Daniel Ricciardo (Australia), who started from 10th position on the grid, won the race
The final race of the 8th round of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix F1 World Championship was held in Baku on Sunday, 25 June. Daniel Ricciardo, the Red Bull driver (Australia), who started in 10th position on the grid, was the first to complete the race. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) garnered silver (2nd place). He crashed in the first lap, but still managed to burst his way through from 20th to 2nd place. Lance Stroll, 18, a Canadian F1 World Championship debutant from the Williams team, took third place. He is the youngest rookie ever to stand on the F1 podium.
Ricciardo, the race winner, managed an average speed of 208km/h.
The championship leaders Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel finished the race outside the top three. Hamilton, the British F1 racing driver started first, but failed to maintain the lead due to some technical problems with his head restraint. The other ex-champion, Vettel, was handed a 10-second stop & go penalty for colliding with Hamilton.
The races were held on the Baku City Circuit, located right in the heart of the city, with a narrow section next to the old city walls. One lap of the circuit was more than 6 kilometers, with the direction being counter-clockwise. The turn to the Old City was named by the racers as the most difficult section of the route. “It’s a very complex street area, and a racer should avoid making any mistakes, one should be accurate like never before,” Bottas, a future prizewinner, told the Azerbaijani sports TV channel before the beginning of the finale race.
The spectators were satisfied with the interesting race. Here are a few quotes from social media:
- “I think that today’s race of Azerbaijan Grand Prix went down in F1 history as the most unexpected, crazy, dramatic and super interesting one.”
- “It’s not just that it wasn’t a boring event, moreover, it was a kind of mishmash. They couldn’t remove car debris from the tracks, and the security cars arrived four times. Five racers dropped out of the competition due to accidents. I’ve never seen such a thing before: racers are brandishing fists at each other… all cars were withdrawn to the pit lanes, and they had just 10 minutes for repairs. That’s a real show! The racers will long remember this day in Baku!”
- “I pity the bookmakers. None of their forecasts have come true. Many people have probably sustained losses because of such sensational results.”
A contract on hosting the F1 in Baku has been concluded until 2021 and it could be further extended.
Here’s a photo-report by JAMnews’ correspondent on the ground: