Tag: Ferrari

F1GP | VETTEL WINS AT SILVERSTONE AS HAMILTON RECOVERS TO SECOND

Sebastian Vettel capitalised on a Turn 1 collision between Kimi Räikkonen and Lrewis Hamilton that sent the Briton to the back of the field to claim his 51st career win at the British Grand Prix. Hamilton later staged a superb recover to finish second ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen.

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At the start, Vettel got away superbly to take the lead ahead of pole position man Hamilton. The Briton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas also swept past and Hamilton found himself third as the field went through Abbey.

The situation was then made worse for Hamilton as Raikkonen braked too late and collided with the right rear of the Briton’s Mercedes. Hamilton spun off track and dropped to 17th place. Raikkonen later received a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision.

At the front, Vettel was free to pull away and by lap eight the German had built a 5.7s lead over Bottas, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a further four seconds behind. Raikkonen was now fourth ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo and the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

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However, Hamilton was powering through the pack, and on lap eight he had climbed back to eighth place behind Sauber’s Charles Leclerc. He was, however, now 25.7s behind Vettel. He made light work of passing the Monegasque and then breezed past Hulkenberg on lap 10 to sit 13.0 behind fifth-placed Ricciardo.

Raikkonen pitted on lap 13 to serve his penalty and after the hold he took on medium tyres to emerge in 10th place.

Verstappen was the next to pit, on lap 17, with the Dutchman also taking medium tyres. The Red Bull driver emerged in fifth place.

Behind him, Raikkonen was now on a march and in short order he dismissed Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, Leclerc and Nico Hulkenberg to sit in sixth place ahead of the next pit stop, on lap 18, for Ricciardo.

Leclerc was the next to visit pit lane but immediately after his pit stop he reported a problem and he was told to stop his Sauber. He pulled off track at Turn 3 where his strong run of recent points finishes ended.

Vettel then pitted on lap 20, taking on medium tyres. He rejoined in the lead and after Bottas made his stop the German led ahead of the Finn and Hamilton. Hamilton was now 5.8s behind the championship leader but he required a pit stop.

That stop arrived on lap 25, with the Mercedes driver taking on mediums. He rejoined the action on sixth place, 11s behind Raikkonen and 28.2s behind race leader Vettel.

The German was now 3.5s clear of Bottas, with Verstappen almost 10 seconds further back and with Ricciardo fourth ahead Raikkonen.

Bottas then began to close up to Vettel and on lap 30 the gap was down to 2.8s. Hamilton too was picking up the pace and by lap 30 he was running quickest and closing in on Raikkonen.

Red Bull then pitted Ricciardo for a second time on lap 30, with the Australian taking on a fresh set of soft tyres. He rejoined in sixth place, behind Hamilton, who was now just 4.9s behind Raikkonen.

The complexion of the race changed completely on lap 32. Marcus Ericsson overcooked his entry to Turn 1 and he lost the front end of his car. He spun and careered off track and into the barriers.

The safety car was immediately deployed and during the caution, Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen all pitted for fresh soft tyres as the field bunched up.

Bottas now led the race behind the SC, with Vettel second ahead of Hamilton, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

On the restart Bottas held his advantage ahead of Vettel and Hamilton, bit behind them Raikkonen attacked Verstappen. He passed the Dutchman but the Red Bull driver returned the favour in the next corner and he held onto fourth place.

The Safety Car was almost immediately deployed again as behind the leaders Carlos Sainz tried to pass Romain Grosjean in to Copse. It was tight, with Sainz leaving little room, and the result was that the Frenchman clipped the back of the Spaniard’s Renault and they both went off track and out of the race.

The Safety Car left the track at the end of lap 41 and Bottas again held the lead ahead of Vettel and Hamilton, with Verstappen fourth ahead of Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

Vettel than began to exert pressure on Bottas and after a long tussle the German managed to sneak past the Finn with a good move under braking into Brooklands.

Behind them Verstappen spun and then retired from the race.

Bottas, whose tyres were fading, was then passed by Hamilton and he quickly slipped into the clutches of Raikkonen who brushed past his compatriot to take P3.

And that was the way it stayed with Vettel crossing the line ahead of Hamilton to take his 51stcareer win, putting him tied third with Alain Prost on the list of most wins in F1.

Hamilton’s superb recovery from the back of the field was matched to some degree by Räikkönen’s march to the podium from 10th after serving his penalty. Bottas was fourth ahead of Ricciardo with Hulkenberg sixth for Renault. Esteban Ocon took seventh for Force India ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly.

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2018 Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Race 
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari –
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2.264
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 3.652
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 8.883
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 9.500
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 28.220
7 Esteban Ocon Force India 29.930
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren 31.115
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas 33.188
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 34.129
11 Sergio Perez Force India 34.708
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 35.774
13 Lance Stroll Williams 38.106
14 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 48.113
15 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 6 laps
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 15 laps
17 Carlos Sainz Renault 15 laps
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 21 laps
19 Charles Leclerc Sauber 34 laps
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 51 laps

F1GP | VERSTAPPEN WINS IN AUSTRIA

Max Verstappen took the fourth win of his career at the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel, as Mercedes suffered its first double-DNF in over two years.

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When the light went out for the start, Räikkönen made a superb getaway and slotted between the two slower Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas.

The inside line belonged to Hamilton, however, and he emerged in the lead with Räikkönen second ahead of Bottas. The Ferrari driver then tried to attack Hamilton around the outside of Turn 3 but he went wide and that allowed Bottas to retake second place, and Verstappen then slotted into third as Räikkönen struggled for pace after his off.

Behind them Ricciardo, who was celebrating his 29th birthday, had passed Haas’ Romain Grosjean to take fifth place behind Räikkönen and Vettel was also soon past the Frenchman to sit sixth.

Hamilton quickly began to pull away from the field, and by lap 10 he had a two second cushion over Bottas, with the Finn a further two seconds clear of Verstappen.

The Dutchman was given a boost, however, when midway through lap 14, Bottas slowed dramatically on the run down to Turn 4 and pulled off track with a gearbox failure.

With a Virtual Safety Car called as Bottas’ car was recovered Red Bull chose to seize the initiative and pitted both Verstappen and Ricciardo at the end of lap 16. Ferrari chose the same tactic, with the result that when the quartet rejoined the action the order remained static, with second-placed Verstappen ahead of Räikkönen and with fourth-placed Ricciardo ahead of Vettel. Hamilton, who has stayed out on track, now led Verstappen by 13 seconds.

On lap 20, after harrying the Ferrari driver since the start, Ricciardo finally found a way past Räikkönen. The Finn made a mistake, locking up into Turn 3, and after running wide Ricciardo tucked in behind the Ferrari and with greater pace powered past into Turn 4 to steal third place.

Shortly afterwards, Hamilton was told that his team had missed the VSC opportunity and that he needed to find eight seconds on track to avoid losing out when he made his pit stop. The incredulous Briton responded that he had no time left in his starting supersofts and so on lap 26 the pitted for soft tyres. When he resumed he’d dropped to fourth place and Max Verstappen now led a Red Bull one-two ahead of Räikkönen.

However, as the race hit half distance, Räikkönen radioed his team to say he could a large blister on Ricciardo’s rear left tyre and the problem was soon confirmed by Ricciardo, whose pace began to flag. By lap 37 he was 6.2 seconds behind his race-leading team-mate and Räikkönen and Hamilton were smelling blood.

Räikkönen was the first to pounce, and on lap 39 he closed hard on Ricciardo on the run to Turn 3. He tucked in behind the Red Bull and breezed past on the straight to Turn 4.

Behind him, it was Vettel who made the next move and on the following lap, as Ricciardo pitted to shed his damaged soft tyres, Vettel launched an attack on Hamilton.

The German dived down the inside of the championship leader as they powered through Turn 2 and hugging the edge of the track he held firm in Turn 3 to steal third place.

Verstappen now led Räikkönen by seven seconds, with Vettel a further 2.4s behind. Hamilton was now third, 0.8s behind the German with Ricciardo, on fresh supersoft tyres, 19 second behind.

It now became a race of tyre management. At two-thirds distance Hamilton reported that he was suffering from the problem as Ricciardo, a seriously degrading rear left tyre and on lap 52 he told his team he did not feel the rubbers would last to the end of the race. He pitted and took on supersoft tyres.

When Hamilton rejoined he found himself behind Ricciardo, but any hopes the Red Bull driver had of holding fourth place until the end evaporated on lap 53. Entering Turn 10 a puff of smoke burst from the rear of Ricciardo’s car and by Turn 1 he was on the radio saying he’d lost gear sync. He pulled over at Turn 1 and retired from the race.

With 10 laps remaining Verstappen led Räikkönen by 3.7s with Vettel a further 2.4s back in third. Hamilton was fourth, 21.7s behind the German, while Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen held fifth and sixth places respectively. Force India’s Sergio Perez was seventh ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly. The final points position was occupied by Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.

There were more twists to come, however, and on lap 64 Hamilton suddenly slowed dramatically. “I’ve lost power,” he said simply before being told to stop his car at Turn 4. Hamilton’s exit made it Mercedes’ first double DNF since the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

With five laps left Verstappen was just 2.8s ahead of Räikkönen and the Finn was behind told to he was free to push as hard as he liked. Verstappen, though, had managed the race perfectly and he crossed the line to take his fourth career win and his first since Mexico last year with 1.5s in hand over the Finn.

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Vettel held third ahead Grosjean, with Magnussen fifth on a good day for Haas. Ocon took sixth ahead of team-mate Perez, while Fernando Alonso enjoyed a good afternoon, making the most of a late-race charge to claim eighth place ahead of Leclerc and Ericsson.

2018 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix – Race
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1.504
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 3.181
4 Romain Grosjean Haas 1 lap
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 lap
6 Esteban Ocon Force India 1 lap
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1 lap
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1 lap
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1 lap
10 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1 lap
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1 lap
12 Carlos Sainz Renault 1 lap
13 Lance Stroll Williams 2 laps
14 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 2 laps
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 6 laps
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 9 laps
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 17 laps
18 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 18 laps
19 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 58 laps
20 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 60 laps

F1GP | HAMILTON WINS FRENCH GP AHEAD OF VERSTAPPEN

Lewis Hamilton regained top spot in the 2018 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship standings with a faultless drive to victory at the French Grand Prix, as a Turn 1 collision with Valtteri Bottas at the start of the race meant Sebastian Vettel had to settle for fifth place at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Max Verstappen took second place and Kimi Räikkönen rose from sixth on the grid to take the final podium spot.

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The race started in spectacular style, with championship leader Sebastian Vettel colliding with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in Turn 1. The German made a good start but could find no way to attack pole position starter Hamilton. Vettel moved right where Bottas was powering past and as the pair went into the first corner there was contact. Bottas sustained a rear left puncture and Vettel nose damage, which forced both back to the pits for repairs.

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There was another incident in Turn 3 when Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly collided. Both Frenchman were ruled out of their home race and with debris on the track, the Safety Car was deployed.

Behind the SC Hamilton now led Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, with Carlos Sainz third for Renault after a good start from P7 on the grid. Daniel Ricciardo was fourth in the second Red Bull with Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen fifth. After their stops for repairs, during which they also took on soft tyres, Vettel and Bottas rejoined in 17th and 18th place respectively.

Racing resumed at the end of lap five and Hamilton controlled the re-start well to hold his lead over an unchanged top five.

Vettel and Bottas were quickly on the march once racing resumed, however, and by lap 10 the Ferrari driver was up to 10th place, with Bottas in P13. Vettel, though, had been placed under investigation by the stewards, and the German was handed a five-second time penalty for causing the collision with his Mercedes rival.

Vettel was on a march, however and in short order he dismissed Force India’s Sergio Perez and Haas’ Romain Grosjean to sit eighth behind Sauber’s Charles Leclerc on lap 16 and then he powered past Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Sainz to take fifth place on lap 20. He was now 30s behind race leader Hamilton, having made a pit stop and taken on soft tyres.

Verstappen was the first of the leaders to make a scheduled pit stop and at the end of lap 25 the Dutchman took on a set of soft tyres before rejoining in fourth place behind Hamilton, Ricciardo and Räikkönen. Vettel was now just 3.7s behind Verstappen in fifth place. Ricciardo then made his stop for softs on lap 28.

Hamilton pitted on lap 33, again for softs, and ceded the lead briefly to Räikkönen. But the Finn made his own trip to pit lane soon after and Hamilton jumped back to first place ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo who had powered past Vettel when the German made a mistake at the Le Beausset corner.

Räikkönen’s stop dropped him to fifth place behind his team-mate but the Finn had bolted on supersoft tyres and was now lapping considerably faster than Vettel. The German quickly moved over for his team-mate and Räikkönen rose to fourth.

Vettel’s race was then compromised further when he made a second stop for tyres at the end of lap 40. There was an issue with the change and the German was stationary for a crippling 9.1s. He lost no places but there were now 35.9s between him and Räikkönen.

At the front, Hamilton was now seemingly in control. On lap 43 he was 4.8s clear of Verstappen, who was experience a vibration problem on his car, while Ricciardo was a further 9.3 further back. Räikkönen was now 4.5s behind the Australian, with Vettel fifth ahead of Sainz, Magnussen, Bottas (who also had a slow pit stop) Hulkenberg and 10th-placed Leclerc.

Räikkönen then began to close on Ricciardo as his tyre advantage told and with eight laps left he attacked the Australian. The Red Bull driver tried to defend and managed to keep Räikkönen at bay for half the lap but eventually the Finn snuck past through the chicane to take third place.

Sixth-placed Sainz was the next man in trouble and a handful of laps from home he reported a loss of power. He was quickly passed by Magnussen and Bottas and dropped to eighth place, eight seconds ahead of team-mate Hulkenberg.

And that was how it stayed, with Hamilton crossing the line after 53 laps to take his 65th career grand prix victory ahead of Verstappen and Räikkönen. Ricciardo was fourth, with Vettel fifth ahead of Magnussen, Bottas, Sainz, Hulkenberg and Leclerc.

The result means that Hamilton now heads the drivers’ standings with 145 points, 14 clear of Vettel. Ricciardo moves back to third place with 96 points, four clear of Bottas.

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2018 Formula 1 French Grand Prix – Race
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 7.090
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 25.888
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 34.736
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:01.935
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:19.364
7 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.632
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:27.184
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:31.989
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:33.873
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1 lap
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1 lap
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1 lap
14 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1 lap
15 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1 lap
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 3 laps
17 Lance Stroll Williams 5 laps
18 Sergio Perez Force India 26 laps
19 Esteban Ocon Force India
20 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso

F1GP | VETTEL TAKES 50TH CAREER WIN IN CANADA

Sebastian Vettel drove a textbook Canadian Grand Prix, leading every lap of the race to secure his 50th career grand prix win ahead of Mercedes Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.

When the lights went out polesitter Vettel held his advantage into Turn 1. Behind, Verstappen made a good start and attacked Bottas, pulling alongside the Mercedes. Bottas held firm, however, and managed to stay in second position ahead of the Red Bull driver. Hamilton kept fourth but Daniel Ricciardo made his way past Kimi Räikkönen to take fifth place.

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Further back, Williams’ Lance Stroll lost control in Turn 5 and slid into Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley pushing the New Zealander into the wall. The collision was a big one and debris was scattered across the track as they slid towards the run-off area at Turn 6. The Safety Car was immediately deployed. Both drivers were taken to the medical centre, with Hartley then being sent to hospital for further checks.

When action resumed at the end of lap four, the order at the front remained the same as Vettel controlled the situation well, but further back there was content between Force India’s Sergio Perez and Renault’s Carlos Sainz.

Perez slid across the run-off are and back on track but there was no further contact, though the Mexican quickly dropped to P14.

Vettel then began to put in fastest laps and the gap to Bottas widened to four seconds by lap 13. Behind him a number of drivers who had started on hypersoft tyres began to pit, moving to supersoft tyres as the pink-banded compound quickly faded. The Red Bulls, though, stayed on the softest of the weekend’s compounds as they nursed their starting rubber.

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By lap 16 Ricciardo was catching Hamilton and the gap between the two had dropped to 0.7s. With Hamilton visibly struggling for pace, Mercedes took the option to pit the Briton on lap 16. Red Bull pitted Verstappen simultaneously, with both taking supersofts.

Ricciardo stayed out, however, and after a superbly quick in-lap pitted at the end of lap 17, taking on supersofts in overcut to emerge ahead of Hamilton.

Vettel continued on and by lap 23 he was 4.8s ahead of Bottas. Räikkönen was now third, though he too needed to pit, 12.9s behind his fellow Finn and 13.8 clear of Verstappen.

The race then settled until Räikkönen made his pit stop, emerging in P6 behind Hamilton. Bottas pitted soon after, holding P2 ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo. Ferrari then covered the Mercedes stop and rejoined some 8s clear of the Finn.

