April 28, 2019 / 7:54 PM / 3 months ago

Motor racing-Team by team analysis of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

April 28 (Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday’s Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix, fourth race of the season (teams listed in championship order):

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MERCEDES (Valtteri Bottas 1, Lewis Hamilton 2)

Bottas moved back on top of the championship, by a single point, after his second win of the season and fifth of his career. He started from pole position, also his second of the season, and held off Hamilton at the start and in the closing laps. Mercedes became the first team to win the opening four races of a season one-two and now lead closest rivals Ferrari by a hefty 74 points.

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FERRARI (Sebastian Vettel 3, Charles Leclerc 5)

Vettel took his second podium of the season but never challenged for the lead. Leclerc crashed in qualifying but started eighth, made a good getaway and did a long first stint on medium tyres to take the lead when others on faster-wearing softs had to pit. He faded when on softs, but pitted again for fresh tyres to take the fastest lap. It might have been a different story for Ferrari had the young Monegasque, who dominated practice, taken pole.

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RED BULL (Max Verstappen 4, Pierre Gasly retired)

Verstappen finished in the same position he started in, despite being passed by Perez at the start. Gasly started from the pit lane and was running in sixth place when he had a driveshaft failure. His retirement led to a brief virtual safety car period as marshals moved the Red Bull in the escape road.

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MCLAREN (Carlos Sainz 7, Lando Norris 8)

Sainz scored his first points of the season, a timely boost ahead of his home race, while McLaren went fourth overall. Norris had a good start and did two stops, the second during the virtual safety car period to switch from medium to soft.

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RACING POINT (Sergio Perez 6, Lance Stroll 9)

The team’s first double points finish of the year. Perez started fifth, passed Verstappen but then fell back as the Dutchman and Leclerc came through. Stroll picked up a couple of places when Ricciardo and Kvyat tangled and then retired.

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ALFA ROMEO (Kimi Raikkonen 10, Antonio Giovinazzi 12)

Raikkonen started from the pitlane, after qualifying eighth, when his front wing failed a load test. The Finn pitted early and still scored points for the fourth race in a row. He has now scored all of Alfa’s points so far. Giovinazzi started in last place and got stuck in traffic.

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RENAULT (Nico Hulkenberg 14, Daniel Ricciardo retired)

Another disappointing day for Renault, who dropped from fourth to seventh - not good enough for a team that had hoped to be challenging the top three this season. Ricciardo retired after reversing into Kvyat’s Toro Rosso that cost him a potential point or two. He will now have a three-place grid penalty for Spain. Hulkenberg started 15th.

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HAAS (Kevin Magnussen 13, Romain Grosjean retired)

Grosjean retired 13 laps from the end with brake problems. Magnussen started 12th, lost a place and then dropped to 18th after pitting. He made a second stop during the virtual safety car period.

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TORO ROSSO (Alexander Albon 11, Daniil Kvyat retired)

Kvyat made an early stop and then retired after Ricciardo reversed into his car, damaging the floor, following their battle for 10th place.

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WILLIAMS (George Russell 15, Robert Kubica 16)

The former champions are still well off the pace and Baku was especially unkind to them after Russell’s car was wrecked by a loose manhole cover in Friday practice. Kubica crashed heavily in qualifying and had to start from the pitlane, and was then handed a drive-through penalty for leaving the garage early. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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