A great track through a beautiful city. This race today was just nuts. The short version is that we had new podium finishers away from the usual suspects. The winner was Daniel Ricciardo. Second went to Valtteri Bottas after just inching out Lance Stroll. Bottas drove a great race to come from the very back....not just the back, but a lap down at the back. Stroll is going to be the new teenage wonder boy.
Massa and Hulkenberg were given 16th and 17th places, but they were both out. The Haas Team finished 7th and 13th.
Vettel returned to his former whiny, childish self today. I am not into penalties because I think that they are too harsh considering it is a race and anything can happen. Vettel got mad at Hamilton and intentionally turned into him. These guys are not driving NASCAR....not only that it was done on a safety car lap. They only made him sit out 10 seconds....I think they should have finished his race.
Below is an article by Valentin Khorounzhiy (pronounce it if you can) from motorsport.com giving an idea just how crazy it all was. Quite frankly, I was exhausted by lap 23.
Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo emerged a shock winner in a remarkably chaotic Azerbaijan GP, punctuated by a huge flare-up in the rivalry between title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton and Vettel had an on-track run-in while the race was neutralised, which yielded a penalty for the latter – but a loose headrest denied Hamilton what could've been a comfortable cruise to victory.
This left Ricciardo, who qualified 10th and looked well and truly out of contention after stopping early to have debris cleared out of a brake duct, in position to take his fifth grand prix victory.
The Aussie headed home Valtteri Bottas and Williams rookie Lance Stroll, the latter picking up a maiden podium just two weeks on after scoring his first points in F1 with a ninth-place finish in Montreal.
Bottas had run a lap down after a collision with Kimi Raikkonen – but allowed to unlap himself during one of the race's many interruptions. Chaos ahead allowed him to find his way into third, and he reeled in Stroll, beating him to the chequered flag by a tenth to claim runner-up.
At the start, the Mercedes drivers had maintained a 1-2, but Bottas suffered wheelspin coming out of the first corner, allowing Raikkonen to enter the left-hander Turn 2 alongside him.
Bottas kept to the inside line, bouncing off the kerb and understeering into his compatriot, with the contact sending Raikkonen into the outside wall.
The Ferrari appeared unscathed at first, although Raikkonen did slip behind Vettel, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, whereas Bottas was forced to crawl to the pits with a right-front issue and rejoined a lap down.
The gap between leaders Hamilton and Vettel ebbed and flowed during the first stint, with the Brit ahead by over three seconds when the race was neutralised by a safety car for the first time.
The culprit was Daniil Kvyat, who had earlier run wide at Turn 1 at the start and rejoined sharply, with Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz spinning as a result.
While Sainz dropped to the back, Kvyat had carried on, but what appeared a a technical issue left him stranded exiting the castle section on lap 11.
Shortly thereafter, it was also race over for another Renault-engined car in the Red Bull of Verstappen, who was pressuring Perez for third before radioing in a power unit issue and retiring in the pits.
The safety car, which lasted for several laps and allowed all the leading runners to swap their supersofts for softs, was back in on lap 16 – with Hamilton speeding up early on the main straight and immediately establishing a lead over Vettel.
The German even came under pressure from Perez, but saw off the Mexican's attack by braking later on the inside of Turn 1, while teammate Raikkonen fell prey to both Felipe Massa and Esteban Ocon, who shuffled him down to sixth.
Immediately, the race was suspended again due to debris in several parts of the circuit, and another chaotic restart followed a few laps later.
First, Vettel made contact with the rear of Hamilton's car as the Briton tried to back the pack up for the restart. The German was irate, pulling alongside Hamilton and gesticulating at his rival on exit of Turn 15 – as his Ferrari whacked against the side of the Mercedes.
Vettel, his front wing damaged in the initial contact, then had to fend off Massa and Perez into Turn 1, although kept position successfully again. Instead, there was drama for the Force Indias, as Ocon tried to edge past Perez on exit of Turn 2, but ended up squeezing his teammate too close to the wall, which resulted in contact.
The chaos was followed by another debris-caused safety car, and the red flags were soon thrown out. Perez looked to have retired in the pits – as did Raikkonen, whose right-rear tyre came apart – but both were allowed to rejoin, albeit a lap down, after the 20-minute stoppage.
