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It's humbling - Winner Hamilton feels for Bottas after Baku blow out

It's humbling - Winner Hamilton feels for Bottas after Baku blow out

Bottas survived a lunge from Vettel into Turn 1 at the subsequent safety auto restart and appeared to be heading for victory before a puncture handed Mercedes' first win of the year to Hamilton, with Kimi Raikkonen second and Sergio Perez beating Vettel to a shock third. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) finished second Sergio Perez (Force India) ended third.

In a nutshell, a late safety vehicle after the Red Bulls collided (more on that later) saw Mercedes jump Sebastian Vettel - long time race leader - and Bottas looked to be set for a win, but a puncture in the closing laps saw him out and the race handed on a plate to Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton passed Vettel when the German locked up while attempting to overtake Bottas at the safety vehicle restart with four laps to go, consequently finishing fourth.

A tense and ultimately disastrous fight between the Red Bulls kicked off immediately at the restart as Max Verstappen passed teammate Daniel Ricciardo for fourth.

Sebastian Vettel finally yielded his lead as he pitted on lap 31 surrendering the top spot to the Mercedes of Bottas.

Ricciardo and Verstappen escaped with a reprimand from stewards for their lap 40 crash - the culmination of a simmering battle between the pair - but Red Bull boss Christian Horner gave both a dressing down. With the Grand Prix Circus returning to Europe with the Spanish Grand Prix in a fortnight it could all get really quite interesting.

The Australian, the victor last time out in China, did not back off and ended up smashing into Verstappen as he broke for the corner.

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The action resumed with four laps remaining and promptly delivered even more twists as Vettel lunged to take the lead from Bottas, but locked up and fell to fourth.

Reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he was in "disbelief" following his win at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Mercedes.

It finally came to a head on lap 40, when Ricciardo attempted to pass Verstappen down the inside but only succeeded in colliding with the back of the Dutchman's vehicle, putting both drivers out of the race.

For Red Bull it was an afternoon that will require a stern debrief with their drivers. With just five laps to go, Mercedes chose to keep Bottas on track with his original set of tires, hoping the excessive caution laps were enough to extend the tire life.

The safety auto came out following the contact between Verstappen and Ricciardo. Bottas led Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Perez, Grosjean, Sainz, Leclerc, Stroll and Alonso behind the SC. Hamilton and Bottas followed him into Turn 1.

Vettel's attempt to respond backfired when he ran wide.

Bottas, who had lost out on a win in the last race beacuse of a SC, was firmly in control. Ricciardo's second retirement this season leaves him fifth, 33 points off the lead.


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