to earn his first victory of the season. He stayed in front of all the drama and I do mean drama for most of the afternoon. 

First, it was the Red Bull Racing teammates of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo taking each other out on Lap 40. Each driver did their best of drafting off of one another on the one-mile front stretch. That backfired with 11 laps-to-go though. Ricciardo had a great tow from Verstappen in front and made his move to the inside. Verstappen closed the door. Ricciardo made another move. Same result. Another move?

Verstappen countered again and Ricciardo ran directly into the back of him entering the first corner. The move took both cars out of the race while both were running inside of the top five. Christian Horner blamed both for the incident while both drivers were solemn in wake of the crash.

It was the second double DNF for both in the last three races.

Then, under caution, Romain Grosjean crashed on his very own while running inside of the points. The very odd sequence of events were far from over despite two very race changing moments.

On the restart, Sebastian Vettel made a move for the lead in the first corner, but he locked up his brakes and would fall out of podium contention as a result. Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen snuck by to move into second and third respectively due to that error but the German.

Then, Bottas ran over a piece of debris while leading, taking him out of race winning contention as a result and finishing 14th. Hamilton, would inherit the lead after the mistake from Bottas and cruise to his 63rd career F1 victory. The win, Hamilton called one of the most bizarre of his career and undeserving of his career. He had no business winning. He knew that. He never had the car to win. Between the Red Bulls taking each other out, Vettel making the wrong move and Bottas running over debris, Hamilton was there to win and take over the points lead.

Raikkonen, earned runner-up in his No. 7 Ferrari for his first top two finish since Hungary last July. Sergio Perez earned his second podium finish at Baku in three tries with coming home third in his No. 11 Force India entry.

Vettel, finished fourth in his No. 5 Ferrari while Carlos Sainz rounded out the top five in a wild race.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Results

  1. 44 Hamilton
  2.  7 Raikkonen
  3. 11 Perez
  4.  5 Vettel
  5. 55 Sainz
  6. 16 Leclerc R
  7. 14 Alonso
  8. 19 Stroll
  9.  2 Vandoorne
  10. 28 Hartley R
  11.  9 Ericsson
  12. 10 Gasly R
  13. 20 Magnussen
  14. 77 Bottas OUT
  15.  8 Grosjean OUT
  16. 33 Verstappen OUT
  17.  3 Ricciardo OUT
  18. 27 Hulkenberg OUT
  19. 31 Ocon OUT
  20. 35 Sirtokin R OUT

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