Baku - Sebastian
Vettel was penalised for dangerous driving after deliberately crashing
into title rival Lewis Hamilton in a wild and chaotic Azerbaijan Grand
Prix won by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo on Sunday.
Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas snatched second place from 18-year-old
Williams driver Lance Stroll in the final straight, as Vettel finished
fourth ahead of Hamilton to extend his championship lead to 14 points.
Ricciardo's win, the race will be remembered for the angry
confrontation between former world champions Vettel and Hamilton.
star Vettel was handed a 10-second stop-go penalty for "dangerous
driving" after he deliberately drove into Hamilton's Mercedes while both
were following the safety car.
Vettel claimed Hamilton had braked
in front of him and he responded by driving into the back of his rival
before then bumping the Briton from the side.
"I think it's just
not driver conduct. It's dangerous driving and to get a 10-second
penalty for that... I don't need to say anything else," Hamilton told
Vettel pleaded innocent.
"Nothing happened, did it? He brake checked me as well, so what do you expect?," the German told Sky.
sure he didn't do it on purpose but for sure it was not the right move.
If I'm struggling, people at the back struggling even more, so I don't
think it was necessary.
"I got damage, he risked damage. He's done
something similar in China at the restart a couple of years ago so it's
not the way to do it, I think.
"I passed him because he pitted.
After the incident, we were side by side, I raised my hand and told him,
well I didn't say anything, but showed him that I wasn't happy with
Making the most of a series of extraordinary incidents and
interventions in an action-packed race, which included three safety car
interventions and a red-flagged stoppage, Ricciardo, who started 10th,
roared home 3.904 seconds ahead of the rest to deliver his first win of
Esteban Ocon of Force India was sixth ahead of Kevin
Magnussen of Haas, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso, who also survived a
first-lap collision, two-time champion Fernando Alonso, who scored
McLaren's first points of the year in ninth, and Pascal Wehrlein of
Hamilton, who had dominated after a strong start from his
66th pole position, was also undone by a loose headrest that caused him
to be ordered to pit for repairs, for safety reasons.
meanwhile produced a brilliant drive to take his fifth podium finish of
the season, having dropped to the back of the field after a first-lap
bump with fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen.
chaos unfolded when Daniil Kvyat stopped, his Toro Rosso having lost
all electrical power on lap eight. A safety car was deployed on lap 12,
for the first time.
By then, after a great scrap with Sergio
Perez, Max Verstappen was also forced to retire with an engine failure,
his fourth retirement in six outings in his Red Bull.
safety car came in after 16 laps, racing resuming with Perez making an
attack on Vettel who resisted, before another safety car, the second,
was deployed due to debris.
Racing resumed, for a third time, on
lap 19, but only after the incident in which Vettel hit the rear of
Hamilton's car, under braking as the leader tried to avoid the
slow-moving safety car.
It appeared Hamilton had done nothing
untoward, but the German was clearly irate and pulled alongside the
Mercedes, waving an arm, before turning into his car.
It seemed a
clear case of Vettel losing his temper and causing an accident, but both
emerged unhurt as the serious action resumed and Raikkonen picked up
debris and a puncture to trigger a third safety Car intervention --
after only 20 laps.
The racing resumed, for a fifth time, behind a
safety car and when it came in after one lap Hamilton pulled away and
Ricciardo dived past Stroll to snatch third.
Nico Hulkenberg of
Renault then followed team-mate Jolyon Palmer into retirement after the
German crashed into the wall while Felipe Massa slowed and retired with a
broken damper on his Williams.
Hamilton opened up a 2.7 seconds
lead before he was told by Mercedes that his headrest was loose. Behind
him, team-mate Bottas was back up to eighth and Vettel was closing.
Hamilton was then ordered to pit, on safety grounds, and rejoined ninth with his headrest secured.
By lap 40 of the 51, Ricciardo had the lead which he would not surrender.