There was plenty of tension in Baku on Sunday, as Formula 1 hoped for a more dramatic race the second time around – but no one could’ve predicted the wild ride that transpired...
…with Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo capitalising on disastrous races for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for an unlikely win – his fifth career victory, and first since Malaysia last year.
The carnage kicked-off from Lap 1, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas oversteering into Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, forcing him into the wall at Turn 2, dropping both down to fifth – and Bottas to pit with a puncture.
Out front, Hamilton set a string of fastest laps to pull out a 3.8 second gap on Vettel by Lap 9 – but it was gone 4-laps later when the safety car came out to recover Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, his STR12 suffering a complete electronics shutdown; forcing half the field into the pits, including Hamilton and Vettel, both gunning for the win.
On the same lap, Verstappen retired with engine failure.
The Safety Car came in at the end of Lap 16, but was out again almost as soon as it was stood down, with so much debris on the track.
On Lap 19, under the safety car, Vettel thought Hamilton brake tested him at Turn 15 – moving him to pull up alongside and bang wheels, which he soon got a 10-second stop-go penalty for dangerous driving.
At the restart on Lap 20, Williams’ Felipe Massa took both Force Indias for third – the pair making contact at Turn 2, forcing the third safety car and a red flag for the debris.
At yet another restart on lap 24, Ricciardo passed both Williams for third – with a bold move up the inside into Turn 1.
Hamilton pitted at the end of Lap 31 for a loose headrest, while Vettel’s 10- second stop-go penalty was taken on Lap 34 - promoting Ricciardo to the lead.
Williams’ Lance Stroll had worked his way up to P4, which became second, with the leaders pitting – but came under fire from a hard-charging Bottas, who passed him on the line to take second, up from one-lap down.
But it was Daniel Ricciardo, who made the best of a chaotic day in Baku.
As broadcast on 27/06/2017.