Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan GP; Vettel leads overall

Vettel claimed Hamilton had braked in front of him and he responded by driving into the back of his rival before then bumping the Briton from the side.

Australian Ricciardo's victory was his first since he won the Malaysian Grand Prix past year and the victory lifted him up to fourth in the standings on 92 points, behind Vettel on 153 and Hamilton on 139.

Vettel was punished for the incident as he was forced to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, but he still managed to strengthen his championship lead over Hamilton after the Briton was forced into an unscheduled pit stop when his headrest came loose. They bring Vettel's tally in the last 12 months to nine and means another such sanction in Austria in two weeks' time would trigger an automatic race ban for the following round at Silverstone. Sunday's explosive Azerbaijan Grand Prix more than made up for last year's boring race in Baku, bursting the budding "bromance" and replacing it with something much more heavyweight.

Hamilton was not penalised.

"The stewards looked at my data", Hamilton said. Vettel felt Hamilton had slowed down on objective and remonstrated his anger by pulling alongside the Brit and ramming into his vehicle.

Asked if he drove into Hamilton deliberately, Vettel said: "It was very clear".

"It was a bit disappointing at the end to lose P2 but all in all an fantastic race". I did not give him the finger.

"I made an unplanned pit stop at the beginning, we had some debris in the brakes so we had to stop and clean them and dropped back to 17th place".

"Today was obviously a different Sebastian than we saw in those seven races, and I like to think that I remained respectful", Hamilton said. "I think that says it all".

Vettel added: "Nothing happened, did it?".

"I m sure he didn t do it on objective but for sure it was not the right move". I got damage. He risked damage. It wasn't right that I got a penalty and he didn't. The problem is me right behind getting ready and all the other cars. "He did something similar a couple of years ago in China at a restart". It is not the way to do it. "That was just not necessary".

"I said yesterday we had to stay out of trouble and it certainly paid off today", a grinning Ricciardo said. Vettel said Hamilton had deliberately slowed - or "brake-tested" - him. I controlled the pace.

The pivotal moment of the race in what could prove to be the pivotal moment of this year's championship battle occurred on lap 20. It's unsafe driving and to get a 10-second penalty for that...

"Luckily we were going slow".

"We've put a lot of pressure on Ferrari".

"Imagine all the young kids watching today, seeing that kind of behaviour from a four-time world champion". "It says it all".

In the fascinating aftermath of Sunday's race Hamilton had accused Vettel of acting in a "disgraceful" and "disrespectful" manner. "I am going home".

  • Stacy Allen