The 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix seemed to have it all. Teammates collided, there was a devastating puncture, a crash behind the safety car and much more.
It was a thrilling race and great entertainment for those in attendance and watching from home, with plenty of winners and losers emerging from the event. So, let’s take a look at the highs and lows from the weekend and find out what it all means going forward.
Lewis Hamilton headed into the race in desperate need of a win, there’s no denying that, and he will have wanted to win at all costs. Style really goes out of the window when you need to put points on the board, and he did just that, even though it was at the expense of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas had looked to have secured victory with just a couple of laps to go and it would have been a great achievement for the friend Finn. He had really turned things up a notch in the second half of the race but debris on the track punctured one of his rear wheels which saw him crash out of the race in heart-breaking fashion. It was a real weekend of highs and lows for Mercedes in many respects.
Baku really is a track that manages to provide thrilling racing action, especially with its blend of long straights and challenging bends. Fans know that they’re in for gripping viewing throughout and this has to be seen as a good thing for the sport as a while after only three races in Baku.
You have to spare a thought for Sebastian Vettel though once again. At one stage he had two wins from two races under his belt, but in his last two outings, the safety car has not only cost him, it’s cost him dear.
Vettel at one stage was in control of the race but when the safety car came out it gave Bottas the chance to pit and take the lead. Vettel immediately tried to hit back but he locked up and this saw him drop all the way down to fifth, before being restored to fourth after Bottas’ race ended early.
Another joy to behold from the Azerbaijan Gran Prix was Force India’s continued good form in Baku. Back in 2016, Sergio Perez made his debut on the track and managed to secure a podium finish in the process. He repeated the feat again this time around, after finishing third. He certainly earned it after seizing his opportunity amid all the chaos of Vettel chasing down Bottas.
Hamilton, against all the odds, had managed to come out on top and as a result, he will be on a real high right now. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, but the driver’s championship has once again been blown wide open. Sebastian Vettel will certainly be hoping to see less of the safety car in future too.