F1

Four races saw four dif­fer­ent win­ners. From a seem­ingly par­al­lel uni­verse in Azer­bai­jan to a Mercedes resur­gence to Scar­let fever, the past month has seen it all. Here’s what went down

Car India - - CONTENTS - Re­port: Jim Gorde Pho­tog­ra­phy: DPPI

Azer­bai­jan GP: Es­cape from the Or­di­nary

No one could have pre­dicted the podium af­ter the last lap of Baku was done. ‘Shoey’ was back as Daniel Ric­cia­rdo made his way through the nether realm of an in­ci­dent-packed race to the very front of the or­der. #HasStrol­lCrashedYet? No, he claimed a podium. And McLaren scored points (plu­ral)!

Hamil­ton started on pole, yes, but in­ci­dent af­ter in­ci­dent saw the yel­low flags out in droves, then the Safety Car and, on lap 23, even the red flag. All said and done, Ric­cia­rdo crossed the line to take his first win this sea­son, with Stroll, who drove well to stay in po­si­tion, out-dragged by Bot­tas on the run to the fin­ish line. At 18 years and 239 days, though, Stroll be­came the youngest rookie on the podium.

Aus­trian GP: Re­ac­tion Time

Al­le­ga­tions were rife that Valt­teri Bot­tas had jumped the start, but the Finn’s data showed he re­sponded to the red lights go­ing off in 0.2 of a sec­ond. Fur­ther down the or­der Daniil Kvyat bumped into Alonso, send­ing him into the Red Bull of Max Ver­stap­pen, end­ing up with both of them spin­ning out. The race was un­event­ful for most part. Hamil­ton had caught up with the Red Bull and tried go­ing around the out­side af­ter the DRS zone, but to no avail. The Aus­tralian firmly closed the door. The or­der re­mained the same as the che­quered flag came out. Bot­tas took his sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son, fin­ish­ing ahead of Vet­tel and Ric­cia­rdo.

Bri­tish GP: Home Is where the Ham­mer Is

Af­ter what could be called a some­what lack­lus­tre per­for­mance in Aus­tria, Hamil­ton looked de­ter­mined to ace it at his home race. He started from pole. An aborted start meant an ex­tra warm-up lap, but, as the lights went green, Hamil­ton was off. Raikko­nen also looked promis­ing in his Fer­rari as he sped off in pur­suit of the race leader, with Ver­stap­pen hard on his tail. Start­ing lap two, Hamil­ton had a lead of 1.67 sec­onds, when the two Toro Ros­sos col­lided, bring­ing out the Safety Car.

Af­ter the restart, too, Hamil­ton was re­lent­less while Raikko­nen kept his pace up. Bot­tas, mean­while, was mak­ing his way up from way back, getting the bet­ter of Vet­tel for a cru­cial third.

Hun­gar­ian GP: Team Tus­sles

Qual­i­fy­ing showed that Fer­rari had the pace and were a match for Mercedes at this high-down­force cir­cuit.

The two Fer­raris got a good start, as did the Red Bulls, muscling both Bot­tas and Hamil­ton. Ver­stap­pen, on a charge, car­ried a lit­tle too much mo­men­tum, locked up, and took out his team-mate, bring­ing out the Safety Car.

Rac­ing was re­sumed on lap six. Vet­tel and Raikko­nen con­tin­ued to storm ahead be­fore the pit-stops be­gan. Alonso, mean­while, was hav­ing a strong race. Vet­tel soon had an is­sue with his steer­ing hanging to the left and was ad­vised to avoid the kerbs. Raikko­nen was now play­ing sec­ond fid­dle.

Bot­tas then let Hamil­ton through on lap 46, with Mercedes hop­ing he would catch up with the Fer­raris. Try as he might, Hamil­ton couldn’t get close enough. Fer­rari had it in the bag.

Vet­tel and Raikko­nen crossed the line one and two. Hamil­ton swerved aside at the very last mo­ment to let Bot­tas through for third. Ver­stap­pen fin­ished fifth, with Alonso tak­ing sixth, clinch­ing the fastest lap of the race in the process.

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Max isn’t go­ing to be on Daniel’s card list, that’s for sure

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