The race settled again, with the gaps spreading at the front of the pack. On lap 50 Vettel had 6.0s in hand over Bottas, while the Mercedes man was 5.9s ahead of Verstappen. Ricciardo was fourth, seven seconds behind his team-mate and the Australian had just over a second in hand over Hamilton.

And so it remained until the closing laps when Hamilton began to hunt down Ricciardo as the pair met traffic. The Briton closed to within DRS as Ricciardo cleared Force India’s Esteban Ocon. However he lost out slightly when Ricciardo easily got past Sainz and Hamilton lost grip momentarily.

The battle ebbed and flowed as the pair threaded their way through the traffic but then three laps from the end Ricciardo found clear air and stretched his legs. Verstappen, meanwhile, was pushing for a final attack on Bottas who was having to fuel save in the closing stages.

There was a moment’s confusion as the chequered flag was waved a lap early but seconds later the German crossed the line to take his 50th career F1 victory and Ferrari’s first win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 14 years ahead of Bottas who nursed his Mercedes home ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo. Hamilton finished fifth, with Raikkonen sixth ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Esteban Ocon. The final point went to Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.

2018 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix – Race 
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari –
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 6.496
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 7.702
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 19.625
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21.408
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 27.308
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 lap
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 1 lap
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 1 lap
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1 lap
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1 lap
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 1 lap
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1 lap
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 lap
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 2 laps
16 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 2 laps
17 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 2 laps
Fernando Alonso McLaren
Lance Stroll Williams
Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso

2018 Driver Standings

POS DRIVER NATIONALITY CAR PTS
1 Sebastian Vettel GER FERRARI 121
2 Lewis Hamilton GBR MERCEDES 120
3 Valtteri Bottas FIN MERCEDES 86
4 Daniel Ricciardo AUS RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 84
5 Kimi Räikkönen FIN FERRARI 68
6 Max Verstappen NED RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 50
7 Fernando Alonso ESP MCLAREN RENAULT 32
8 Nico Hulkenberg GER RENAULT 32
9 Carlos Sainz ESP RENAULT 24
10 Kevin Magnussen DEN HAAS FERRARI 19
11 Pierre Gasly FRA SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 18
12 Sergio Perez MEX FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 17
13 Esteban Ocon FRA FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 11
14 Charles Leclerc MON SAUBER FERRARI 10
15 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL MCLAREN RENAULT 8
16 Lance Stroll CAN WILLIAMS MERCEDES 4
17 Marcus Ericsson SWE SAUBER FERRARI 2
18 Brendon Hartley NZL SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1
19 Romain Grosjean FRA HAAS FERRARI 0
20 Sergey Sirotkin RUS WILLIAMS MERCEDES 0

 

F1GP | RICCIARDO BATTLES TO TAKE MONACO WIN

Daniel Ricciardo battled engine issues and soaked up race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel to score a superb Monaco Grand Prix win ahead of the Ferrari driver and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

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The Australian, who led away from pole position, developed a power issue midway through the race and after being told by his team that the problem could not be rectified, he delivered a superb defensive drive to claim his seventh career win and his first in Monaco.

The victory makes up for 2016 when the Red Bull driver lost out on victory in the Principality due a botched pit stop that dropped him to second place.

At the race start, Ricciardo made a clean getaway and despite a brief attack from Vettel he held his advantage to lead through Ste Devote ahead of the German and Hamilton. Meanwhile, at the back of the grid, Max Verstappen made a good start and swiftly cleared the Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean to hold P18 at the end of the opening tour.

The Dutchman then worked has way past Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and began to close on Williams’ Lance Stroll. He made light work of passing the Canadian down the inside into the Nouvelle Chicance on lap seven. The next move was past Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley, putting Verstappen into 14th place before the start of lap nine.

At the front, Ricciardo eked out a 2.5s gap to Vettel, but then on lap 12 Hamilton pitted for ultrasoft tyres, emerging in P6 behind Force India’s Esteban Ocon. The Mercedes driver passed the Frenchman soon after and then began to chase after the leaders, 28s behind Ricciardo. Vettel was next in, taking on ultrasofts and then, on lap 17, Ricciardo pitted from the lead. He also took ultrasofts. Further back, Verstappen was still making his way through the field, eventually working his way to P11 behind McLaren’s Fernando Alonso who had pitted for supersofts.

