Wow. Just wow. I was expecting a hilariously dull Azerbaijan GP but boy was I wrong! A race filled with action from start to finish with mistakes and overtakes.
Lewis Hamilton absolutely dominated qualifying, taking pole by half a second over his teammate and just over a second to the first non-Mercedes, which happened to be Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton led the race from pole for most of the race, throughout multiple safety cars and restarts, up until his headrest came loose and he was forced to pit to get it fixed. This would have been great for Sebastian Vettel, other than the fact he was awarded a 10 second stop/go penalty (and 3 penalty points) for running into Hamilton during one of the safety cars. This meant that after Hamilton pitted and Vettel served his penalty Vettel came out in seventh, just ahead of Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas started the race in second place but collided with Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap, picked up a puncture and was last and a lap down on the third lap of the race, but thanks to the safety cars, penalties, accidents and mechanical failures he recovered incredibly to take second on the line. Daniel Ricciardo started the race in tenth, had an issue early on and pitted, dropping down to 17th at his lowest point, and he won the race! On the final safety car restart Ricciardo NAILED the restart and passed both Williams to take third, inheriting the lead when Hamilton pitted and Vettel took his penalty.
So who was third? Lance Stroll. The rookie scored his first points in the previous race and finished on the podium this time round, losing out on second on the final lap to Valtteri Bottas by just a tenth of a second. Felipe Massa could have been on the podium instead as he was ahead during the safety car, but his suspension failed on the restart and after dropping down multiple positions he retired. Over the course of the race TEN different drivers were in the three podium positions, that just shows how busy the race was, HALF OF THE DRIVERS WERE IN THE TOP THREE AT ONE POINT. HALF OF THEM. Vettel took the fastest lap of the race while running back through the field.
Only a single change in the Constructors’ Championship, Haas move up two positions after Magnussen’s seventh place and Renault drop down two with a double retirement.
A few changes as always, Daniel Ricciardo takes fourth from Raikkonen after his first win of the season. Lance Stroll’s fantastic podium takes him up from 16th to 12th, Fernando Alonso moves up two positions to 17th after his (and McLaren’s) first points positions of the season and despite not scoring points teammate Vandoorne also moves up ahead of Giovinazzi.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||AUS||25||51||01:44.882||10|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India||FRA||8||51||01:45.634||7|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||ESP||4||51||01:45.866||15|
|RET||Sergio Perez||Force India||MEX||–||39||01:45.588||6|
|RET||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||NED||–||12||01:46.398||5|
|RET||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||RUS||–||9||01:48.394||11|