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Azerbaijan GP 2019

APRIL 28, 2019

Race Notes - Bottas takes another Mercedes 1-2

Start, Azerbaijan GP 2019
© RV Press

By Mark Karp

Valtteri Bottas won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix today, in a Mercedes GP team mate Lewis Hamilton in second place, 1.524 seconds behind. Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari was third, 11.739s behind Bottas.

Bottas retakes the lead in the drivers championship by one point over Hamilton. Bottas and Hamilton have both taken two wins for the season, Mercedes winning all four races of the season so far.

Max Verstappen (17.493s) in the Red Bull-Honda was fourth, Charles Leclerc (1m09.107s) in the Ferrari was fifth, Sergio Perez (1m16.416s) in the Racing Point-Mercedes was sixth, Carlos Sainz (1m23.826s) in the McLaren-Renault was seventh, Lando Norris (1m40.268s) in the second McLaren was eighth, Lance Stroll (1m43.816s) in the second Racing Point was ninth and Kimi Raikkonen (1 lap) in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari took the final point position in tenth place.

Charles Leclerc took the point for fastest lap on the 50th lap of the race.

Before the start Bottas starts on pole for his eighth time, with Mercedes team mate Hamilton alongside, Vettel in the Ferrari and Verstappen in the Red Bull on row two, Perez and Daniil Kvyat on row three, and Norris and Leclerc (after his qualifying crash) on row four, Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top ten in qualifying.

Bottas and Hamilton got off side-by-side Bottas taking the lead over Hamilton, Vettel, Perez, Verstappen, Norris, Kvyat, Sainz, Ricciardo, and Leclerc falling back to tenth.

On lap 2 Bottas pulls a 2.4 seconds lead over Hamilton, and 6.3 seconds ahead of Vettel in third.

On lap 4 Leclerc has passed Ricciardo and then Kvyat and runs in eighth.

Verstappen closing up on Perez in fourth.

On lap 5 Leclerc passes Sainz for seventh, Alex Albon passes his team mate Kvyat for 11th.

On lap 5 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m47.550.

Verstappen passes Perez for fourth.

On lap 6 Leclerc passes Perez for fifth place.

Kvyat pits for medium tyres. Raikkonen pits for medium tyres as well.

On lap 7 Kevin Magnussen pits for medium tyres. Albon touches a wall, but continues.

On lap 8 Sainz passes his team mate Norris for seventh place.

Nico Hulkenberg pits for medium tyres.

On lap 9 Norris pits for medium tyres.

Leclerc passes Verstappen and takes fourth place running strongly on his medium tyres.

Verstappen complains that “the engine braking

Perez, Ricciardo and Lance Stroll all pit.

On lap 11 Vettel pits from third for medium tyres and rejoins in fifth.

Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m47.326s.

Bottas tells the team, “I’m happy to stop when needed…”

On lap 12 Bottas pits from the lead for medium tyres and rejoins in fourth.

The next lap Hamilton pits for medium tyres and rejoins in fourth. Leclerc takes over the lead.

On lap 13 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m46.931s.

Robert Kubica is handed a drive-through-penalty.

On lap 15 Verstappen pits from second place for medium tyres and rejoins in sixth place.

Vettel sets another fast lap at 1m46.852s, and then again at 1m46.588s the next lap.

Verstappen passes his team mate Pierre Gasly for fifth place.

At lap 15 Leclerc leads Bottas by 12.4 seconds, followed by Hamilton (16.9s), Vettel (18.5s), Verstappen (28.8s), Gasly (29.9s), Perez (44.3s), Norris (46.9s), Sainz (49.4s) and Romain Grosjean (51.5s) in tenth place.

Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m46.245s.

On lap 17 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m46.087s.

Mercedes tells Bottas that he has a long way to go, and to save his tyres.

Kvyat passes Grosjean for tenth.

On lap 18 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m45.867s, and the again the next lap at 1m45.683s.

Ricciardo passes Raikkonen and then Stroll and now run-in 13th.

On lap 20 Vestappen sets fast lap at 1m45.569s.

At lap 20 Leclerc leads Bottas by 8.0 seconds, followed by Hamilton (9.8s), Vettel (13.9s), Verstappen (23.3s), Gasly (30.2s), Perez (46.0s), Norris (49.2s), Sainz (51.0s) and Kvyat (58.7s) in tenth place.

Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m45.529s.

Ricciardo passes Magnussen for 12th place.

On lap 22, Bottas closes to 5.2 seconds behind Leclerc and is lapping one-second quicker per lap.

On lap 23 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m45.387s and is 8.4s behind Vettel in fourth.

Vettel is closing on Hamilton in third place, Bottas is closing on Leclerc in the lead.

Kubica pits. Grosjean locks up and goes off track, but continues. He is still yet to pit.

On lap 27 Bottas has closed to 2.5 seconds behind leader Leclerc.

Raikkonen passes Magnussen for 13th.

On lap 29 Bottas closes to 1.2 seconds behind Leclerc.

At lap 30 Leclerc leads Bottas by 1.0 seconds, followed by Hamilton (1.8s), Vettel (5.1s), Verstappen (12.7s), Gasly (29.4s), Perez (54.6s), Norris (56.3s), Sainz (58.6s) and Kvyat (72.8s) in tenth place.

On lap 31 Bottas passes Leclerc for the lead.

Ricciardo locks up and goes into the runoff, Kvyat gets forced into the runoff as well. Ricciardo backs into Kvyat. Ricciardo pits, and retires from the race with damage. Kvyat retires with damage as well.

Hamilton passes Leclerc for second place.

On lap 33 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m45.046s.

Leclerc lets Vettel through for third place, Ferrari fearful that when they switch Leclerc off the medium tyres for soft tyres that they will not last long.

On lap 35 Leclerc pits and switches to soft tyres, and rejoins just behind Gasly in sixth.

Leclerc gets past Gasly for fifth place.

Norris is closing on Perez in seventh place.

On lap 39 Gasly slows and retires in a runoff area. The virtual safety car is out.

Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m44.794s.

Grosjean retyres in the pits.

Norris pits for new tyres.

On lap 41 the virtual safety car ends, and the race continues.

At lap 42 Bottas leads Hamilton by 2.5 seconds, followed by Vettel (4.8s), Verstappen (8.3s), Leclerc (37.2s), Perez (66.6), Sainz (69.5s), Norris (79.8s), Stroll (88.9s) and Raikkonen (99.7s) in tenth.

On lap 44 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m44.488s.

On lap 47 Leclerc pits for new soft tyres, surely and attempt to take fast lap.

On lap 48 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m44,166s.

Hamilton closes to under a second behind Bottas.

On lap 50 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m44.024s.

Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m43.009s.

Bottas crosses the line with the win over Hamilton and Vettel.