Race Report: Ricciardo Shoey’s his way to victory in Baku

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Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

The Baku Grand Prix went from a challenging Friday and Saturday to almost comical on Sunday. With seven cars out of the race, two safety car periods and flaring tempers, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo started 10th and turned a bad qualifying session into a race win by keeping cool, measured and on top of his game.

The bizarre nature of the Baku Grand Prix led to a slightly different podium and the fourth different winner in the first eight races of the season. Perhaps the sheer elation Williams F1 and Lance Stroll must be feeling for their podium finish was slightly tarnished as the young Canadian missed second place in the last few feet by a charging Valtteri Bottas who pipped Lance at the line. Regardless, a podium finish for the young Canadian due to a brilliant and measured drive.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

Win

A very big win for Red Bull who hasn’t led a lap this season. Ricciardo managed to win the race and take advantage of the carnage and mishaps of the drivers ahead of him. Being there to win it is all part of the game and Ricciardo drove brilliantly to get himself in that position coming back from 17th.

A massive win for Williams F1 and rookie Lance Stroll who made it to the podium for the first time in his young career. The ebullient young man could barely contain his elation having never been in the cool-down room or the podium in F1 and even though he lost second place at the line to Valtteri Bottas, he has a lot to be proud of being the youngest podium winner ever in F1. Not too bad for a rich kid huh?

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

A win for Mercedes who managed to get Valtteri’s recovery drive in place early on and for Bottas to execute the strategy recovering from being a lap down and claim the second spot. Bottas drove his tail off getting back to second and it was a terrific recovery drive.

A big win for McLaren to finally get in the points and for Sauber who radioed Ericsson to move over for Wehrlein who secured 10th after having contact with his teammate.

A win for Kevin Magnussen who seems impervious to the team’s mystery brake issues and brought his car home in the points.

Fail

A fail for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who threw away a possible podium finish, If not a race win, by ramming Lewis Hamilton out of frustration when he felt the British champion purposefully brake-checked him prior to a re-start behind the safety car. Seb’s point was that the brake-check was the wrong thing to do and he felt that Lewis should have had a penalty for deliberately backing the field up too much and being to slow behind the Safety Car. Banging Lewis’s wheel was a way of letting him know he wasn’t happy about it and in F1, you can’t do that sort of thing.

A fail for Force India who missed out on a possible 1, 2 victory and due to the coming together, both cars were off the podium with Perez retiring. This teammate battle is heating up to a boil now.

A fail for Red Bull who delivered another DNF for Max Verstappen with a mechanical failure. The fourth such failure this season adding to rumors that Max is seriously looking for another ride…possibly Kimi Raikkonen’s seat for 2018.

It’s a tough situation at this track due to inability to have cranes trackside to remove cars quickly or debris and what we thought we’d see last year actually came to fruition this year. Safety Cars, debris and a red flag and it’s mostly down to the nature of the track and inability to clear it quickly.

A fail for Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who knows that going to quickly with a flat tire can actually cause it to windmill your rear wing off and damage the suspension…which is exactly what happened.

A fail for the Mercedes head support that came loose on Hamilton’s car prompting a pit stop to secure it and the win.

A fail for Renault for having more mechanical issues for Jolyon Palmer’s car and then for Nico Hulkenberg to throw away a great points drive by hitting the wall and ending his race.

A fail for Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean who got all snippy about the press and world feed focusing on his brake commentary over the radio and then spent he entire race complaining about his brakes and eventually trundled around to finish the race with bad brakes.

WTH

Mercedes warned Lewis that his re-start was very close to over the Safety Car line which would have incurred a penalty and Lewis said, “Trust me, it wasn’t”. Lewis was very vocal on the radio about the slow Safety Car and wanted a Virtual Safety Car instead. He was constantly backing up the field trying to get a clear re-start and he had a point for the debris calls in that the VSC may have been a better option.

Lewis was clearly troubled by the Safety Car in Baku and each time it was used. He nearly ran afoul of the re-start line and then backed the field up which prompted the accident and Vettel felt it was not a good move on Hamilton’s part. While not justifying Seb’s reaction to the rapid slowing in pace and ultimate collision, Lewis was a little awkward behind the Safety Car and did show some drastic slowing and gapping to the SC.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

 

A WTH for Force India’s driver seat which broke ending Sergio Perez’s race or perhaps that was the clout from Ocon that broke his seat which adds to the gravity of keeping these two drivers apart from each other although I would say that Ocon just sent a message that he’s not playing happy helper to Perez any longer.

