Bottas 2nd while Hamilton struggles in Azerbaijan GP

Ryan Joseph Ramos June 25, 2017

The Azerbaijan GP was certainly a very wild and chaotic race. Valtteri Bottas drove his Mercedes to second place right at the last possible moment heading into the chequered flag, ahead of Lance Stroll’s Williams car and behind the race winner, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Valtteri Bottas takes second at Azerbaijan GPBottas went behind Stroll’s slipstream at the final straight and overtook just ahead of the chequered flag. It was a fitting finish to the very wild race which saw yellow flags, a red flag, and a lot of contact between cars. It was surely disappointing to lose second place for Stroll, but Williams can’t be that sad about achieving the team’s first podium this season. It was also Stroll’s first career podium.

Still, Bottas’ overtake right at the finish was one of the best highlights of the day. He ended up taking P2 by only 0.105 seconds.

The safety car made an appearance at the Azerbaijan GP on lap 15 with Hamilton in the lead and Vettel behind the Mercedes. Then we got a red flag on lap 22. After the restart, Lewis struggled with a loose headrest on his car, which is an obvious safety issue. He had to pit during lap 32 and comes out of the track on P9, with Vettel in the race lead followed by Ricciardo and Stroll.

There was also an incident between Vettel and Hamilton. Hamilton appeared to slow a bit while leading the pack under the safety car, causing Vettel to bump into the back of the Mercedes and incurring damage to the nose. Vettel then appeared to turn deliberately into the body of Hamilton’s Mercedes. For this, stewards slapped Vettel with a 10-second drive-through penalty for dangerous driving.

Many were wondering why such an incident merited a fairly light penalty, but that’s that. Maybe stewards will look more closely into the incident later.

Near the end, Hamilton even suggested over the team radio that Bottas should slow down to back Vettel into Hamilton’s car in the hopes of overtaking for P4. Ha! Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, followed by Lewis Hamilton in fifth.

Hamilton ends up losing a bit more ground to Vettel in the drivers’ standings, with a 139-153 point deficit. Bottas is right in the thick of things with 111 points after the Azerbaijan GP. Mercedes is on top of the team standings with 250 points to 226 for Ferrari.

The next race is in two weeks, at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.

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