Baku City Grand Prix 2019
By Harry Schofield
After a calamity of incidents at the Baku circuit, the Formula 1 Grand Prix finally established itself as the pinnacle of motorsport this afternoon.
Valtreri Bottas showed his metal all the way through thr race defending off challenges from Lewis Hamilton in the opening laps.
Bottas kept his foot in as Lewis did what he could to overtake on the opening lap, Hamilton did not have an answer even in the closing laps of the race when Lewis was in the 1 second DRS zone Bottas kept his cool and secured the victory.
Today's win puts Valterri back ahead in the World Championship by 1 point.
Mercedes also continue to lead the Constructors Championship with a fourth consecutive 1-2 finish.
Questions again around Ferrari’s strategy as Charles Leclerc was left out for a longer than expected first phase of the race compromising his finish of 5th position.
Team mate Sebastian had a better run finishing 3rd for a podium finish.
Ferrari don't seem to be able to put the jigsaw together, they have all the pieces but not the manpower or thinking to complete it, loosing them valuable points which will cost them at the end of the season .
The Alfa Romeo team who had bad news after qualifying with Kimi having to start from the pit lane after the front wing was found to have a marginal error with the deflection and was forced to change the wing even though his team mate Antonio’s car had the very same spec wing.
Red Bull was the main disappointment of the race with Max Verstappen finishing 4th missing out on the podium, it was not a racy Max this afternoon which is a big surprise after the Honda update.
Daniel Ricciardo’s poor start with Renault continues with a battle against Kvyat saw Daniel out break him self down the escape road, with Kvyat just following him to the escape road, what would have been a simple light the tyres up and turn around and re join the race never happened that way for Ricciardo, he reversed his Renault right into the back of Kvyat, causing instant retirement for the two drivers.
Pierre Gasly retired his Red Bull which sounded like a poor sounding Honda yet to be confirmed, which brought out the virtual safety car.
Charles Leclerc pitted with a fresh set of tyres with a pit stop in hand to claim 1 point for the fastest lap of the race, too little too late for Charles and Ferrari.
What looked like an exciting race turned out to be a pretty conservative walk in the park for Mercedes, Red Bull still have a lot of work to do and Ferrari really have no answers at the minute for Mercedes race pace.
Full Race Classification :
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.524
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 11.739
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 17.493
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'09.107
6 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1'16.416
7 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1'23.826
8 Lando Norris McLaren 1'40.268
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1'43.816
10 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1 Lap
11 Alex Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso 1 Lap
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1 Lap
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 Lap
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 Lap
15 George Russell Williams 2 Laps
16 Robert Kubica Williams 2 Laps
Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Retired
Romain Grosjean Haas Retired
Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Retired
Daniel Ricciardo Renault Retired
© Harry Schofield 2019
© Mercedes F1
Kimi Raikkonen’s Race Compromised After Pit Lane Start