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Hamilton wins chaotic race in Baku

Safety Car turns race upside down in Baku - Lewis Hamilton definitely did not expect this victory.

The Formula 1 world champion profited from mishaps and mistakes made by his rivals at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on Sunday and celebrated his first victory of the season in the fourth race. In addition, the Mercedes driver took over the championship lead from Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel, who is now four points behind.

“I was really, really fortunate,” Hamilton admitted after his first victory after six races. "It was an emotional race, Valtteri (Bottas, his team-mate) deserved the win and Sebastian did a good job as well, it feels a bit strange to be at the top", the Briton said after his 63rd GP win. He won by 2.46 seconds ahead of Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) and 4.02 seconds ahead of Sergio Perez (MEX) in Force India.

Hamilton benefited from his team-mate's bad luck, who three laps before the end of the race, slashed an on-track car part with his right rear tire. Shortly before, Vettel had braked after a frantic attempt to overtake against the leading Finns and had been overtaken by Hamilton and Raikkonen and later by Perez.

The Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo ended the race after a collision in lap 41. Red Bull Motorsport Director Helmut Marko did not want to blame the drivers immediately after the incident. "They both behaved wrongly, they did not act with the necessary respect and understanding, that was an absolutely unnecessary accident,". "We will discuss this in peace."

The cars of Ricciardo and Verstappen had touched in the 12th round in a hard duel with the tires, but also in the final laps none of the duo yielded. The Australian had indicated a passing maneuver behind Verstappen and had then tried on the other side, but also Verstappen changed the direction somewhat and Ricciardo drove fully on the rear of the car of the Dutchman. Both cars were badly damaged, the drivers had to give up. The "worst for the team" "We do not want that," said last year's winner Ricciardo. "We want to duel and drive hard, but we do not want what happened, so I do not want to finish a race, that's the worst thing for the team."

Vettel, starting for the third time from the best position, had good run for a long time, but after the safety car phase after the Red Bull accident Bottas came ahead of him with better Ultrasoft tires. The German also switched to this type of tire and attacked the Finn on the hunt for his 50th GP victory. "After the safety car phase, the tires were cold," Vettel justified his problem when braking. "It was also a bit of a lottery." He saw the his race overall positive. "It was also a lot of good in the race."

Full Results:

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 01:43:44,291,
2. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN) Ferrari +02,460
3. Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India +04,024
4. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari +05,329
5. Carlos Sainz jr. (ESP) Renault +07,515
6. Charles Leclerc (MON) Sauber +09,158
7. Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren +10,931
8. Lance Stroll (CAN) Williams +12,546
9. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren +14,152
10. Brendon Hartley (NZL) Toro Rosso +18,030
11. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber +18,512
12. Pierre Gasly (FRA) Toro Rosso +24,720
13. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas +30,663
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes +1 LAP

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