The Baku Grand Prix is a newer race and perhaps you could forgive the marshals from not being quite the cream of the crop yet but banging stricken cars against the walls and prompting long Safety Car periods didn’t help matters.

I did enjoy the new Charlie Whiting commentary from Lewis Hamilton who has realized that his team radio can double as a real-time Charlie Whiting communication device replete with praise and or criticism of the race director during the race.

I also feel for the race stewards who had to call this race…what a fiasco this would have been to manage.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

 

Baku GP Results:

POS DRIVER CAR GAP
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 2h03m55.573s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 3.904s
3 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 4.009s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 5.976s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6.188s
6 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 30.298s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 41.753s
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 49.400s
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 59.551s
10 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.093s
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m31.794s
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m32.160s
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Not running
Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes Retirement
Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes Retirement
Nico Hulkenberg Renault Accident
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault Retirement
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Jolyon Palmer Renault Retirement

Drivers’ Championship:

POS DRIVER POINTS
1 Sebastian Vettel 153
2 Lewis Hamilton 139
3 Valtteri Bottas 111
4 Daniel Ricciardo 92
5 Kimi Raikkonen 73
6 Max Verstappen 45
7 Sergio Perez 44
8 Esteban Ocon 35
9 Carlos Sainz 29
10 Felipe Massa 20
11 Nico Hulkenberg 18
12 Lance Stroll 17
13 Kevin Magnussen 11
14 Romain Grosjean 10
15 Pascal Wehrlein 5
16 Daniil Kvyat 4
17 Fernando Alonso 2
18 Jolyon Palmer 0
19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Stoffel Vandoorne 0
21 Antonio Giovinazzi 0

Constructors’ Championship:

POS CONSTRUCTOR POINTS
1 Mercedes 250
2 Ferrari 226
3 Red Bull/Renault 137
4 Force India/Mercedes 79
5 Williams/Mercedes 37
6 Toro Rosso/Renault 33
7 Haas/Ferrari 21
8 Renault 18
9 Sauber/Ferrari 5
10 McLaren/Honda 2
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.

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54 Comments on "Race Report: Ricciardo Shoey’s his way to victory in Baku"

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Achim
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Achim

As inexcusable as Vettels reaction was, it would be interesting to know if the stewards will also look into Hamiltons telemetry. Just by the onboard replays it could very well be that he just did not accelerate out of the corner, which simply caught Vettel of guard. But telemetry would clearly show, if we really did hit the brakes or not.

Achim
Guest
Achim

ok, reply to self: just read that FIA states, Hamilton did not hit the brakes. So Vettel was just caught of guard there.

So Vettel made an inappropriate move and got a penalty that put him way back and out of contention for podium (only finished fourth because others screwed up even worse). Moving on.

Jim Brackeen
Guest
Jim Brackeen

Once again The Ham gets away with it. He’s like a slippery politician that the press looks the other way for. Vettel penalty was deserved for being angry, but I believe both should have been penalized. In these cars a downshift is just as effective as a brake check. We all saw The Ham slow coming out of the corner which deserved a penalty. I guess the head pad was just karma.

MIE
Editor

The in car replay with the graphic of the engine revs showed that Hamilton didn’t slow, he simply didn’t accelerate as expected.

Whilst I agree with his comments about Vettel’s actions sending the wrong message to younger drivers in junior series, I do think it was a bit much given some of his own actions in recent years driving Rosberg off the road.

jcn115
Guest
jcn115

MIE, if I’m not mistaken during the Sky broadcast they showed the telemetry of Lewis and he did applied the brakes.

What about Lewis asking the team to tell Bottas to slow down in order to help him, what happen he can’t pass Vettel by himself ?

Ian Robinson
Guest
Ian Robinson

I think the team handled that very well. Lewis, Bottas is chasing 2nd!