By the end of lap 25, Ricciardo had a 1.7s lead over Vettel, while Hamilton was now 8.6s off the lead. Raikkonen had closed to 1.2 behind Hamilton, with Bottas 6.0s behind his fellow Finn.

Vettel then began to close on the leader and by lap 30 he was just 0.7s behind Ricciardo. The Red Bull driver soon reported a loss of power and as the situation unfolded the Australian asked his team whether the situation would improve. His race engineer’s response was a swift negative. Ricciardo was now in a position where he would have to defend for more than 40 laps. Vettel quickly looked to attack, but as the Australian protected his lead the German’s tyres began to grain and he had to back off.

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Behind the leading pair, Hamilton began to increase his pace, sensing that the slow laps being put in by the front pair could signal an opportunity. Further back, Bottas began to close on fourth-placed Raikkonen. The top end of the order now began to bunch up and on lap 45 the leading five cars were separated by just eight seconds.

Further back, Verstappen finally made his sole pit stop at the end of lap 48, taking on hypersofts for a late race push to the flag. He emeged in P11, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley and 10 seconds behind Renault’s Carlos Sainz. Verstappen’s situation improved when Fernando Alonso retired with a geabox issue.

That promoted Verstappen to P10 behind the Hulkenberg who had dropped behind Sainz after making a pit stop. When Sainz allowed his team-mate past, Verstappen closed on the Spaniard and after Sainz cut the chicane, the Red Bull driver swept past to take P9.

Ahead, on lap 60, Vettel was still pushing, looking for a way to attack Ricciardo, but the Australian was controlling his defence with aplomb and the gap remained steady at around one second. Hamilton’s charge appeared to have ended as he fell 2.9s behind Vettel, while Raikkonen was a further 2.6 back in fourth place.

Verstappen, though, was still trying to make progress and with 13 laps remaining he had reeled in Hulkenberg, who in turn had caught up with Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.

There was late drama when local hero Charles Leclerc crashed into the back of Hartley’s Toro Rosso, but with Leclerc sliding up the escape road and Hartley able to limp to the pits, it was only cause for the Virtual Safety Car to be deployed.

And as the caution came to an end, Vettel dropped right back, settling for second place, seven seconds behind the Australian. Hamilton, too, nursed his car to the finish, finishing almost 10 seconds behind Vettel.

Fourth place went to Raikkonen, with Bottas fifth and Force India’s Esteban sixth. Gasly drove superbly to hold onto seventh ahead of Hulkenberg and Verstappen and the final point went to Sainz.

2018 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix – Race
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-
2 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 7.336
3 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 17.013
4 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 18.127
5 Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes 18.822
6 Esteban Ocon  Force India 23.667
7 Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso 24.331
8 Nico Hulkenberg  Renault 24.839
9 Max Verstappen  Red Bull Racing 25.317
10 Carlos Sainz  Renault 1’09.013
11 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1’09.864
12 Sergio Perez  Force India 1’10.461
13 Kevin Magnussen  Haas 1’14.823
14 Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren 1 lap
15 Romain Grosjean  Haas 1 lap
16 Sergey Sirotkin  Williams 1 lap
17 Lance Stroll  Williams 2 laps
Charles Leclerc  Sauber 8 laps
Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso 8 laps
Fernando Alonso  McLaren 26 laps

F1GP | HAMILTON WINS INCIDENT-PACKED AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX

Lewis Hamilton claimed a fortunate 63rd career win and control of the Drivers’ Championship standings at the end of a chaotic and incident-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix that saw long-time race leader Sebastian Vettel drop to fourth after a collision between the Red Bull drivers and Valtteri Bottas exit the race from the lead with a late puncture.

Kimi Räikkönen was left to take second place behind Hamilton, with Force India’s Sergio Perez taking a second career podium finish in Baku thanks to a late pass on Vettel.

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The 2018 Azerbaijan GP was full of drama right from the start. Pole position man Vettel held his advantage when the lights went out, taking the lead ahead of Hamilton, Bottas and the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Behind them there was drama as Räikkönen and Force India’s Esteban Ocon collided in Turn 1. The impact pushed the French driver into the barriers and out of the race, but the Finn was able to make his way back to the pits for a new front wing and a set of soft tyres.

