English Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) prevailed in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, fourth date of the World Cup F1, in a career in which he benefited from the abandonment of his Finnish partner Valtteri Bottas and for the clash between the Red Bull drivers, the Australian Daniel Ricciardo and the dutch Max Verstappen.
"I was very lucky today, so I find it a bit strange to be in this position" recognized Hamilton, third for much of the race. "The victory should have been for Valtteri", recognized the multiple champion, who was escorted in his 63rd victory by the Finn Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Force India).
Ricciardo tried to overtake Verstappen at the end of the long 2,2-kilometer straight, hitting the rear of his teammate's car.
Although Mercedes' problems since the start of the season are still latent, Hamilton at least regained his smile when he saw himself commanding the World Cup unexpectedly with four points of advantage over Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari).
The German, who started from pole, could only be fourth when, shortly before, he had glimpsed a placid victory. Until the clash between Ricciardo and Verstappen on lap 41 when they were fighting for fourth place.
At first Bottas benefited from the entry of the safety car after this unusual incident between the two Red Bulls. The Finn went into the pits to put on another set of tires, when Vettel had already changed them.
Too impatient, Vettel lashed out at Bottas seeking to regain the lead. But the Scuderia driver locked his wheels at Turn 1 while attacking the leader on lap 47, costing him being overtaken by Hamilton, Raikkonen and Pérez.
And when it was Bottas who was cherishing victory, his hopes were shattered with three laps remaining when his right rear tire exploded, giving way to Hamilton's triumph.
RACE (51 laps)
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes), 1h43m44s291
2. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN / Ferrari) at 2s460
3. Sergio Pérez (MEX / Force India-Mercedes) at 4s024
4. Sebastian Vettel (ALE / Ferrari) at 5s329
5. Carlos Sainz (ESP / Renault) at 7s515
6. Charles Leclerc (MON / Sauber-Ferrari) at 9s158
7. Fernando Alonso (ESP / McLaren-Renault) at 10s931
8. Lance Stroll (CAN / Williams-Mercedes) at 12s546
9. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL / McLaren-Renault) at 14s152
10. Brendon Hartley (NZL / Toro Rosso-Honda) at 18s030
AVERAGE: 177,012 km / h. LAP RECORD: Bottas (37th) in 1m45s149 at 205,525 km / h. CHAMPIONSHIP: 1) Hamilton, 70 points; 2) Vettel, 66; 3) Räikkönen, 48; 4) Bottas, 40; 5) Ricciardo, 37; 6) Alonso, 28; 7) Hulkenberg, 22; 8) Verstappen, 18; 9) Pérez, 15; 10) Sainz, 13. NEXT DATE: 13/05 Spanish GP.