Hamilton has won his first Grand Prix of the year at the Azerbaijan GP 2018, after an eventful final laps that saw race leader Bottas out with a puncture and Vettel dropping down places after running wide. For Perez this was a big moment as he became the first driver to bag two podiums in Baku, the first one being from the 2016 season.
The top ten were 1 Hamilton; 2 Raikkonen; 3 Perez; 4 Vettel; 5 Sainz; 6 Leclerc; 7 Alonso; 8 Stroll; 9 Vandoorne; 10 Hartley.
The Azerbaijan GP 2018 started smoothly up to the first turn, after which there was a collision between Ocon and Raikkonen. The safety car intervened, the incident took place after Raikkonen tried to dive on the inside of Ocon. In the process, Sirotkin was hit and forced to retire while Alonso suffered a puncture.
Saftey Car deployed as chaos ensues ⚠️
Ocon and Sirotkin OUT
Raikkonen with damage
Alonso suffers two punctures 🇦🇿
— Formula 1 (@F1)
Racing resumed by lap 5 with Vettel leading the pack once again. “I need more grip,” said Hamilton who seemed upset after that restart. For Vettel though, things were looking good as the Ferrari man was 3.5s ahead. Verstappen complained of his battery not recharging, an issue related to his overtake button usage. Hulkenberg meanwhile suffered a puncture on lap 11/51.
“It’s still draining the battery,” seems like Ricciardo was having a battery issue in his Red Bull. Vettel’s lead had increased to 4.5s by lap 15. Hamilton was setting fastest times in the meantime, trying to trim down Vettel’s lead.
Hamilton is making inroads to Vettel's lead
He's setting fastest lap times, but still has 3.8 seconds to find ⏱️ 🇦🇿
— Formula 1 (@F1)
Hamilton had a big lock up on lap 22, running wide and losing over 5s to Vettel. The Briton later dived into the pits for softs. He would later emerge behind Bottas. A new fastest lap for Bottas came on lap 29 with a 1m45.8s, some 9s behind Vettel. Verstappen responded with his own fastest lap on 1m45.771s,
Vettel pitted on lap 30 and picked up soft tires before rejoining in P2.
No Team orders here! 😅 The Bull battle continues at the as Daniel passes Max for P4!
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing)
There was a collision between the Red Bulls moment after the team asked them to keep it clean. It was Ricciardo who hit Verstappen this time, the safety car was out and this gave the front runners a moment to pit. Vettel, Bottas and Hamilton all pitted and picked up new ultrasofts. New positions under the safety car were 1 Bottas; 2 Vettel; 3 Hamilton; 4 Raikkonen; 5 Perez; 6 Grosjean; 7 Sainz; 8 Leclerc; 9 Stroll; 10 Alonso.
Somehow Grosjean managed to hit the wall under the safety car. Teh restart on lap 48 was not so smooth, Bottas managed to get away but Vettel ran wide and dropped to fourth. Bottas then suffered a puncture and Hamilton claimed the lead.
“Oh my god! It just blew up on me,” said Bottas after his tire incident.
No. No. No. No! Replays show Valtteri hits debris on the track, causing his puncture… 🇦🇿
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1)
Hamilton went to win the Azerbaijan GP 2018 with a lead of 2.4s away from Raikkonen and Perez.