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

If he could have passed I am onehundred percent sure he would have passed.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

“engine revs showed number 44 didn’t slow” OK, he also didn’t brake. he simply dropped from 89km/h to 40km’h (by one half the speed) in a acceleration zone. it was deemed OK by the supposedly professional! stewards as he did the same thing on all restarts.
And dear MIE, re number 44 driving Rosberg off the road, that was OK as it was done by number 44.

MIE
Editor

Once the safety car lights go out, the lead car can drop more than ten car lengths behind. This will need to be done to prevent catching the safety car before the line. Now it may come as a surprise to some (Vettel?) but that means either braking or not accelerating in order to create sufficient gap.

And Salvu, poor driving is poor driving no matter who does it.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

Yes as is/are bad driving intentions.

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

I’m glad you brought that up Dave, Hamilton has a fair bit of experience of gaining advantage through some wheel to wheel contact, mostly at much higher speeds.
I think they both lose ‘sportsmanship’ points for this petty and petulant behaviour.

MIE
Editor

Stroll isn’t the youngest driver to stand on the podium, that record belongs to Max Verstappen who stood on the top step in Spain when he was eleven days younger than Stroll is now.

Stroll is the youngest driver to stand on the podium in his debut year (something Verstappen never did).

Ian Robinson
Guest
Ian Robinson

I spotted that also, even when DC introduced them on the podium.

Max Johnson
Guest
Max Johnson

Ocon costed his team and Perez their first win.

pmr
Guest
pmr

Indeed, and a probable 1-2 at that

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Who where the two rich kids whining at one another today? They deserve one another. We got a winner who actually appreciates the position he’s in and is a great ambassador for the sport. I’m happy about that.

Wayne Rentoul
Guest
Wayne Rentoul

…and he’s an Aussie!
(And he made Stroll drink out of his shoe!!)

The Late Idi Amin
Member
The Late Idi Amin

Chase ” Charlie, its chase you know that headrest thing lewis is having a problem with? how about we drag him in to fix that while Seb gets a penalty.”

The Late Idi Amin
Member
The Late Idi Amin

a whole herd of Donkeys today….but y’all know who isn’t a donkey…..two whole championship points for Mclaren and Honda.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

…running someone out of track is one thing, what Sainz did last race is another. But… What Vettel just did is possibly one of the worst displays I’ve seen in a long time, but championship wise, he gets away with it – shame.

Ian Robinson
Guest
Ian Robinson

Your’e right, hadnt thought about the fact he gets to extend his lead even after almost taking them both out of the race.

The Captain
Guest
The Captain

“Not too bad for a rich kid huh?”

Well the plebes that still believe in meritocracy know there was a poor kid out there that could have probably held on to second so….

Member
Disappointed in Vettel’s behavior today. Obviously he was infuriated and made a drastic response. But afterwards, during the TV interview he didn’t own up to his emotions and bad behavior. I also agree with Lewis that the 10 second stop and go was probably not enough, but I think a disqualification would’ve been extreme, and I don’t know if there are any other intermediate penalties that could’ve been applied for that race. Maybe grid penalties are in order for Austria. Maybe it’s time for a faster safety car, such as a DTM, GT3 or GTE racecar. It’d still serve the… Read more »
Wayne Rentoul
Guest
Wayne Rentoul

I think the VSC helps the lead driver as it doesn’t back up the field. Hence why Lewis was pushing for it!

Wayne Rentoul
Guest
Wayne Rentoul
I don’t condon what either Lewis or Seb did in the race. I think Lewis was simply showing what he is prepared to do to win the championship. Seb was surprised by this, and possibly made a mistake. (He needs to listen to the Paul Gerard podcast). By reacting how he did, Seb played straight into Lewis’ hands, as he (Lewis) will be dog whistling about this until Austria. Seb needs to play it smarter… Lewis’ constant whining about the safety car was probably more about being backed up into Vettel every couple of laps… …and his team radio request… Read more »
Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

A fail for Williams. I mean it gets tempting in a race like this to keep saying ‘this guy wouldve won if not’ , and they wouldnt have all won, but Massa was in third right before ham and vet had to vacate the positions in front of him, and couldnt capitalize because his mechanics sat there staring at his car like mannequins for 20 minutes while it sat in front of them with a broken shock, meanwhile Force Ind and Ferrari were reconstructing whole cars. Can you imagine what that win would have meant to him?

