Victory puts Hamilton in an uncomfortable position

Victory puts Hamilton in an uncomfortable position

Victory puts Hamilton in an uncomfortable position

The record books will show that the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton - hist first win of 2018 - that Kimi Raikkonen grabbed second place and Sergio Perez got a podium for Force India in third.

At the restart, Vettel launched an attack on Bottas, but the German locked his front-left wheel, flat-spotting his tyre and running wide, dropping to fourth.

The resulting collision brought out the safety auto and in the scramble among the field to pit for ultra-soft tyres, Bottas seemed to have lucked out as he emerged ahead of Vettel with Hamilton third. Both are seeking their fifth world title.

"Really quite an emotional race to be honest", Hamilton said. "Valtteri did such an exceptional job and really deserved to have the win and Sebastian also did a great job".

"Definitely an untidy race for me", he added.

The late safety auto was deployed as a result of Daniel Ricciardo slamming into the back of Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen with 11 laps remaining, the duo having battled fiercely all race and already made contact once. "Let's go." Race engineer Simon Rennie to Daniel Ricciardo regarding team-mate Max Verstappen. "S*** happens, but without a safety vehicle it would have been a different race".

It was fitting that the race that started with a bit of collision and mayhem at the beginning with Raikkonen and Force India-Mercedes' Esteban Ocon colliding (among others) ended on a similarly unpredictable note.

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Bottas's chances of victory were then sensationally scuppered when he ran over a piece of debris and suffered a high-speed puncture just three laps from the end.

His puncture handed the win to his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who now heads the driver's championship by four points from Vettel in second.

The leading Ferrari eventually pitted on Lap 30 and re-joined the race in second place behind Bottas who was due a pit stop.

Despite the lost victory, Vettel remains positive and urges Scuderia Ferrari to "stay hungry and keep working". The victory takes him to the lead in the drivers' rankings.

The multiple incidents required a Safety Car before the action settled and racing resumed, after five laps.

With the safety vehicle deployed, Bottas came into the pits for a set of ultrasoft tires, as did the entire field, and emerged in the lead ahead of Vettel and Hamilton.

Canadian teenager Lance Stroll, third in Baku last year, finished eighth to give struggling former champions Williams their first points of the year.

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