Sports

Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan GP; Vettel, Hamilton clash

Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan GP; Vettel, Hamilton clash

But in this chaos, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo benefited by winning the action-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.

"It was just a insane race, with all the safety cars and the chaos", Ricciardo said.

"I'm just lost for words right now".

With the win Ricciardo stays fourth in the drivers championship while Vettel moved 14 points ahead of Hamilton at the top.

Up ahead, Hamilton asked over the radio where Bottas was, perhaps concerned his teammate would not be able to protect him from Vettel later in the race.

Hamilton, who led for much of a race that was red-flagged on lap 21 as the street circuit was cleared of debris, suffered his misfortune on the 32nd of 51 laps.

"It was a insane race, we knew the podium was a chance after the restart but then we heard the problems with Lewis and Seb", he said, referring to an unscheduled stop for leader Hamilton's loose headrest and a penalty for second-placed Vettel.

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Hamilton wasted little time in beginning to push at the front, quickly opening up a three-second gap ahead of Vettel, forcing the Ferrari man to respond to stop the gap from growing further.

Hamilton accused Vettel of "disrespectful" driving after the four-time champion pulled alongside Hamilton and appeared to deliberately swerve into him when they were behind the safety auto approaching the midway point of a stop-start race.

It was a move that would later come back to bite Vettel as he was forced to take a ten-second stop-and-go penalty for risky driving during his second pit stop.

The straight fight between Hamilton and Vettel was first interrupted by Toro Rosso-Renault's Daniil Kvyat having to stop on track due to a technical failure on lap 11, which brought out the safety auto.

The fact Ricciardo won from 10th on the grid, and that Bottas clawed his way back from last following an early incident, summed up one of the most freaky races for years.

"Obviously yesterday I was disappointed with the mistake".

Coming just two weeks after his maiden F1 points finish and following a barrage of criticism in the early part of the year, Stroll was overjoyed with the result.

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President of the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation Anar Alakbarov presented the third place trophy to Lance Stroll of Williams F1 team. "Just lost out to Valtteri in the end, but still extremely happy with the result".

"What a race. I couldn't believe coming into the weekend that I would be standing on the podium, it's so wonderful".

The race started at 5 p.m. local time with track temperatures at 53 degrees Celsius (127 Fahrenheit).

Hamilton was on pole position for the 66th time, with Bottas next, followed by Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel fourth.

As teams waited for the race to resume behind the safety vehicle, Ferrari and Force India were both able to complete rapid repairs on Raikkonen and Perez's cars to get them back into the race, albeit two laps down on the field. In Bottas' case, a new front wing was required, leaving him to limp back to the pits and fall a lap down.

Moments later, Verstappen had to retire - for the fourth time in six races - because of engine problems.

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