AT555
Guest
AT555

Couldn’t agree more!! I was so mad when Massa’s car failed right after red flag re-start. And seems like in their happiness for Stroll loosing second position they are not giving enough gravity to this lost chance of winning a gran prix! This mentality is what keeps a team away from winning races and championships.

Hanwi
Guest
Hanwi

The stewards say Hamilton didn’t brake check Vettel, they have the telemetry so I’ll take their word for it but it sure looked like he did. I understand why Vettel did what he did but it wasn’t right. Both of them are embarrassingly petty and immature.

This was a big missed opportunity for Max, I wish he had a little more reliable kit and he would have made it interesting.

I think Red Bull has the best driver line up hands down.

Max Johnson
Guest
Max Johnson

There is nothing Lewis gain from brake checking when he risk damaging his own car and lose a chance to win.

Hanwi
Guest
Hanwi

I agree.

Samouri
Member
Samouri
Andrew Benson Chief F1 writer for the BBC said, ” The Stewards examined data from his car, and found that he meaning (Lewis) maintained a more or less constant speed, and not lifted off the throttle or braked, and he behaved no differently at that re-start at that point on the track then at other re-starts.” This was the reason why Vettel was only penalized, and not Hamilton. FIA steward examined video evidence which showed car #5 drove alongside and steered into car #44, and deemed the maneuver dangerous. Proving the statement by Vettel that Hamilton deliberately brake tested him… Read more »
Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg
“The stewards say number 44 “CORRECETLY” maintained a “CONSTANT” speed and “BEHAVED” in the same manner on the occasion as in “ALL” other restarts during the race”. Data shows that number 44 “did not brake” but the same data also shows that he dropped from 89km/h to 40km/h in a acceleration zone, and that is never a smart thing to do unless one is trying his best to cause problems/intends to cause problems to others. and not only that, but he did it at all restarts. Somebody told me “Time for full time no bull shit professional stewards”. Professional stewards… Read more »
MIE
Editor

What is the source of those speeds?

Negative Camber
Guest

I agree, what is your source for the data showing significant speed decrease in this incident? I would be curious to review that myself.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

My source data shows that number 44 dropped from 89 km/h down to 40km/h.
The totonator:- “Our data (MERCEDES) shows number 44 went through the corner and with safety car 150 meters ahead (my source says 200 meters ahead) and “WENT OFF THE THROTTLE” and Vettel went into him”.
The data the totonator is talking about here is the data supplied to the stewards and of which the stewards decision was based on.
But the stewards added “number 44 correctly maintained a CONSTANT SPEED”.
How can he have MAINTIANED A CONSTANT SPEED if data shows HE WENT OFF THROTTLE?.

MIE
Editor

Salvu, what is your source, the minimum speed shown in the video above is 48km/h and that is after the collision. Your source, whatever it is, doesn’t agree with the publicly available evidence.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

Neither does it agree with what the stewards said “HE MAINIANED A CONSTANT SPEED” (CONSTANT REVES, BY SOME).
Lets drop all this bull shit and stop this sort of melt-down, number 44 intentions were clear for everybody to see, causing problems to others.

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth
I can not find a story which says he ‘maintained a constant pace’ as you repeatedly cite. I can find many stories citing an FIA statement which says; Stewards examined Hamilton’s car data in Vettel incident. Did not brake or lift off completely. Maintained more or less constant speed and behaved the same at that re-start at that point on the track as he did at the other two re-starts. Therefore the FIA is not stating that small fluctuations in HAM speed did not occur. What it did state is that at no point did HAM brake or lift off… Read more »
Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

“Small fluctuations in number 44 speed!” according to his boss he went through the corner and went off throttle.
Number 44 intentions were clear for everybody, causing problems to others.

AT555
Guest
AT555

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuUNTzVYVpk

Please watch this as this is one of the very few videos that has telemetry display. Pls start from 2:10 onward. From what I see 44 first started to brake for the turn at 2:15 with speed going from 95 to 68. 44 lifted brakes at 2:16 and started to turn in. 44 braked again (crucially) at 2:17 while turning in with speed going from 65 to 55 and lifting brakes at 2:18 with no throttle. Again a very gentle brake for a split second at 2:19 bringing speed down to 48.

