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

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:

POSDRIVERCARGAP
1Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault2h03m55.573s
2Valtteri BottasMercedes3.904s
3Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes4.009s
4Sebastian VettelFerrari5.976s
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes6.188s
6Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes30.298s
7Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari41.753s
8Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault49.400s
9Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda59.551s
10Pascal WehrleinSauber/Ferrari1m29.093s
11Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m31.794s
12Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Honda1m32.160s
13Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1 Lap
14Kimi RaikkonenFerrariNot running
Sergio PerezForce India/MercedesRetirement
Felipe MassaWilliams/MercedesRetirement
Nico HulkenbergRenaultAccident
Max VerstappenRed Bull/RenaultRetirement
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/RenaultRetirement
Jolyon PalmerRenaultRetirement

Drivers’ Championship:

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Sebastian Vettel153
2Lewis Hamilton139
3Valtteri Bottas111
4Daniel Ricciardo92
5Kimi Raikkonen73
6Max Verstappen45
7Sergio Perez44
8Esteban Ocon35
9Carlos Sainz29
10Felipe Massa20
11Nico Hulkenberg18
12Lance Stroll17
13Kevin Magnussen11
14Romain Grosjean10
15Pascal Wehrlein5
16Daniil Kvyat4
17Fernando Alonso2
18Jolyon Palmer0
19Marcus Ericsson0
20Stoffel Vandoorne0
21Antonio Giovinazzi0

Constructors’ Championship:

POSCONSTRUCTORPOINTS
1Mercedes250
2Ferrari226
3Red Bull/Renault137
4Force India/Mercedes79
5Williams/Mercedes37
6Toro Rosso/Renault33
7Haas/Ferrari21
8Renault18
9Sauber/Ferrari5
10McLaren/Honda2
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
race-report-ricciardo-shoeys-his-way-to-victory-in-bakuThis was a bizarre race and while it was entertaining, it was almost hard to watch with all the circus-like shenanigans and goings on. From SC sessions to wheel banging to attrition to rich kids on podiums, when would the madness end? I enjoyed the race but in an odd way...like watching a train wreck unfold in slow motion.
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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

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

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

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

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

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

Salvu Borg

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

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

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

Yes as is/are bad driving intentions.

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

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

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

Max Johnson

Ocon costed his team and Perez their first win.

pmr

Indeed, and a probable 1-2 at that

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

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

the Late Idi Armin

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 Armin

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

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

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

“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….

Junipero Mariano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hanwi

I agree.

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

“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

What is the source of those speeds?

Negative Camber

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

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

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