Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Hamilton wins drama-filled Azerbaijan Grand Prix

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton won a dramatic and controversial Azerbaijan Grand Prix which was turned on its head when the Red Bull drivers crashed into each other.

The Mercedes driver was handed the lead when team mate Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncture shortly after a late-race restart. Bottas, who had taken the lead during a Safety Car period, appeared to strike a piece of debris moments before his right-rear tyre failed.

Sebastian Vettel led most of the race and was pursued by Hamilton in the opening stages. But a mistake by Hamilton at turn one compromised his efforts to get on terms with the Ferrari.

Hamilton made his sole pit stop soon afterwards. Vettel, no longer under pressure, was able to postpone his visit to the pits until a few laps later. But Bottas, who had run third after the start, stayed out longer.

The race turned Bottas’s way when the two Red Bull drivers collided at turn one. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo had fought each other hard all race and had already banged wheels at turn one once.

Ricciardo finally got past his younger team mate, only to fall behind him when the team pitted the two drivers. It all went wrong when Ricciardo, attempting to get up the inside of Verstappen at turn one, hit the back of his team mate’s car. The pair came to a stop in the turn one run-off. The stewards are investigating the incident as, no doubt, the team will too.

The appearance of the Safety Car handed opportunities to several other drivers including Kimi Raikkonen, who had to pit at the end of lap one following contact with Esteban Ocon. He resumed the race fourth, but gained a place when Vettel ran wide at turn one and moved up to second thanks to Bottas’s puncture.

Sergio Perez, who was hit from behind by Sergey Sirotkin at the start, took third place from Vettel. Carlos Sainz Jnr came in fifth ahead of Charles Leclerc in an excellent sixth for Sauber.

Lance Stroll collected the first points of the season for Williams in eighth place, sandwiched by the two McLaren drivers, and Brendon Hartley claimed the first point of his career in 10th.

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2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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129 comments on “Hamilton wins drama-filled Azerbaijan Grand Prix”

  1. The Red Bull drivers wanted to show their junior team that when you crash into your teammate, you do it with style, sparks & flamboyance.

    1. @phylyp It was nowhere enar as good as crashing into an Air Asia-related Lotus though.

      1. And then flying, like everyone now can thanks to Air Asia, afterwards.

      2. @davidnotcoulthard – oh, that was a bad one.

    2. @phylyp though Ferrari holds the style crown with that superb sandwich in Singapore, taking a third car with them and also t-boning another. Classy.

  2. Well… What the *Censored by FOM* just happened…

    Lap 1, Raikkonen was up the inside of Ocon, and Ocon just gave him no room whatsoever and squeezed him off, and then Sirotkin seemingly got sandwiched between Hulk and Alonso, then made slight contact with Hulk’s left rear moving the Renault across the track and leaving Sirotkin with nowhere to go, just unfortunate.
    Hulk’s retirement… Ugh… And again, a podium was a genuine possibility with his pace over Sainz… I cry every time… Not sure if there was wind or if he just lost it, or maybe if he got damage from both Sirotkin and Alonso hitting that left rear, but he looked to twice have saved the car but it was insistent on going into the barriers (don’t think there’s any other straws for me to clutch at there).
    Then a few laps of people passing in the midfield, Leclerc doing the gods work, and onto Red Bull crash… My view, is it’s Verstappen’s fault. He moved left initially, then to the right, so Ricciardo went to the left, then just before the braking zone Verstappen moved back to the right, and Ricciardo had nowhere to go, couldn’t brake early as the braking zone had already begun, so just went into the back of him. Words will be had with both.
    Grosjean… I don’t even know…
    And then Vettel tries to chuck one down the inside of Bottas, in a sort of pass or be passed situation with Hamilton, locks up, and loses lots of time, messing up his race, driver error.
    Then Bottas… Ugh, feel so bad for him. A random piece of debris that wasn’t cleared up down the back straight and bam, race over, similar to what happened to Hulk at Brazil 2016, so I empathetically know his pain. Such a disappointment for him, was looking like a surefire 1-2 for Mercedes.
    And out of the madness, a silver arrow. People saying Vettel’s Australia win was lucky, I think that makes up for it and then some, up there with the luckiest of all time, wow.
    And my boy Charles Leclerc, 6th place, wow… Just wow… In the worst car, with Ericsson nowhere to be seen, he’s racing Renault’s, Force India’s and McLaren’s. Superb stuff, he’s really something round here (cc: last year in F2 at Baku).
    Also a little shoutout to Vandoorne who pitted just before the sc came in onto another fresh set of ultras, so his tyres were much warmer than everyone elses, and makes a mad dash from 14th to 9th in the dying stages.

