First win of 2018 in Azerbaijan for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
What an incredible Azerbaijan Grand Prix with drama at every corner!
Lewis Hamilton started from P2 on the grid and crossed the line to take his 63rd career victory. This win marks Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport’s first win of the 2018 season and first at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Valtteri started from P3 and was leading with only two laps to go when debris on track punctured his right rear tyre, forcing him to retire.
Both Lewis and Valtteri started on the Supersoft tyre with Lewis pitting for Softs on Lap 22 and then switching to Ultrasofts on Lap 40. Valtteri opted for a longer strategy, switching to Ultrasofts under the Safety car on Lap 40, bringing him out in the lead ahead of Vettel.
There were 70 overtakes in the race, 22 with DRS and 48 normal, which is testament to the continuous track action throughout the 51-lap race.
The Safety Car also played a crucial part in the race, as it emerged for 13 laps this year, for one more lap than in last year’s equally hectic race. It was deployed from Lap 1 – 5 after early collisions into Turn One, and then again from Lap 40 – 47 after the Red Bulls dramatically collided.
Managing his tyres well until deep into the race, Valtteri’s one stop strategy meant that he was able to stop under the Safety Car for new rubber and resume the race in the lead, ahead of Vettel. Valtteri continued to lead from Lap 38 up until his unfortunate puncture in the final two laps of the race.
Valtteri’s retirement brought the DNFs total to a staggering total of seven in what was a highly hectic race.
After the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis (70 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by four points from Sebastian Vettel (66 points) with Valtteri (40 points) in P4.
Ferrari (114 points) leads the Constructors’ Championship by four points from Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (110 points).
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