Valtteri Bottas beats Lewis Hamilton to Azerbaijan win

April 29 2019 , 3:17 pm

Mercedes set an all-time record of four consecutive one-twos at the start of a season as Valtteri Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

For the fourth race in a row, Ferrari were unable to challenge Mercedes – and again there were questions about the strategy chosen by the Italian team.

Sebastian Vettel finished third, never very far behind the Mercedes, but team-mate Charles Leclerc finished fifth when it looked for a while as if he might have been able to take fourth ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Leclerc’s consolation on a weekend that he had looked like dominating until crashing in qualifying was a point for fastest lap.

The result makes Mercedes the first team ever to start the season in such a dominant fashion and puts their drivers in an enviable position in the championship.

Bottas returns to the lead of the championship, leading Hamilton by the point he gained for fastest lap in Australia. Vettel is 35 points behind.

What they said

Bottas: “It was actually a tough race even though not that much was happening at the front – Lewis was putting on pressure, but everything was under control. I’m happy to take the chequered flag and take first place.”

Hamilton: “Congratulations to Valtteri, he drove a fantastic race, made no mistakes and deserved the win. It was all lost in qualifying. It’s great for the team and this is the best start of the season we’ve ever had.”

Vettel: “The first stint was really poor I struggled to get the tyres to work, then I damaged them, then when they did get hot I couldn’t use use them properly they were damaged and I couldn’t get a feel in confidence for the car – that’s not so good around here.

“The last four races we were not quite there so we’re not the favourites going into Barcelona, we have some upgrades coming and we need to chase them down.”


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