    But what a race. And the cynicists thought this year would be another procession. Pff, 3 superb races in a row.

    1. @hugh11 – I liked Raikkonen on lap 1 – there have been times in some races where I felt he has backed out of a challenge, but this time he didn’t, and luckily he not only came out on top, but the aggressor lost out.

    2. Verstappen moved back to the right, and Ricciardo had nowhere to go

      Sorry, of course that’s meant to be Verstappen moved back to the left. Clearly there were so many defensive moves my brain got confused :P

      1. or you were enjoying the spectacle from turn 1 ;-)

        Which brings me to the quilt question: from the Ricciardo onboard it looked like a double move from Verstappen, but from up front it seemed that Ricciardo tried to fool Verstappen to the outside, but without success (and without room on the inside). @hugh11
        My final verdict: RIC 82% at fault; VER 18%.

        1. Interesting point, but I think the driver behind often fakes one way then goes to other, that doesn’t mean the guy in front can then make even more moves to block that, I think that once Max had gone to the right to cover Danny on the outside, there was enough room for him on the inside (remember it’s Danny Ric, he only needs 1 car width), but then Max came across again and by that point it was into the braking zone and Ricci just had to brake (and probably scream a lot and change the colour of his overalls) and hope for the best. Of course it was a very audacious move, so he is partly to blame, but I’d still shoulder more towards Max.

        2. My final verdict: RIC 82% at fault; VER 18%.

          Whoa @coldfly – why not just an 80-20 split? :-)

          1. Just to pretend that I really thought about the percentages and have a sophisticated mathematical model underlying this ;-)

          2. Ah, so you’re borrowing computing time from Mercedes’ mission control @coldfly

            Gotcha. Carry on, mate.

          3. My calculations show 66.66% to be blamed on Max, 23.34 on RIC, and 10% at the pit-wall
            Max covered RIC going right, Ric went inside (Left) Max covered again, Ric started to move Right again, with Verstappen copying, but RIC got caught out by braking in the slipstream

        3. @coldfly Look at the footage from the fixed camera. Verstappen does move a full car width to the right covering Ricciardo’s dummy. There should have been plenty space on Verstappen’s left if he’d obeyed the rules, but his triple move blocked Ricciardo and left him with nowhere to go.

      2. Slam it to the left
        If you’re havin’ a good time
        Shake it to the right
        If ya know that you feel fine
        Chicas to the front
        Ha ha
        Hai Si Ja
        Hold tight
        La la la la la la la la la
        La la la la la la la
        La la la la la la la la la
        La la la la la la la

        1. @johnmilk this is even funnier since Geri is Chris Horner’s wife

          1. @m-bagattini and here I was thinking that there will be no Spice fans in here

    3. Ericsson being last doesnt proove that its the worst car but that leclerc is alo better than Ericsson

      1. Leclerc luckiest driver of the day!!! Would have finished 10th or 11th if all the crashing haven’t begun.

  3. Also – I do wish the SC period had ended sooner (or GRO hadn’t crashed out). I’m sure the very small number of laps is partly what influenced Vettel’s doomed overtake attempt. If we had a few more laps, we could have instead seen a nice ‘battle royale’ among both the Mercs and both the Ferraris, all running similarly aged tyres.

    1. @phylyp forget it. Those clown races simply have to stop. Seb felt entitled as well… It all plays a part; I just want those wacky races to stop – hopefully in Spain.

