Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo claimed victory in an action-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix that saw title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel come together behind a safety car on Sunday.
The race was temporarily stopped after 22 laps because of debris littered across the Baku city circuit.
Valtteri Bottas snatched second place from Williams’ Lance Stroll in the final straight, as Vettel finished fourth ahead of Hamilton to extend his championship lead to 14 points.
Ferrari 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 Sky Sports.
Vettel pleaded innocent.
“Nothing happened, did it? He brake checked me as well, so what do you expect?,” the German told Sky.
“I’m 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 that.”
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 Sauber.
DRIVER OF THE DAY
Lance Stroll put in an inspiring performance to become the youngest podium sitter in a rookie F1 season.
The 18-year-old also became the first Canadian to finish on the podium since Jacques Villeneuve at the German Grand Prix in 2001.
Starting from P8, the Canadian profited from Sebastian Vettel’s 10-second stop-go penalty and Lewis Hamilton’s pitting to change a loose head rest to move into a podium position on lap 32.
With second place looking certain, Valtteri Bottas overtook him five metres from the line to push him back into third place.
Sebastian Vettel may have fallen short after being given a 10-second penalty for his collision with Lewis Hamilton, however his lap of of 1:43.441 on 47 proved to be the fastest of the day.
Lewis Hamilton’s 1:43.469 on lap 46 was the second-fastest, with Valtteri Bottas’ 1:43.925 on 51 third fastest as he pushed for second place.
After a positive start, Max Verstappen was forced to retire for a fourth time this season due to a mechanical issue.
Starting from P5, it was disappointing to see the Red Bull driver withdraw on lap 12 and looking like he could potentially battle for a podium place.
ONE TO WATCH
Although he’ll be disappointed not to have finished in a better position, it was nonetheless another fantastic performance from Esteban Ocon as he claimed sixth place.
It’s now the Force India driver’s seventh top 10-finish in eight races.
The Frenchman was brilliant, overtaking the vastly experienced Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen early on to confirm his place in the points.