Valtteri Bottas retakes championship lead from Lewis Hamilton after winning Azerbaijan Grand Prix… as Mercedes take yet ANOTHER one-two
- Valtteri Bottas secured victory in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton
- Mercedes have secured a one-two finish in each of the four races so far to continue perfect start
- Sebastian Vettel finished third for Ferrari following another missed opportunity for the team
- Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat retired after the Australian reversed into the Russian
- Mercedes have secured a one-two finish in each of the four races so far
- RECAP: Re-live how the race unfolded in Azerbaijan with Sportsmail’s dedicated live blog
Valtteri Bottas ripped the world championship lead off Lewis Hamilton by winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Finn now has a one-point advantage over the Brit after four rounds, having beaten Hamilton into second place here in Baku.
Yes, Bottas held off Hamilton but the race winner was never seriously under siege, though he felt his team-mate’s breath briefly towards the end. Bottas simply got off cleanly from pole position and made no mistakes thereafter.
With a raised fist to mark victory, Valtteri Bottas celebrates his win at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in front of Lewis Hamilton
It was a fourth consecutive one-two for Mercedes to maintain their perfect start, with Sebastian Vettel third for Ferrari
Bottas celebrates with champagne following the podium ceremony, as Vettel sprays the champagne into the Finn’s face
The victory ensures Bottas retakes the lead in the world championship from his world champion team-mate Hamilton
Bottas celebrates winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in the pit-lane after holding off Hamilton late on in Baku
Bottas is congratulated on his victory by Hamilton before leaping off his car following his second win of the season
Third placed driver Sebastian Vettel also shook hands with Bottas to congratulate the Finnish driver on his race victory
Valtteri Bottas secured victory ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan
Hamilton finished in second place, with he and Bottas having now won two races each so far this season
Charles Leclerc finished fifth in the race in Baku despite having taken the lead at one stage
Daniel Ricciardo reversed into Daniil Kvyat, causing both drivers to retire from the race
FINAL CLASSIFICATION: Round 4, Azerbaijan
Bottas wins and takes the drivers’ championship lead 🏆#F1 🇦🇿 #AzerbaijanGP pic.twitter.com/ZS4JTzooLc
It was a fabulous outcome for Mercedes – their fourth one-two in as many races.
A Ferrari revival? Piffle.
The Scuderia’s Sebastian Vettel was third, a solid day’s work for the four-time world champion who was in need of a tonic. He is 35 points behind Bottas and 34 adrift of Hamilton.
Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc finished fifth after starting eighth owing to his accident in qualifying on Saturday.
Leclerc carved his way through the field early on, his yellow medium tyres helping him to do so while his rivals were on the soft reds. He led for much of the race after the others pitted but was helpless as he surrendered his advantage to those behind on fresher rubber.
The Monegasque, passed by Bottas and Hamilton, finally pitted himself after 34 of the 51 laps. He returned to the race in sixth place. He went up a place when Pierre Gasly’s Red Bull retired. Leclerc was reshod again late on in an attempt to get the fastest lap and the point that comes with it, a mission accomplished. Leclerc is 39 points off Hamilton, 40 off Bottas.
Max Verstappen finished fourth for Red Bull.
Indeed, the top four finished in the order they started. It was not a super exciting race, huffing and puffing but hardly offering proper excitement.
It confounded hopes after the thrills and spills of the previous two days and two years.
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