Khaleej Times


- Niharika Ghorpade

Daniel Ricciardo won a chaotic, drama filled Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Caspian capital of Baku. The Australian bagged his first win of this season after starting tenth on the grid. In a race with eight retirement­s three safety car periods and a red flag period, the Red Bull Racing driver was followed by Valterri Bottas in second place and 18-year-old Lance Stroll in third.

For Valterri it was a race from the P2 on the grid to the back after a start lap clash with Kimi Raikkonen, and from thereon back up to the podium. For Lance, it was luck and holding to that P2 that he secured after several incidents and sustaining through Safety Car periods. However the young Canadian’s P2 was snatched in a end-minute effort by Valtteri, resulting in third place for him and neverthele­ss the first podium of his career.

At the start, a clash between Valterri and Kimi who had started third lead to the former dropping back of the grid after suffering a puncture and the latter picking up severe damage on his car. In this incident Valterri was on the inside, and ended up pushing Kimi into the wall at Turn 2. Kimi’s car sustained severe damages on the right rear that hit the wall, along with parts of the left front which got clipped by Valterri’s car. Kimi’s dropped to seventh, and picked up further damage to puncture his right rear tyre later when the second safety car period was out, a result from the debris of the two Force India’s that clashed. The Ferrari driver had restart his race after the red flag period but had to retire eventually at Lap 48 due to terminal water pressure problems.

The first safety car came out when Daniil Kyvat’s car needed to be removed off the track, a result of another clash at the start. In what most TV commentato­rs would say ‘a clash between team-mates’ zone, Daniil ran wide and joined the track again leaving his team-mate no place to go, resulting in a clash that made Sainz spin off at the start, however the Spaniard ended up finishing eighth. For the Russian mechanical issues compromise­d his race making him stop at Lap 12, bringing out the first SC period.

When the race restarted at lap 15, a battle between Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa ended up in the two Force India’s clashing ahead, where Sergio tapped Esteban. While both Force India’s came back to the pits and Kimi’s car limped back on three wheels after picking up debris, the second safety car period was out. Esteban was the only one to finish the race in sixth place while Felipe Massa too had to retire by lap 23 due to a broken damper.

At the race re-start of the second safety car period at lap 17 Lewis Hamilton who was leading from pole and the beginning of the race was seen brake-testing Sebastian Vettel who was behind him in second place by then.

Sebastian’s car hit Lewis rear, and the German was seeing pulling up on the left and giving the Briton a further wheel bang. The incident was investigat­ed and the Ferrari driver was handed a 10 second stop-go penalty, however Lewis’ lady luck wasn’t with him.

A loose head-rest made the Briton pit at lap 28, bringing him out in eight place after losing his lead.

 ?? AFP ?? Daniel Ricciardo celebrates after winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. —
AFP Daniel Ricciardo celebrates after winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates