F1 2019: Bottas leads home historic Mercedes 1-2 in Azerbaijan GP

Mercedes Valterri Bottas converts Pole Position to victory as the Finn leads home a 4th 1-2 finish for Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton in 2nd and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in 3rd.

28/04/19

Starting Grid

1.Bottas  2.Hamilton  3.Vettel  4.Verstappen  5.Perez  6.Kvyat  7.Norris  8.Leclerc  9.Sainz Jr  10.Ricciardo  11.Albon  12.Magnussen  13.Stroll  14.Grosjean  15.Hulkenberg  16.Russell  17.Giovinazzi

Kubica, Raikkonen and Gasly will start from the pit-lane.

Tyre Choice

Charles Leclerc, Romain Grosjean, George Russell, Robert Kubica and Pierre Gasly will start on the Medium tyre while everyone else will start on the Soft tyre.

Race

This should be a very interesting race, and possibly quite chaotic. Ferrari have to bounce back and get a result today. Valterri Bottas will be hoping for a clean race after a puncture last year ended his chance of victory. The Pole-sitter has never won here or won this year so far.

The lights go green and it’s a great start vy both Mercedes drivers. Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton go side-by-side through turn 1 and 2 with Bottas muscling ahead when they get to turn 3. Sebastian Vettel remains in 3rd ahead of Sergio Perez who has jumped Max Verstappen. Charles Leclerc is in 10th after starting in 8th and is now pressuring Daniel Ricciardo for 9th.

Valterri Bottas leads by 2.2 seconds on lap 2 ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Charles Leclerc overtakes Daniel Ricciardo on lap 3 down the inside of turn 1 for 9th place. Onto lap 4, Max Verstappen is still behind Sergio Perez who jumped him at the start. Leclerc now overtakes Daniil Kvyat for 8th place into turn 2. Bottas now leads by 2.7 seconds ahead of Hamilton with Sebastian Vettel in 3rd, 4.3 seconds behind Hamilton. Onto lap 5, Leclerc now overtakes Carlos Sainz Jr for 7th into turn 1. Ricciardo and Alexander Albon overtake Kvyat for 10th and 11th through turns 1 and 2.

Onto lap 6, Max Verstappen finally overtakes Sergio Perez for 3rd place down into turn 1. Charles Leclerc now overtakes Lando Norris for 6th into turn 1. Onto lap 7, Leclerc now overtakes Perez for 5th place. Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen have pitted. Raikkonen rejoins on the Medium tyre and in 20th place. Valterri Bottas now leads by 3.8 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton who is 6 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel. At the end of lap 7, Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Giovinazzi pit. Magnussen rejoins in 18th with Giovinazzi in 20th.

Lap 9, Charles Leclerc is now hunting down Max Verstappen as Carlos Sainz Jr overtakes McLaren team-mate Lando Norris for 7th place. Nico Hulkenberg pits and rejoins on the Medium tyre in 19th place. Onto lap 10, Leclerc blasts past Verstappen for 4th way before turn 1, this man is on a mission! Leclerc, is on the harder tyre and can go longer in the race than the top 3 ahead of him. Valterri Bottas leads by 3 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. After starting from the pit-lane, Pierre Gasly is now in 7th as Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo pit.

Sergio Perez rejoins in 10th, Daniel Ricciardo in 17th and Lance Stroll in 18th. Everyone who has pitted so far has gone onto the Medium tyre. Lap 11, Sebastian Vettel pits form 3rd. He goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 5th. What will Mercedes do? They react by pitting race leader Valterri Bottas. He pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 4th. Carlos Sainz Jr and Alexander Albon pit. Sainz rejoins in 10th with Albon in 20th.

Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead. The Brit goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 4th behind Valterri Bottas. Charles Leclerc now leads ahead of Max Verstappen with both having not pitted yet. Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race on a 1:46:931. Williams Robert Kubica has received a drive through penalty for getting ready for the race too early at the pit-lane as Verstappen pits from 2nd. He rejoins in 6th on the Medium tyre. Lap 15, Vettel is now behind Hamilton and just over a second behind the Brit. If Leclerc keeps going at this pace, there is a small chance that he might be able to jump Hamilton for 2nd. Lap 16, Lando Norris overtakes Romain Grosjean for 8th place into turn 1.

Sergio Perez is in 7th ahead of Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat. Kimi Raikkonen is in 13th ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg. Lewis Hamilton, having set the fastest lap, is now 2.6 seconds behind Valterri Bottas in 2nd. Sebastian Vettel is now 3.5 seconds behind Hamilton. Ricciardo overtakes Raikkonen for 13th into turn 1 on lap 19. Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly have yet to stop with 20 laps being run.

Lap 24, Valterri Bottas is now 3.5 seconds behind Charles Leclerc. Sebastian Vettel is catching Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is catching all of them. This race is far from over! Romain Grosjean runs wide after pressure from Daniel Ricciardo. The Haas driver takes to the escape road and spins back to get back on track. Lap 27, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Kevin Magnussen into turn 1 for 13th. Lap 28, Bottas is now 2.3 seconds behind Leclerc with Hamilton 2 seconds behind Bottas with Vettel 4.3 seconds behind Hamilton.

Lap 31, Valterri Bottas is less than a second behind Charles Leclerc with Lewis Hamilton less than a second behind Bottas! Bottas overtakes Leclerc just before turn 1 for the lead as Daniel Ricciardo locks-up and Daniil Kvyat has to take avoiding action. In the run-off area, Ricciardo reverses back unaware that Kvyat is still there and contact is made.

Lap 33, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Charles Leclerc down the inside of turn 1 and up into 2nd. Daniel Ricciardo pits and becomes the first retirement from the race. Leclerc lets Sebastian Vettel past. Ferrari tell Leclerc that they don’t know how long the Soft tyre tyres will go. Lap 35, Leclerc pits and rejoins in 6th on the Soft tyre but behind Pierre Gasly. This is costing Leclerc time but down into turn 4, Leclerc overtakes Gasly down into turn 3 for 5th place.

Valterri Bottas leads by 1.9 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton with Sebastian Vettel in 3rd and only 2.2 seconds behind Hamilton. Daniil Kvyat retires from the race. Lap 38, Lando Norris is less than a second behind Sergio Perez in 7th with Carlos Sainz Jr in 9th keeping a watchful eye on proceedings. Lap 39, Pierre Gasly pulls off from the race. He stops at turn 6 with no power. The Virtual Safety Car has been deployed. Haas also decide to retire Romain Grosjean from the race as well. Norris pits under the VSC and rejoins in 8th with Kevin Magnussen pitting as well and rejoining inn 13th. The VSC ends on lap 41.

Valterri Bottas leads by 3.3 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Lap 44, Bottas leads Hamilton by 2.1 seconds with Sebastian Vettel 3.2 seconds behind Hamilton. Lap 46, Bottas leads Hamilton by 1.5 seconds with Vettel 3.7 seconds behind Hamilton. Max Verstappen is still in 4th a long way ahead of Charles Leclerc in 5th. Sergio Perez holds onto 6th ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll and Kimi Raikkonen.

Lap 48, Charles Leclerc pits. He goes onto a new set of Soft tyre and he will try and set the fastest lap and take that extra point currently being held by Valterri Bottas. Onto lap 49, Lewis Hamilton is less than a second behind Bottas. With 2 laps to go, Hamilton holds the fastest lap with the gap between the Mercedes drivers being just over a second. Onto the final lap, Bottas breaths clear of Hamilton as the Finn sets the fastest lap. Charles Leclerc sets the fastest lap of the race as Bottas wins the Azerbaijan GP ahead of Hamilton and Vettel.

Race Result

  1. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 51 Laps
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +1.524s
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +11.739s
  4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, +17.493s
  5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +69.107s
  6. Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, +76.416s
  7. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, +83.826s
  8. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, +100.268s
  9. Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, +103.816s
  10. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  11. Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, + 1 Lap
  12. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  14. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  15. George Russell, Williams Mercedes, + 2 Laps
  16. Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, + 2 Laps
  • Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, DNF
  • Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, DNF
  • Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, DNF
  • Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, DNF

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