April 29, 2018 / 9:31 PM / 3 months ago

Motor racing-Team by team analysis of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

BAKU, April 29 (Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday’s Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix (teams listed in latest championship order):

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FERRARI (Kimi Raikkonen 2, Sebastian Vettel 4)

Vettel lost the championship lead to Hamilton for the first time this season, after starting from pole and looking set to take his 50th career win, but Ferrari overtook Mercedes in the constructors’ standings. Vettel locked up after the final safety car restart, with Hamilton and Raikkonen going past, and Perez overtook as he struggled with a flat-spotted tyre. Raikkonen pitted after his first lap collision with Ocon.

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MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 14)

Champions Mercedes took a bittersweet first win of the season, with Hamilton ending a six race drought but Bottas robbed of victory by a puncture three laps from the end. He was classified 14th but did not finish. Hamilton now leads the championship for the first time this season, four points clear of Ferrari’s Vettel.

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RED BULL (Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen retired)

Red Bull’s race imploded when their drivers, who had been scrapping for fourth place, collided on lap 40 and retired. Stewards ruled both were to blame and issued reprimands.

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MCLAREN (Fernando Alonso 7, Stoffel Vandoorne 9)

Another double scoring finish keeps McLaren clinging on to fourth place but Renault have closed to one point. Alonso suffered two punctured tyres on the opening lap, limping back for a new set and repairs. Vandoorne also had to make a second unplanned stop on lap 25 after flat-spotting a tyre and ended up making four stops, the last one sending him into the points.

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RENAULT (Carlos Sainz 5, Nico Hulkenberg retired)

Sainz enjoyed his best day so far this season, running as high as fourth after starting ninth, and the team’s best finish since their return to the sport in 2016. Hulkenberg retired after hitting the wall at turn four on lap 10.

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FORCE INDIA (Sergio Perez 3, Esteban Ocon retired)

Perez put Force India back on the podium for the first time since Baku’s inaugural race in 2016, when he was also third. And lifted them from ninth to sixth. Ocon retired on lap after the collision with Raikkonen.

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TORO ROSSO (Brendon Hartley 10, Pierre Gasly 12)

Hartley scored his first point in Formula One. Gasly clashed with Haas’s Magnussen, whom he accused of trying to push him into the wall. The team lost ground to Force India but pulled further away from Haas.

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HAAS (Kevin Magnussen 13, Romain Grosjean retired)

No points for the U.S.-owned team, with Grosjean spinning into the wall while the second safety car was deployed, forcing it to stay out for longer. He said he was warming up the tyres and bumped into a switch that he’d moved by two positions.

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SAUBER (Charles Leclerc 6, Marcus Ericsson 11)

Leclerc scored his first points in Formula One and sent Sauber one point behind Haas but further clear of Williams. Ericsson had an early collision and changed strategy.

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WILLIAMS (Lance Stroll 8, Sergey Sirotkin retired)

Williams finally opened their account for the season but the race gave them little to cheer about. Stroll finished third in the same race last year. Sirotkin retired after first lap collisions. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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