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Hamilton wins his first race of the season at chaotic 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

2018-04-29 16:11

Image: AFP

Baku, Azerbaijan - Mercedes'  Lewis Hamilton wins his first race of the 2018 Formula One season at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a crazy, dramatic race in Baku.

Ferrair's Kimi Raikkonen came in second with Force India's Sergio Perez in third - the most successful Mexican driver in F1.

Sebastian Vettel, who had led for most of the race, saw himself locking up after a series of laps behind the safety car in the end, handing the race over to Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton.

Heartbreak ensued when Bottas suffered a massive puncture after picking up left-over debris on the track, giving Hamilton his first win of the season after a chaotic street race.

Hamilton said: "It was a very emotional race, Valtteri deserved to win."

The race saw the underdogs managing to score some points like Charles Leclerc for Sauber - the first points in an extremely long time.


The first lap saw two retirements when Sergey Sirotkin went into Turn 2 too hard and went into the back of Ocon Esteban's Force India which made contact with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. 

McLaren's Fernando Alonso picked up a puncture from the debris and had to limp to the pits while the safety car was out.

When the safety car cleared the track in Lap 6, Vettel bolted to jump a lead of about 1.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton which eventually grew to 5.5seconds by Lap 22.

Hulkenberg was driving well and was fighting Red Bull's Max Verstappen for fourth as the two kept vying for the the position. Hulkenberg sadly hit a wall and had to retire the car.


Hamilton eventually was told to finally box at Lap 22 and came out ahead of Verstappen taking P3 behind his team mate Bottas.

The biggest setback for Red Bull saw the two team mates taking each other out. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were racing too close for comfort throughout the race and in the end the crash was almost inevitable. 

Red Bull's Adrian Newey was seen walking away from the garage in disgust and Christian Horner was so livid when reporters tried speaking to him as he made his way to the drivers.

Haas' Romain Grosjean hit a wall while the safety car was out and was forced to retire as well. He was taken away in a medical car on the track. His crash meant the safety car had to stay out even longer than intended.  

The safety car ends its stint on Lap 47 and saw the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers racing hard for positions. Thanks to a lockup by Vettel, both Bottas and Hamilton could pass him.

Then heartbreak for Bottas as he had a puncture, having him lose what would have been his first race of the season!

All the drama meant Hamilton could drive his car pass the checkered flag for the first time this season.

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