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F1: 5 most exciting moments from the 2018 Azerbaijan GP

2018-04-30 11:12

Image: AFP / Kirill Kudryavtsev

Sean Parker

Baku, Azerbaijan - Defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his first win of the 2018 season after a tumultuous race on the streets of Baku on Sunday (Apr 29).  

The Briton's team mate Valterri Bottas looked as if he was headed to victory after leading the field in the final laps. But it was not to be as the Finn hit debris and suffered a puncture to his Mercedes. 

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Force India's Sergio Perez finished second and third. 

1. Opening lap fiasco 

According to AP, the safety car was out almost immediately on the first lap as several cars collided in the middle of the pack.

Williams' Sergey Sirotkin ran into the back of Sergio Perez, causing contact between several other cars. That in turn left Sirotkin out of the race and Fernando Alonso limping back to the pits with two punctures.

The drama continued at the next turn, where Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen's aggressive lunge at Force India's Esteban Ocon plunged Ocon into the wall and out of the race. Raikkonen needed a new nose and dropped to 14th.

2. Vettel's costly error 

Sebastian Vettel relinquished the lead in the championship after finishing fourth in Baku. Chasing Bottas after the final re-start, Vettel made a lunge to pass him at the first corner, but succeeded only in out-braking himself and locking up as he speared off circuit before rejoining to finish outside the podium places.

3. Red Bulls crash in spectacular fashion 

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was trying to go past on the left and Max Verstappen then defended his position in the closing stages of the race. The Australian ended up driving into the back of his Red Bull team mate. 

Both drivers were out of the race and team chief Christian Horner said: "They both recognise that they screwed up today and will be apologising to the team and to all members of the team."

4. Bottas' race over in the cruelest fashion 

Valtteri Bottas retired with the end in sight when he suffered a dramatic puncture after running over debris left on the main straight. 

The Mercedes driver told AFP: "It was just unfortunate. Unlucky. Ten pints of beer and maybe I will be fine... I will get through it. You always have to get through it - it is a part of racing, but at the moment it is painful.

"Street circuits are difficult. There are always going to be crashes. I didn't know I had run over anything, or seen anything. Just unlucky."

5. Driver of the day - Charles Leclerc
Alfa Romeo Sauber driver Charles Leclerc scored his first ever points in the sport on Sunday after finishing sixth in Baku. 

He also bagged the 'Driver of the day' award conducted by F1.com.

The 20 year old rookie kept calm throughout an incident-filled race and claimed eight points which slots him in 13th place in the world championship standings. 

Leclerc told the checkered flag: "I felt comfortable in the car, and did my best to gradually advance to the front of the midfield through the race.

“It is an incredible feeling to score points for the first time in Formula 1."
 

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