      1. Yeah the enormeous straight makes every safety car restart a joke.

  4. Contrary to some of the comments, I feel the accident was more on Daniel Ricciardo than Max. Irrespective of whether Max pulled a second move on the straight, it was Dan who appeared to surge into the rear of Max’s car when Max was pretty much ahead of him, after Dan also having jinked left and right.

    1. Irrespective of whether Max pulled a second move

      I think the rules say one movement only? Also Ricciardo was quicker through out the race so even without team orders Verstappen should have had enough brains to get out of the way. Goes to show Verstappen is quick but not suited to F1.
      Perhaps Verstappen should take up stock car racing on dirt ovals where hitting other drivers is part of the show.

      1. Yes, only one move, @johnrkh – my point was that it seemed (to me at least) that Ricciardo had the opportunity to bail out, but continued slipstreaming, when he suddenly seemed to shoot forward (or did Max brake). If Ricciardo bailed out, the stewards could have still looked at Max’s movement and penalized him giving the benefit to Ricciardo.

        1. The Sky F1 guys were saying as soon as Max comes back across, Danny will lose all his downforce and will inevitably go into the back of him

          1. Ah, that makes sense, LB. Dan’s front wing was shadowed, and with that lost downforce he probably would not have had as effective front grip/braking.

      2. I’m not so sure but after the Verstappen rule was scrapped, aren’t drivers now allowed to defend like Verstappen did today?

        1. @mim5 the Verstappen rule was put in place in order to prohibit drivers from moving under braking.

          Verstappen today changed direction more than once, so it is about a different subject or rule if you will

      3. @johnrkh

        Verstappen should have had enough brains

        Verstappen. Brain. Choose one.

        The guy is fast, but it’s pure heart up until now.

    2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      29th April 2018, 15:37

      I think the same. even whilst Verstappen was overly defensive, Ricciardo locked up, and that was what caused them to crash. It is also generally not very favourable if a driver just rams straight into the back of another

      1. By then Ric was just trying to find a little bit of track that Ver didn’t have an option on.

    3. It was marginal but I think that’s another down to Verstappen. He moves right, causing Ricciardo to shift to pass on the left, then moves left slightly but enough to close him off. At that point there was no more time for him to move back to the right. The only option left to Ricciardo was to break, but presumably he had too much speed at that point, plus the tow from Verstappen. I’d say a racing incident though, it would be harsh to blame Verstappen fully. Earlier battles in the race had been excellent from both.

      1. Sorry that was as clean a weave as I have seen. The by has flirted with the rule for some time.

        He just got bit.

        He can be thankful it only affected the team.

        Time to have a word.

      2. @david-br – very nice summary, and you’ve made some good points.

        And I think that in this race Max got under Dan’s skin a bit as well, with Max earlier banging wheels, and someone ending up ahead after their pit stops. I’m not sure if that made a difference to his mindset.

        This is one incident I’d really like to see a few more replays (and preferably another angle).

        1. @phylyp Me too, though half the time I become less certain with more replays and other angles! I’d argue it was a racing incident mainly because I think Verstappen’s subtle move left to block the inside channel was almost pure racing instinct. I mean, it was perfect in terms of closing off the track just enough. How much of that was conscious, I don’t know. The problem was the speed Ricciardo had picked up, which was probably impossible for Verstappen to know or calculate. I do disagree that it was Ricciardo’s fault, though (as Coulthard suggested). He had the pace and track room to overtake, it just went pear shaped through no real fault of his own.

  5. They should have red flagged this race. That was way too long for a sc period. Seb was never going to make that stick and could have easily taken out Valterri with him. I don’t know why would he send it down like that.

    1. @krichelle – I was hoping for a red flag just for the fact that we had a recovery vehicle well on the track. Not just a runoff, but bang on the track.

    2. I agree, that was far far too long for a safety car, and it completely ruined the ending (unless you’re a Hamilton fan of course)

      1. I agree the unlapping is a pain, but Grosjean’s phantom shove into the wall added extra laps. Plus there was enough time for Vettel to mess up, Bottas to get a puncture and several overtakes to completely turn around the final positions, ‘ruined’ doesn’t really tally.

        1. @david-br completely ruined is most definitely not the right way to put it, that was extreme of me, sorry.

