Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo wins a chaotic, exciting and breathtaking European GP ahead of Mercedes Valterri Bottas and Williams Lance Stroll as Fernando Alonso scores his and McLaren’s first points of the season.
Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne will start on the Soft tyre while everyone else will start on the Supersoft tyre.
The lights go out and every gets away well. Daniil Kvyat is caught out by how early Lance Stroll brakes and goes wide at turn 1. Kvyat rejoins the track just ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz. Sainz loses concentration and spins to avoid Kvyat. He rejoins at the back as Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen clash at turn 2. The pair went into turn 2 side-by-side with Bottas on the inside and Raikkonen on the outside. Bottas took too much kerb and drifted into Raikkonen. Both have damage as Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen.
Lap 2, Valterri Bottas has pitted for a new front wing and a set of the Soft tyres as Nico Hulkenberg has made his way up to 10th place after qualifying 13th. The incident between Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen is under investigation as Max Verstappen sets the fastest lap of the race of a 1:47:580 on lap 3. Lap 6, Lewis Hamilton has a 3.3 second gap to Sebastian Vettel who has a 2.1 second gap to Sergio Perez. Daniel Ricciardo and Stoffel Vandoorne pit on lap 6 with Ricciardo switching to the Soft tyre and Vandoorne to the Supersoft tyre.
The Stewards confirm that there will be no action between Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen and also Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Lap 8, Daniel Ricciardo is back down in 15th place after his pit-stop. He was dealing with an issue with his brakes but his team tell him that the problem is resolved. Jolyon Palmer’s miserable weekend continues as the Brit slows down and enters the pit-lane as engine failure looks to be the probable cause. Lap 10, Ricciardo overtakes Marcus Ericsson and Sainz into turn 1 and is now up to 13th place.
Lap 11, Daniil Kvyat has stopped at the exit of turn 12. Surely not, yes Max Verstappen has got an issue. He is slow and makes it makes to the pits on lap 13 as the Safety Car is called out. Most of the field pits expect for Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg. Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz pit onto the Soft tyre. Hamilton still leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Vettel, Stroll, Perez, Raikkonen, Massa, Ocon and Hulkenberg. Stroll and Hulkenberg finally pit and rejoin in 7th and 8th place both on the Soft tyre.
Lap 15, the Stewards have allowed that lapped cars, including Valterri Bottas, can overtake and unlap themselves. Lap 17, the Safety Car comes and the Racing resumes. Sebastian Vettel holds onto 2nd place as he incurs an attack from Sergio Perez. The Safety Car is back due to debris from Kimi Raikkonen. The cars goes through the pit-lane as the marshals clear the debris. Lap 19, the Safety Car is coming in at the end of this lap. Lewis Hamilton becomes the effective leader and leads Vettel and Perez.
Lewis Hamilton makes his way through turn 15 and gets hit from behind! Sebastian Vettel has slammed into the back of the Brit. Vettel gets onto the radio and says that Hamilton “brake tested me.” Vettel instantly pulls alongside Hamilton and bumps tyres. The Safety Car comes in and the racing resumes with Hamilton getting a clean break from the cars behind as Vettel is swamped by Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. Vettel stays ahead into turn 2 with Massa behind with Ocon on the inside of Perez trying to overtake. There’s contact! Ocon has hit Perez and Perez has lost a part of his front wing while Ocon also has damage. Lap 22, the Stewards has brought out the Red Flag due to the amount of debris on the track. The cars pull into the pits and stop in order at the end of the pit-lane.
Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo. The incident between Hamilton and Vettel is under investigation as Sergio Perez rejoins the race. Perez had a broken wishbone but due to the work of his mechanics, is back in the race. Racing resumes on lap 23 with Ricciardo overtaking Massa, Nico Hulkenberg and Lance Stroll for 3rd place into turn 1! This proves to be a crucial move for the Aussie. Lap 25, Kevin Magnussen overtakes Massa and Hulkenberg into turn 1 and up into 5th place. Hulkenberg loses concentration and clips the wall turn 7 breaking his right-front suspension. He is out and he makes it a double retirement for Renault. Massa looks like to have something wrong with his car and he retires the car on lap 26.
Lap 29, Lewis Hamilton seems to have a problem with his headrest as it is sticking up from it’s usual position. He tries to pull it down but it’s no use and he is told to pit so Mercedes can replace it. Hamilton pits on lap 31 as Sebastian Vettel has received a 10 second stop/go penalty for dangerous driving. The stewards refer to the incident with Hamilton when Vettel pulled alongside and bumped into him, that’s why Vettel has received the penalty. Hamilton rejoins with a new headrest in 9th place with teammate Valterri Bottas in 7th. Vettel pits at the end of lap 33 and takes his penalty.
After serving his penalty, Sebastian Vettel has jumped Lewis Hamilton as Daniel Ricciardo leads ahead of Lance Stroll. Lap 36, Vettel overtakes Fernando Alonso for 6th place into turn 2 with Hamilton overtaking Alonso before turn 3 and up into 7th place. Lap 40, Valterri Bottas overtakes Esteban Ocon into turn 1 and is up into 3rd place. Vettel and Hamilton are both successful in overtaking Ocon on laps 42 and 43 as Ricciardo still leads ahead of Stroll, Bottas and now Vettel and Hamilton.
Valterri Bottas has been catching Lance Stroll by more than 1 second a lap and is less than 1 second behind as they enter the final sector. Daniel Ricciardo wins but who will be second? It’s so close but Bottas manages to overtakes Stroll just before the finishing line and nabs 2nd. Stroll finishes 3rd and claims his first podium as Vettel beats Hamilton to 4th.
1.Ricciardo 2.Bottas 3.Stroll 4.Vettel 5.Hamilton 6.Ocon 7.Magnussen 8.Sainz 9.Alonso 10.Wehrlein 11.Ericsson 12.Vandoorne 13.Grosjean 14.Raikkonen DNF Perez, Massa, Hulkenberg, Verstappen, Kvyat and Palmer
- Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo recorded his fifth career victory, and first since Malaysia last year. Ricciardo is now on a streak of four consecutive podium finishes, having finished third in the previous three races.
- With third place, Lance Stroll became the 208th driver in history to score a world championship podium. The Canadian rookie recorded Williams’ first podium since, appropriately enough, last year’s Canadian Grand Prix when Valtteri Bottas was third. Stroll also won the fan-voted Driver of the Day award for the first time in his career.
- Fernando Alonso finally scored his and McLaren’s first points of 2017 in 9th. In fact, Azerbaijan was the first race of the season where both McLarens were still running at the chequered flag, with Stoffel Vandoorne finishing 12th.
- Sebastian Vettel 152pts
- Lewis Hamilton 139pts
- Valterri Bottas 111pts
- Daniel Ricciardo 92pts
- Kimi Raikkonen 73pts
- Max Verstappen 45pts
- Sergio Perez 44pts
- Esteban Ocon 35pts
- Carlos Sainz 29pts
- Felipe Massa 20pts
- Mercedes 250pts
- Ferrari 226pts
- Red Bull 137pts
- Force India 79pts
- Williams 37pts
- Toro Rosso 33pts
- Haas 21pts
- Renault 18pts
- Sauber 5pts
- McLaren 2pts