More incidents were to follow soon after, when Williams Sergey Sirotkin tagged the front right wheel of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren. The Russian driver was forced to retire, but the Spaniard was able to limp back to the pits, though by the time he had reached the McLaren pit box he had shed both right side tyres. He too took a new front wing and soft tyres. With debris strewn across the track, the Safety Car was deployed.

When the action resumed, Vettel again held his advantage, demonstrably backing the field up to shorten the run to Turn 1. He quickly opened up a gap to the Mercedes and it was further back in the battle for fourth to sixth that the big battles began to happen.

Verstappen passed team-mate Ricciardo but in doing so Renault’s Carlos Sainz pounced and managed to slot between the two Red Bulls. The Spaniard then began to exert pressure on the Dutch driver and quickly made a decisive move past the Red Bull.

Behind them, Ricciardo was also a target for Renault. Nico Hulkenberg swiftly passed the Australian and then got past Verstappen as both Red Bull drivers complained of battery charging problems.

Hulkenberg’s stay in fifth place was brief, however, as on lap 11 he made an error in Turn 4. The German lost the back end of his Renault and the rear left of hit the wall. He drove straight down the escape road at Turn 5 and retired.

The Red Bull drivers appeared to now be recovering from their woes and as Verstappen began to push back towards Sainz, the Spaniard opted to pit, shedding his ultrasoft starting tyres for a set of softs.

At the front, Vettel was busy constructing a comfort zone back to Hamilton, and by lap 20 the Ferrari driver had built a four second cushion over the Mercedes man. Hamilton was in turn six seconds clear of team-mate Bottas.

Vettel’s advantage was stretched on lap 21 when Hamilton suffered a huge lock-up into Turn 1, flat-spotting both front tyres. He dropped three seconds to Vettel and immediately headed for the pit lane were he took on a set of soft tyres. He rejoined in P3.

The race then settled until Vettel, with a 4.8s lead over Bottas and 23.6s in hand over Hamilton, made his pit stop at the end of lap 30, taking on soft tyres. And when they crossed the line next, the German found himself 11.7s behind new leader Bottas (who needed to make a pit stop) and 7.9s ahead of Hamilton who was going to the end on older soft tyres.

Behind them, the Red Bulls, who had been duelling fiercely throughout the race, traded positions once more. Fourth-placed Verstappen complained of waning grip from his ageing supersoft tyres and Ricciardo, spotting the opportunity, pounced at Turn 1, using a good two from his team-mate to overtake around the outside. The Australian did well to keep his car out of the wall on exit as he locked up. It was all in vain, however, as when they pair pitted the Dutchman jumped his team-mate and re-took fourth place.

Ricciardo was urged by his engineer to “get it all done again” but in doing the Red Bulls set the pattern for the end of the race.

Ricciardo tried to pass his team-mate into Turn 1. The interplay between the cars was hard to judge, as Verstappen moved marginally right and then more decisively defended to his left, but the result was that Ricciardo slammed into back of Verstappen’s car and both crashed out of the race.

The safety car was deployed, but as it dictated the pace, sixth-placed Romain Grosjean lost control as he weaved to keep heat in his tyres and he hit the wall.

The medical car was sent on track, the safety car stayed out and it took a number of laps before the Frenchman’s Haas was lifted off track.

Racing finally resumed on lap 48, after all of the leading drivers had pitted for ultrasoft tyres, and Vettel desperately tried to get past Bottas. The German locked up though and went wide, allowing Hamilton and Räikkönen to get past.

The race took and even more dramatic turn later in the lap as Bottas suddenly suffered a punctured rear left, caused by debris, that dropped him out of the race. Further back Vettel was struggling with his tyres and he was passed by Sergio Pérez.

And that was how the podium shaped up, with Hamilton taking a somewhat fortunate 63rdcareer victory ahead of Räikkönen and Perez. Vettel was left with fourth place ahead of Sainz, while Sauber’s Charles Leclerc collected his first F1 points with sixth place. Alonso brought his damaged McLaren home in seventh place ahead of Williams’ Lance Stroll, the second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne and the final point, for 10th place, went to Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley.