          But it did detract from it by shortening it. It was indeed Grosjean’s phantom shove (I like that) that added the extra laps, and it was at that point I think they should’ve put a red flag. It was just too many racing laps taken away by one safety car period

          1. @strontium Maybe, but red flags tend to ‘zero’ the racing a bit too much. I think they called it just right, a lap or two more and, yes, they’d have been insufficient time. Also with a red flag wouldn’t they have maybe just called the race (a win for Bottas)? Not sure how it works with so few laps left.

        2. @david-br unlapping is always a pain. They should allow non-lapped cars to overtake lapped cars, this would solve the problem faster, I think

      2. “Completely ruined the ending” are you insane? Bottas going out had nothing to do with the safety car just bad luck so would have won so you cannot tie that to the safety car, the only reason anyone would have to hate that result is if you were a massive Vettel fan? The only reason Bottas didn’t win was because of bad luck. That was one of the most crazy fantastic endings to a race we’ve had, not having even remotely any idea how a race is going to end until the chequered flag has finally dropped is what every sane F1 fan should want. No real racing fan would say the safety car was too long and would rather have seen the race end under a safety car or a red flag with what we just witnessed..

        1. I’ve already made it very clear (see above) that I was wrong to say that. I’m not insane, I just didn’t think properly when I was commenting. I fully withdraw what I said

          No real racing fan would say the safety car was too long and would rather have seen the race end under a safety car or a red flag with what we just witnessed..

          There are a few fans who think it was too long and should’ve been a red flag. Just because they don’t share your view doesn’t mean they’re not real racing fans. I would’ve rather a red flag so that there would’ve been more racing laps, not less. I don’t think you understood my comment

          1. I think a red flag would have ended the race as it would have been 75% complete.

    3. I agree. They took way too long to get that car off the track and the rear of the truck seemed very dangerous! I find it baffling that we have the worlds most prestigious racing competition and an old knackered flatbed judders onto the track with all the safety features of a bed on nails! Why don’t they fit those trucks with the sort of crash structures you see on motorway service vehicles?

      The truck got to the crash pretty quickly but then it was like the chuckle brothers were trying to load it on the truck. How did it take them so long to simply hook up the car and lift it onto the back and drive off?

  6. Sebastian Vettel- what a choke. With the car he has, he really should be storming ahead with this one.

    Max/RIC- 50/50 for me. Max for weaving and Danny for going for a gap that Max was never going to leave. Its important to remember that Danny gave Max earlier on when he didn’t need to and that crash could have happened much sooner. In my opinion Daniel did the right thing as a racing driver- you can’t allow Max to have the mental edge and think you will always give him space. But once again VERS is involved in yet another crash. Pastor Maldonado must be blushing by now.

    BOT- unlucky but for me his race was one of 2 halves. For the first half of the race he was again quiet and it seemed to me he was really racing Lewis. Then the safety car changed the complexion. I don’t know if its right to say he lost the win because up until the tyre failure luck had played into his hands.

    Overall a great race- the last time I was that excited over an F1 race was probably Bahrain 2014 and maybe Baku last year. F1 tracks need to be more like Baku.

    1. Sebastian Vettel- what a choke. With the car he has, he really should be storming ahead with this one.

      Well he was – just like HAM was in Australia before losing the race (in HAM’s case through no fault of his own iirc)

    2. Sebastian Vettel- what a choke. With the car he has, he really should be storming ahead with this one.

      You mean like Hamilton choked when there wasn’t anybody around and therefore had to pit 10 laps before the plan, and thus ruining his chances fighting Vettel under normal circumstances?

      1. @Flat six except:
        1. Hamilton isn’t driving the best car this season- it’s the Ferrari,
        2. His mistake in the end didn’t cost him (lucky, yes),
        3. Almost none of the front drivers today- apart from BOT had a mistake free race.

        Are you seriously saying Vettel didn’t throw that one away today?

        1. are you seriously saying 2 drivers drove 2 equally untidy races, yet only can can be seen as having choked? (that plus the biggest reason you said Ferrari was the best car was because the driver combo involving it was faster. As HAM/Merc was in AU)

          3. Almost none of the front drivers today- apart from BOT had a mistake free race.

          Are you seriously saying Vettel didn’t throw that one away today?

          I’m actually inclined to say yes on the basis of his race not being more untidy that HAM’s (they both locked up just at different points in the race). BOT I’d look at as mistake-free but that’s another matter

          Hamilton isn’t driving the best car this season- it’s the Ferrari,

          I struggle to see how he wasn’t driving the best car in AU though. Was faster than VET (as VET was here), about as mistake-free as VET, and lost.

          Besides why do you seem to concentrate on/love VET failing as much as at least 2 other commenters here that really, really seem to be the VET-loving/HAM-hating version of you (you’re here today it seems, whereas they were here yesterday. Coincidence?)?

        2. Hamilton messed up a corner in Australia while trying to keep up with Vettel -Nobody has a problem with that

          Vettel messed up a corner in Baku while trying to pass Bottas -Everyone has a problem with that…

          Some F1 fans are so confused…

          1. Some F1 fans are so confused

            And a lot simply don’t get context or nuance. I mean they are arguably different situations:

            In AUS Hamilton didn’t mess up a corner at the first attempt of overtaking, he had quite a few laps of more conventional stuff before trying something a bit bolder. It was also a calculated risk to push and he lost no places in the process, can you say the same about Vettel in Baku? No, because he finished 4th instead of 2nd or 1st

            Vettel had clearly the quicker car today and the Baku circuit is a lot different to Melbourne. He had ample opportunity to pass Bottas he didn’t have to try and do it on the very first corner.

      2. +1 people sometimes.

    3. F1 tracks need to be more like Baku.

      And yet 2 years we were all talking about how to boycott this travesty.

      1. Apparantly, it’s done. A Dutch tv-reporter overheard Ecclestone and Briatore talking in the Baku paddock and he claims Briatore said this was the last Azerbaijan GP and all track equipment (barriers, containers, etc) has been sold to Miami.

        1. 100% malarkey. Rumors from two of the most egregious liars. Must be true right?

    4. Re: Bottas

      I don’t know if its right to say he lost the win because up until the tyre failure luck had played into his hands.

      No, but a potential second place since his pitstop put him on the grippy tyres and just in front or just behind Hamilton after the pit exit.

      1. “If you don’t go for a gap, you’re no longer a racing driver” Senna, Ayrton.

        I’d pick Vettel over Bottas every time. He did the right thing. It didn’t work, so what? That’s what great racers do. They don’t settle for second unless there’s no other way. The gap was there. Unfortunately the tyres were cold and he locked up. No cash, still points in the bag, nothing to see here. Had Ferrari put him on the US at first, he wouldn’t have found himself behind Bottas anyway.

        1. Using that quote to justify another drivers actions is a bit infantile. Using it in general is just plain irritating at this point, and it’s not even true.

          1. Julian
            Agreed. And those using it always do so without ayton’s context.

        2. “If you don’t go for a gap, you’re no longer a racing driver” Senna, Ayrton.

          Why do people keep quoting this?

    5. Thought seb had this in the bag. Stuffed it though. He just had to be more patient , so not sure why he did what he did

  7. Although it was exciting I think Seb made a mistake in committing to his final overtake, certainly in terms of the Championship. There’s a lot of difference between 18 points and 12 points.

    He should have thought of the bigger picture. Lewis was a in 3 point deficit position to him.

    1. @phil-f1-21 I think Vettel is a great driver but once more his slightly impatient tendencies have cost him big, just as they did at this race last year, this time handing second place which then became first, to his main rival. He should’ve known better than to go for it like that with cold tyres and brakes.

      I still maintain that had it been Alonso or Ricciardo (notwithstanding today’s incident) in that position they would have won

      1. I also think Ferrari’s strategists need to go back and think about whether it was right to bring Vettel in

        1. I didn’t think the soft tyre was the tyre to be on today, I just think they hedged their strategy against both Hamilton and Bottas.