MIE
Editor

The brake at 2:19 is after Vettel hit Hamilton, therefore it cannot have contributed to the impact. Yes, Hamilton did brake going into and around the corner, he just didn’t accelerate off the corner, but he didn’t brake either until hit by Vettel.

Sebring71
Guest
Sebring71
There is a very fine overhead shot of Lewis and Seb coming through turn 15, and regardless of what Lewis did (FYI I’m not a Lewis fan, not even close), it is quite clear that Seb gooses it in anticipation……of what? There was still another turn and plenty of ground to cover before the safety car would pull in, and who amongst these guys has not backed a field up a couple of turns before a restart (think Seb at the 2013 USGP, where Lewis nearly ran into Webber when Seb pulled a massive slow down)? Front guy dictates, they… Read more »
Ian Robinson
Guest
Ian Robinson

I loved this race, it could of gone one of a million different ways.
If Max’s car had stayed in one piece – won.
If either of the Force india’s stayed in one piece – Won (1-2)
Bottas didnt get damaged – Won
Lewis’s headrest stayed in – Won
Vettel didnt throw his toys out the pram – Won!
Alonso the rest of the field dropped out – Won
More of this please F1!

Max Johnson
Guest
Max Johnson

I thought I was watching a NASCAR race with all the safety car, maybe people like it but I hope it doesn’t happen too much.

AT555
Guest
AT555

You missed what would have been the biggest story…if Massa’s suspension wasn’t broke – Won..Imagine Massa winning the race!!

Ian Robinson
Guest
Ian Robinson

Ha ha yes! That would of been fantastic

Andreas
Guest
Andreas
Interesting race… you can see it in two ways. Either it was a fantastic race, with contact all over the place, unpredictability and a surprise podium. Or it was a crash-fest, marred by safety cars galore. And both could well be equally true :-) On the VET/HAM incident, Lewis clearly didn’t accelerate when Sebastian expected him to, and that was that. What followed has by some been seen as a deliberate action on Seb’s part, but I’m not so sure. He definitely drove up to the left side of Lewis, waved his left fist at him, and somehow at the… Read more »
AT555
Guest
AT555

That is my initial assessment on the VET/HAM incident as well. After watching onboard from vettel’s car it is possible that when he raised his left hand to make gestures that his right hand on the steering accidentally swirled to right. Also on Lewis break-checking vettel, even though FIA says that there is no indication of break-check based on data but everytime I see onboard video I can see that lewis slowed down more than expected although being race leader he has full right to dictate the pace. I am sure more will unfold before next race

AT555
Guest
AT555

One thing we know for sure is that Hamilton did not accelerate coming out of the turn. In F1 car not accelerating spl at slow speeds is like braking. One can brake test with engine brakes too.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

But that was done on all restarts by number 44 so that’s OK. and so says the stewards.

AT555
Guest
AT555

I agree that as the race leader Lewis was in his rights to dictate race pace and Vettel should have been more alert but don’t say that I did not brake-test when you clearly did.

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Were actually is the official stewards report which explains Hamilton’s role in the accident that everyone seems to be citing?

It doesn’t appear to be published anywhere on the FIA website, just alluded to having come from a media delegate by various publications? I’ve no reason to not believe those publications but the transparency or lack of, by the FIA unless I’ve missed it, doesn’t help in these type circumstances to prove definitively what the FIA did and did not say.

MIE
Editor

The published FIA stewards decision doc45 indicates that the incident they investigated was Vettel driving into the side of Hamilton, not Vettel driving into the back of Hamilton.

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl
Great work summarising the Baku GP Todd, there was so much incident that picking out the bits that matter is really hard. I thought that lots of people would light up on the Vettel vs Hamilton handbag slapping, I think there was nothing in it, just Hamilton trying to frustrate Vettel, and Vettel over reacting, but we’ve seen worse from both of them. There were lots more exciting incidents and events than that, such as Ocon’s collision with Perez – how much of that was fueled by Perez’s refusal to let Ocon through in Montreal? Some team orders would be… Read more »