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2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Race
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes –
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2.460
3 Sergio Perez Force India 4.024
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 5.329
5 Carlos Sainz Renault 7.515
6 Charles Leclerc Sauber 9.158
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 10.931
8 Lance Stroll Williams 12.546
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 14.152
10 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 18.030
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 18.512
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 24.720
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas 30.663
14 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 3 laps
Ret Romain Grosjean Haas 9 laps
Ret Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 12 laps
Ret Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 12 laps
Ret Nico Hulkenberg Renault 41 laps
Ret Esteban Ocon Force India –
Ret Sergey Sirotkin Williams –

 

Mercedes | Double podium finish

Double podium finish for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in the desert of Bahrain

  • Valtteri came home in P2, just 0.7 seconds shy of the win – his 23rd career podium, 14th with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and first of the 2018 season
  • Lewis fought his way through the field from ninth on the grid, finishing in P3 – his 70th podium with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in his 100th race for the team as well as his 27th consecutive top 10 finish, equalling Kimi Raikkonen’< < s all-time record
  • Sebastian Vettel (50 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 17 points from Lewis (33 points) in P2, with Valtteri (22 points) in P3
  • Ferrari (65 points) leads Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (55 points) by 10 points in the Constructors’ Championship
Driver Chassis No. Grid Result Fastest Lap
Valtteri Bottas F1 W09 EQ Power+/03 P3 P2 1:33.740 (Lap 22)
Lewis Hamilton F1 W09 EQ Power+/01 P9 P3 1:33.953 (Lap 51)

 

Strategy Start Stop 1
No. 77 SuperSoft Medium (20)
No. 44 Soft Medium (26)

Valtteri Bottas

It was so close in the end, it’s a shame I couldn’t win. When it’ s so close, you start to think about every lap and every corner after the race, trying to figure out if there is something you could have done better. But I feel like I did a good race, I didn’t make any mistakes and I gave it everything I had. I didn’t try the Medium tyres before the race, but it went well and we managed to do a really long stint. Only in the last three laps I started to struggle with the tyres and once I got close to Sebastian everything got more difficult. The pace today was better than expected so that we could put some pressure on Ferrari. It’s very close and it’s going to be an interesting season. We still have work to do, especially for conditions like here in Bahrain. I think we can see some positives, but the main thing for us is to really learn from this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton

It was not an easy race, but one that I feel quite happy with now that I’ve cooled down. Today was all about damage limitation and I think to get in the top three is a really great result for the team and for myself. We would prefer we didn’t have the gearbox issue that we had this weekend, but I was really happy with my race pace. I had a really good start but I didn’t capitalize on it. I got past a couple of cars off the line and then I went opposite to go on the inside. But the car ahead decided to dice to the right so I had to bail out and had cars pass me on the left, so I fell back on the opening lap. In my mind I knew that I had to get past that group of cars very early on. But by the time I did get past them the guys were 15 seconds ahead, so really the race was lost in those opening laps. Ferrari have shown over the last two races that they have the edge at the moment, but it is close and we definitely have to do a better job. Shanghai has always been a good hunting ground for me, so I really hope that we can go there with some strength.

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Toto Wolff

It’s incredibly frustrating to come so close to a win and to miss out at the very end but that was a race that kept us on the edge of our seats until the final corners. If you had offered us P2 and P3 yesterday, I would have taken it straight away; but when you consider that both Red Bulls retired, and one Ferrari, then it was also the minimum result we should expect from the race. In hindsight, it’s easy to look back at the race and see opportunities to win. When we came out after the first stops, running the medium tyre, I think we were in a potentially race-winning position with Valtteri – but Ferrari and Sebastian managed the race extremely well and earned the win. Our car really came alive on the soft and medium compounds today, and that is probably one indication that we will see the competitive balance swing from track to track this season. For Lewis, a podium finish after starting P9 is better than our predictions – and his three-car overtake was a real highlight of the race. Overall, it was good damage limitation after we put ourselves on the back foot with the penalty. And now we need to focus on those fine margins that make the difference between winning and losing these finely balanced races.

James Allison

This is a Grand Prix that has to go down in the category of “one that got away”. But after a difficult qualifying session yesterday, it was encouraging to see our long run pace was extremely competitive, especially because this is what let us down so badly one year ago at this track. We cannot help but wonder what might have been for Valtteri given another lap on Sebastian’s tail, or indeed had Lewis started the race without the handicap of his gearbox penalty. But we must put those speculations behind us and head to China determined to claim our first win of the 2018 season.