          When they came in and put on the softs and with no indication the soft was performing any better they were surely covering Hamilton but imo they should have gambled on the US and put Bottas under pressure.

      2. once more [Vettel’s] slightly impatient tendencies have cost him big

        @strontium – cannot agree with this more, and it is slightly disheartening to see that (as a Seb fan) he cannot keep a cool head at times like this.

        1. Yeah it’s been a frustrating season as a Vettel fan

      3. @strontium I also wonder why neither Ferrari or Mercedes hire Ricciardo or Alonso, with their abilities to make dirty air disappear and have magic brake distances that aren’t attributable to tyre advantage and so on.

        That being said, Vettel shouldn’t have tried that move. He had already covered Hamilton and wanted too much into T1. Ironically if he hadn’t made the move he would’ve won nonetheless with Bottas his puncture.

        1. @flatsix

          You can’t know that Bot would have had the puncture with Vet not doing that move. Race would have been different. Maybe Vet would have hit that debris instead… So maybe it was good he did it like that. We will never know though.

        2. @flatsix @strontium Ricciardo in red, really hope to see this but then a serious management problem would arise since Ferrari has the tendency of having a first and second driver. Alonso back in Ferrari? Can’t really see this happening. He burnt bridges. Also, he had some issues with Hamilton in past, so no Merc. I’m really sorry for I can’t see him in a WC car anymore. Bottas is demonstrating he’s a top driver, simply put I can’t see why Toto should switch to Ricciardo. Mercedes doesn’t need to change its drivers, they have what they need in the lineup to win both championships.

          So I think Ricciardo has a possibility with Ferrari but is he interested in it? I don’t know if the “brand” is enough for him: the guy can be WC with the right car, would Ferrari give him first-class treatment?

    2. I think Seb made a mistake in committing to his final overtake, certainly in terms of the Championship.

      A bit like Singapore last year.
      But I actually like that; I want the guys to be racers and never settle for a lower position.

    3. If Vettel had the patience to wait, I think it’s likely he would have found better and safer opportunity to overtake Bottas in the next couple of laps. But I agree, he lost his cool and lost sight of the bigger championship picture by trying to force it.

      1. One of the things I like about Baku is how challenging it is for the drivers. Even the best of them are struggling to master it.

  8. SparkyAMG (@)
    29th April 2018, 15:41

    Hard to pick a driver who really deserved to win today… Bottas was unlucky with the debris but was off the pace of Hamilton early in the race and only came into contention because Hamilton locked up into T1. He would’ve finished second at best if the safety car hadn’t been deployed.

    Vettel drove a solid race until the restart and was lucky in the end to finish fourth. There were only a few laps left but that Ferrari has been so much better through S2 than the Mercedes this weekend so I don’t think that would have been his only opportunity and he threw away a solid result with another moment of madness.

    As mentioned above, Hamilton realistically threw his race away when he locked up at T1, but he had at least had the pace over Bottas as that point. Got lucky at the right time.

    Raikkonen didn’t really do anything wrong in my opinion, but benefitted from the Red Bulls taking each other out as he’d have been a sitting duck at the end.

    The Red Bull crash was unfortunate, and my immediate reaction was that Max had doubled back. On reflection I don’t think it’s as clear cut as that but the team won’t be happy.

    1. Hard to pick a driver who really deserved to win today…


      1. I forgot Perez already took his penalty at the pitstop, so when I saw Leclerc within a second of Vettel, thinking Vettel was struggling, I was screaming at the TV as I thought Leclerc could inherit the podium from Perez

      2. SparkyAMG (@)
        29th April 2018, 16:30

        Yeah, Leclerc was definitely driver of the day for me.

  9. Unfortunately I missed the start but I’m glad Hamilton won and Raikkonen second , it opens up the championship. I feel sorry for Bottas though he drove a good race and kept his nose clean he would have been a deserved winner.
    The Ricciardo/Verstappen hit was silly but foreseeable. I understand the need to let them race and on the whole i agree. But when one is significantly quicker than the other it’s a no brainier. Ricciardo was quicker on the day infact through out the weekend. Verstappen should have taken the subservient role.
    Anyway I hope hope the next race is as good and both RedBull drivers go well.