At the restart, Hamilton and Vettel – back on supersofts - maintained position with relative ease, as Ricciardo passed both Stroll and Massa, the latter forced into retirement due to a broken rear damper shortly afterwards.
The Aussie's overtakes proved crucial shortly thereafter, as the two drivers ahead of him had to visit the pits. Vettel, having served a 10-second stop-and-go, rejoined right ahead of Hamilton, who had had a loose headrest fixed.
Vettel and Hamilton ran in tandem through the midfield for the rest of the race but could do no better than fourth and fifth respectively, having caught up to the Stroll-Bottas battle on the final lap.
Ocon and Haas driver Magnussen had both run in a podium position after the red flag, but had to do with sixth and seventh in the end.
Sainz recovered to eighth, with Fernando Alonso scoring McLaren'sfirst points of the season in ninth.
The Sauber of Pascal Wehrlein took 10th. Wehrlein ran behind teammate Marcus Ericsson for much of the race, and their battle even yielded contact, but the team appeared to order the German ahead of the Swede amid the lingering threat of McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne – who came home 12th.
Romain Grosjean was a lap down in 13th, with Raikkonen classified 14th and Perez retiring after another visit to the pits.
Renault drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer were both among the retirements, with Palmer pulling into the pits early on with an issue and Hulkenberg demolishing his right-front suspension at Turn 7.
From pole position to number one....Lewis Hamilton never looked back. He now has 56 wins in his pursuit of Michael Schumacher's record of 91. There is nothing between them. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, came in 2nd and Daniel Riccardo 3rd.
Force India is doing a fantastic job, coming in 5th and 6th. Team Haas finished 10th and 12th. Hulkenberg finished 8th and Massa 19th due to an accident in the first lap.
Supposedly the late driver, Ayrton Senna, was the childhood hero of Hamilton. Over the weekend Hamilton equaled two records left by Senna. One was getting the 65th pole position and the other was getting four grand slams in a race. Which is pole position, fastest lap, leading every lap and winning the race. There are others at four, two at five and the Jim Clark at eight. His only current challenge is Sebastian Vettel. A nice touch from the Senna family for reaching the 65th pole they gave Hamilton a genuine Ayrton Senna racing helmet. Very nice!
Holy Moly! As I have said before the oval tracks keep you on the edge of your seat. This race reminded me of the Friday and Saturday Demolition Derby events they had at the small ovals near where I lived as a kid. I have never seen anything like it in years. Out of 22 starting cars there were only 8 left at the end under caution. All the cars that went out were due to accidents except one. View the highlight video below. In the major accident three teams lost both of their cars. One team that runs on the edge of money may have a hard time getting set up again. In the end, Will Power was the winner with Tony Kanaan second and Simon Pagenaud third.
Takuma Sato was given 10th place, but was out due to an accident. Ed Carpenter Racing was given 11th and 12th, but both cars were out in the big accident, later returned, but didn't finish in the running.
A clean sweep, for Graham Rahal, that is. He is the first to win a double race at Detroit. Scott Dixon did it a few years ago in Toronto. At the end there was a two lap shoot-out. Usually shoot-out has everyone on the edge of their seats, but not this one. It was still good enough to give Rahal the win. Josef Newgarden came in 2nd and Will Power came in 3rd.
Takuma Sato, who started out very strong. came in 4th and Tony Kanaan finished 10th. Ed Carpenter Racing finished in 18th and 21st.
A beautiful day in my old home town. The city never looks so good as it does from a distance. Graham Rahal collected his first win of the season. He is married to Courtney Force, a NHRA drag racer, who had a massive engine explosion last night without injuries. In second place was Scott Dixon who was playing over pain from last weeks huge accident at the Indy 500. Third went to James Hinchcliffe who had spun out in the early part of the race, but was able to make up the time.
Takuma Sato, like all Indy 500 winners not winning the next race, finished 8th and Tony Kanaan finished 15th. Ed Carpenter Racing finished 10th and 17th.
I never get tired of these auctions and Mecum is trying their mid-year auction in Las Vegas this year. It was slow, but expected that. I hope Mecum finds a place to settle down. Biggest complaint in Vegas was that it was already 105 degrees. Of course, nice and cool in the auction itself, but outside, whew! This video is of my favorites of the day.....we will see what tomorrow brings.
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