Azerbaijan GP: Winners & Losers

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix produced one of the most exciting races in recent memory as Daniel Ricciardo took a shock victory to give Red Bull their first win of 2017. F1 Top 10 looks back on the epic race to find out who were the winners and losers in Baku.

WINNERS:

Daniel Ricciardo: After a crash in qualifying on Saturday, Ricciardo, knew it would be a tough race starting from 10th. However, the start of the race didn’t exactly go to plan for the Australian with the Red Bull driver forced to make an unscheduled pit-stop which saw him come out down in 17th. However, as drama unfolded at the front of the field, Ricciardo, kept his cool making an incredible overtake on both Williams drivers after the third safety car re-start as he won his fifth race of his career.

Valtteri Bottas: A disastrous start from the Finn saw him tangle with fellow compatriot Kimi Raikkonen which resulted in a puncture for Bottas. The Mercedes driver had to pit for a new front wing as well as a tyre change which saw him not only come out last but also a lap down on his title rivals. However, the Finn pulled off several impressive overtakes and that coupled with the various events at the front, Bottas, claimed an unlikely podium finishing second after overtaking Lance Stroll on the final lap.

Lance Stroll: What a difference a few races make for the young Canadian. After scoring his first points at his home race in Canada, Stroll, reminded his critics why he deserves a seat at the young age of 18 as the Williams driver finished third to become the youngest rookie in F1 to score a podium.

LOSERS:

Lewis Hamilton: The Brit looked to have the race under control at the front but unfortunately for Hamilton his head restraint came loose forcing him to pit and ultimately cost him victory. In an incident packed race, the Mercedes driver also had a run in with title rival Sebastian Vettel when the German appeared to swerve sideways into Hamilton’s W08 with the Ferrari driver accusing the Brit of “brake testing” him. The German was given a 10 second stop-go penalty for his conduct but still finished ahead of Hamilton to extend his championship lead to 14 points.

Force India: At one stage during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix it looked like Force India could actually win the chaotic race. However, any hopes of a dramatic victory for the team were dashed when Esteban Ocon and teammate Sergio Perez collided with one another while running in fourth and fifth respectively. The incident caused Perez to retire while Ocon had to settle for a sixth place finish.

Max Verstappen: After watching his teammate take victory in Baku, Verstappen must have felt like a shot at victory was snatched away from him. The young Dutchman was running in third and keeping pace with championship leader Vettel who was in second when his RB13 suffered an engine failure. The DNF for Verstappen is his fourth in six races and he will be hoping his luck changes ahead of Red Bull’s home race in Austria.

Felipe Massa: The Brazilian started ninth on the grid after being out-qualified by rookie teammate, Lance Stroll, for the first time. However, by the time the red flag had came out on lap 22, the Williams driver had climbed his way to third and was on course for a podium finish or even a potential race victory before mechanical problems cruelly ended the Brazilian’s hope of a good result.

Next up for the F1 paddock is the Austrian Grand Prix on the 9th of July. Let’s hope it’s just as exciting as the race in Azerbaijan!

 

Picture courtesy of Sky Sports

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