  10. Thank god for Baku…apparently the only place where anybody from outside the top-three teams can finish on the podium!

    1. @gpfacts – ha ha, nice one (and very appropriate for your username!)

    2. I love this circuit. Challenging for the drivers and cars: it’s great to see the even the best drivers struggling to master it. Amazing and unique scenery.scenery.

  11. After Leclerc did such a brilliant job in F2 I was starting to worry about him getting to terms with Formula One, but the boy finally is showing what a talent he is.

  12. Ferrari screwed this one up for Vettel. Massa was commenting on the Brazilian TV today – it was an one off, btw – and he said as early as lap 26 that if he were Ferrari and Mercedes he’d wait a few more laps to put the ultrasofts as Lewis was going nowhere on the softs. Somehow Ferrari missed the obvius best strategy and put Vettel on the softs, while both Red Bull and Merc got it right. Bottas had the luck of pitting under the SC, but that’s not the point.

    Hamilton cannot complain about this Sunday. Incredibly lucky and now he leads the championship. Good old Ferrari strategies have returned…

    1. I was wondering the same thing. Ham didn’t gain any performance on the softs, seemed to be more or less tracking Bottas’ pace. Vet stopping when he did merely moved Bottas into a safety car opportunity. I’m a bit doubtful stopping for ultras would have provided enough extra performance to make up the gap, but worht a try anyway.

      Of course ferrari may have had data indicating their tyres were finished, and the softs would likely have worked better for them anyway

    2. Exactly Ferrari missed the obvious best strategy & it is not for the first time.
      They are throwing points away. A better race strategy team need urgently.
      I cant believe these morons are still working for Ferrari.

  13. Maxtor Crashstappen!

    1. He must end this string of crashes, or someone will create a website “Has Verstappen crashed today?”

      1. Already done

    2. @jaymenon10 nice avatar pic, where can I buy a similar one? (I assume it’s a t-shirt)

      1. @alfa145 I made it myself online. The keep calm store.

  14. Crashtappen strikes back. Why didn’t the marshals clear the debris that eventually proved unlucky for Bottas on the S/F straight during the 2nd SC-period? Incompetence at its best, LOL.

  15. I missed what happened to hulk! Him and Sainz were storming thru the pack but when I came back on hulk was DNF

    1. @rpiian – The Hulk crashed out on his own, lost control exiting a corner and ploughed into a barrier. It’s a shame, and it looks like he’s destined to continue his string of poor luck that keeps him away from a podium.

      1. Crashing on your own is hardly poor luck, though.

      2. I’m sorry but he was clumsy this race and ruined it for Alonso and Sirotkin with his move across. Karma though caught up as I think he got some slow-burning puncture in that incident and that caused his crash – I have not seen many replays, but it felt to me like his rear left deflated right before the corner.

  16. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    29th April 2018, 18:22

    Hamilton was very classy in the interviews and as he came out of the car. Tough loss for Bottas.

    1. No opinion on the safety car this time around? It really gave that P1 place to Bottas, didn’t it?

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        30th April 2018, 1:59

        @johnmilk Oh I already talked about that in another comment – I think it’s ridiculous that the safety car has determined 3 out of 4 races this season.

        1. Unfair isn’t it @freelittlebirds

  17. The race is not decided until Verstappen crashes or causes a crash. That is why the teams don’t pit but wait for the safety car.

  18. Remember how people complained so much about the Baku circuit after the first race there? IMO, it’s one of the most entertaining and most challenging tracks on the calendar. One of the most scenic, too.

    1. It’s a bit pot luck. It’s almost designed to cause crashes and bring out the safety car dvd the result is just too random.

      I support Hamilton, but I’d have been happier seeing Vettel or maybe Bottas win on merit than this lottery.

    2. It only started being like this when the cars got wider.

      1. @johnmilk

        While the width definitely doesn’t help, the GP2 race in 2016 was like this, a lot of people expected the F1 race to be the same but I think the driver’s wound up being super cautious because of it.

