Baku 2017 – 14%
Probably one of the craziest dry races we have ever seen. On the first lap, Bottas ran into Kimi Raikkonen and punctured his front right tyre. A dozen or so laps later, a broken down Toro Rosso brought out the safety car. Just as they were about to get under way, Hamilton slammed on his brakes and Vettel ran into the back of him. The irate German waved his hands, came alongside the Mercedes and turned into him to show his frustration, which would later earn him a 10 second stop/go penalty. As they accelerated through the fast final sweepers to the green flag, parts started falling off Vettel’s front wing leaving debris on the track. And then a few corners into the restart, the two Force Indias collided, sending carbon fibre flying everywhere. With so much debris all over, the safety car was brought out again, followed quickly by a red flag to clean up the mess.
By this point, 50% of the race hadn’t even been completed, yet we had already seen enough drama for two Grand Prix. On the restart, we saw some great slipstreaming battles on the straight, with Ricciardo passing three cars in one move, followed soon after by Magnussen who did two of his rivals in one move. Then Hulkenberg crashed into the wall, but took to the escape road, meaning the race could stay green.
On Lap 29, Hamilton’s head-rest started to escape from the cockpit on the straights giving him no choice but to pit from the lead. At the same time, Vettel’s penalty was finally announced, so we had both 1st and 2nd place being forced to pit. Vettel got out ahead of Hamilton but by now, they were down in 5th and 6th.
Ultimately, the topsy-turvy race ended with Ricciardo winning from Bottas, who just beat Lance Stroll on the line. This was the last major race result for Williams.