Daniel Ricciardo wins crazy Azerbaijan GP as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel clash – ESPN

Daniel Ricciardo claimed a shock win for Red Bull in a wild and controversial Azerbaijan Grand Prix which saw a major flashpoint between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

In a race that was chaotic from the opening lap, when Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen clashed while scrapping for second, Hamilton led through two Safety Car restarts and a full race restart following a red flag period. It was just before the second Safety Car restart where the flashpoint occurred, with Vettel running into the back of Hamilton as he managed pace behind the Safety Car.

In a moment likely to become the most controversial of the season, an irate Vettel then pulled up alongside Hamilton and drove into the side of his title rival, something which later earned the championship leader a 10-second stop-go penalty. The drama did not end there for Hamilton, as he was forced into an unscheduled pit-stop shortly after the final restart so Mercedes could secure his car’s headrest, which had come loose during the long wait in the pit lane.

Through all the drama Ricciardo, who had been forced into an early stop and had been 17th on lap six, rose through the order to lead. His drive back to the front included a ballsy lunge on the equally-impressive Lance Stroll mid-way through the race. Stroll held second until the final metres of the race, when he was caught and passed by Bottas, but still held on to a remarkable first podium of his F1 career. Bottas’ podium came having been last and a lap down after his early tangle with Raikkonen.

Vettel finished ahead of Hamilton in fourth, with the Mercedes driver repeatedly questioning why Vettel only recieved a ten-second penalty. Esteban Ocon recovered from a disastrous collision with Force India teammate Sergio Perez to finish sixth as the team appeared to squander big points for the second race in succession. Kevin Magnussen claimed seventh for Haas ahead of Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who lamented during the race that the team could have won the crazy grand prix with a better power unit. Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the top ten ahead of Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson.

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