  19. Lewis got back the win that he lost in Australia.

  20. Interesting stat for Sergio Perez is that he has the most Baku podiums of anyone! Very happy for him… but… did he take his time penalty during the safety car period? Because Jules Bianchi was penalised for that in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix.

    1. Yes.they waited 5s before starting to work on his car @brickles

      1. @johnmilk But aren’t those kinds of penalties supposed to be taken under race conditions?

        1. I suppose you mean normal racing conditions @brickles? The answer is no, they can be served whenever as long as the race isn’t red flagged.

          In the case of Bianchi the revision of the penalties system wasn’t in place yet, so drivers couldn’t serve their penalties during the race and the time had to be added at the end iirc.

          The revision was put in place in order to give the drivers the opportunity to fight on track

          1. @johnmilk Ah right. I must’ve missed that revision.

  21. Verstappen still shows zero respect to his competitors by moving twice like that. Finally catching up with him. Very disappointing, and that includes running into Ric earlier in the race too.

    1. Agree 100%. Other drivers seem to be able to leave space to race each other (mostly). Max seems to hit people a lot. I thought the first incident when he slid into RIC should have been a penalty- it was avoidable contact but Max wouldn’t back out. RIC left him plenty of space, made it by him on the outside and still got punted. Isn’t that what “avoidable collision” is about?

      It is only a matter of time before he causes a big one and I continue to have a hard time listening to people call this blocking stuff “defending”. People want to see overtakes- so let them race! Put an end to the this blocking stuff…

  22. So sad that HAAS missed out on most likely a podium spot. That would have been amazing for the sport and team. I hope RG don’t kill himself to much bc of this.

    1. Grosjean has to look closely into that sort of thing, not the first time it happens, and he did something similar on his way to the gris on Brazil a couple of years back.

      He has to figure out how to put energy into the tyres in another way, because crashing behind the SC jusy makes him look silly

      1. HAAS is looking at replacing Gro

  23. YellowSubmarine
    29th April 2018, 21:17

    Many comments seem to see the Red Bull crash as an isolated incident, when it clearly was not. All race long, there had been niggles between the teammates – Ricciardo showed restraint time and again as the race progressed, he’d overrtake Max only for the latter to respond very aggressively to regain position. Didn’t they bang wheels at least once (it looked like Max’s fault to me, squeezing Ricciardo to the wall and leaving him no room at all), and didn’t Ricciardo have to pull out of an overtake at least once (when Max decided to dive down the inside at a corner, despite being well behind and having been beaten on pace by RIC)?
    Those incidents will have played on Ricciardo’s mind, and I would not be surprised if the crash was, a bit like Nico causing Lewis THAT left rear puncture in Belgium in 2014, a little deliberate on Ricciardo’s part. As in, teach this kid to show some respect and manners. The incident itself is definitely Ricciardo’s fault, but Max contributed to it immensely and repeatedly by the way he behaved towards Ricciardo earlier in the race.
    And the stewards once again chickened out from punishing Max for his weaving when under pressure. What will it take for them to recognise how dangerous this is?

  24. Crashtappen needs to grow up and stop changing lanes so much….

  25. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    29th April 2018, 23:11

    F1 in 2018 seems to keep on getting better, doesn’t it?

  26. I haven’t heard anything about the FIA getting involved in the Gasly Hartley incident – the dangerous near miss. Did they not investigate?

  27. What a race!

    For all the negative comments about this GP concerning politics and whatnot, all I can say is WOW. The F2 races are great, too!

    Hopefully the price of oil stays high so F1 can keep coming back to Baku!!

  28. I wish Hulkenberg was harder on himself. It’s like he is stuck in a loop, always choking when there’s a massive opportunity for him. He knows he doesn’t have the best luck in the world and that should motivate him even more to make every chance count, but then he habitually screws up without fail, and afterwards, says stuff like: – “These things happen”. Well, they happen only because you let them.

    Sure, I know that a driver’s true feelings might be very different from what he says to the media, but he needs to find a solution to this poor choking habit he has developed…something needs to change in him, his attitude and his driving, otherwise he will carry his unfortunate records around with him for the rest of his life (and deservedly so).

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