Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Formula One live blog

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    (Image supplied by AMG Petronas Motorsport).

    With three wins apiece now following the race in Canada a fortnight ago, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton get set to square off at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Join The Roar for a live blog of the race from 11pm AEST.

    The eighth round of the Formula One championship sees the two title protagonists separated by a mere 12 points, at a circuit which last year was made famous for Hamilton’s miserable weekend.

    Azeri capital city Baku lends its streets to a gruelling 6km concrete jungle, blending long straights with narrow 90-degree corners – including the treacherous Turn 8.

    Despite its overwhelming nature, the inaugural 2016 race saw very little carnage across the 51 laps, with no Safety Car appearance surprisingly.

    2017’s wider cars however, may present a more daunting task for the drivers, especially in that mid-field gaggle, where chasing points will be vital in a race of attrition.

    Mercedes AMG have locked out the front-row of the grid, with Hamilton claiming pole position ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

    Having been in a position of being in arrears like last year, the Briton pulled ‘the rabbit out of the hat’ for pole, whilst Kimi Räikkönen headed up an all-Ferrari second row.

    Red Bull showed promising pace on Friday, having been able to switch on its tyres better than the championship contenders in the ultra-low grip conditions – however ended up fifth and tenth on the grid, with Daniel Ricciardo in the latter having clipped the wall in Q3.

    The power of the Mercedes-Benz powered customer teams in Force India and Williams also came to the fore in qualifying, with all four of their cars occupying places inside the top ten.

    Force India were strong in 2016, having finished on the podium with Sergio Perez. A fiery race in Canada, where both cars claimed top six finishes – there is an outside podium shot for the team in pink.

    The final row of the grid will be reserved for McLaren, with both cars accumulating a total of 75 places in penalties for the race. This is once again due to mass component changes on the vastly unreliable Honda power units.

    With Hamilton finding form on a circuit he’s struggled at; the stage is set for an exciting race on the low-grip streets of Baku. Who will be on top come Lap 51?

    Tune in from 11pm AEST for The Roar’s live blog coverage of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as we await the latest twist in the 2017 title tale.

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    The Crowd Says (85)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 7:45am
      Simoc said | 7:45am | ! Report

      Whowl. What a race. I certainly got Stroll wrong. Epic drive in the toughest circumstances for third. Well done.

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:40am | ! Report

      What a chaotic race! That word has probably seen it’s fair share of use for 2017, but there is no better word to describe it.

      Plenty of recriminations to come for sure, as we wait for the next round of the championship in Austria come a fortnight’s time.

      But until then, another Daniel Ricciardo victory to savour!

      Thanks again for tuning into The Roar’s live blog coverage of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and good night.

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:37am | ! Report

      ——– DRIVER’S ——–

      153 – Sebastian Vettel
      139 – Lewis Hamilton
      111 – Valtteri Bottas
      92 — Daniel Ricciardo
      73 — Kimi Räikkönen
      45 — Max Verstappen
      44 — Sergio Perez
      35 — Esteban Ocon
      29 — Carlos Sainz
      20 — Felipe Massa
      18 — Nico Hulkenberg
      17 — Lance Stroll
      11 — Kevin Magnussen
      10 — Romain Grosjean
      5 — Pascal Wehrlein
      4 — Daniil Kvyat
      2 — Fernando Alonso
      0 — Jolyon Palmer
      0 — Marcus Ericsson
      0 — Antonio Giovinazzi
      0 — Stoffel Vandoorne
      0 — Jenson Button

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:37am | ! Report

      —– CONSTRUCTOR’S —–

      250 – Mercedes AMG
      226 – Scuderia Ferrari
      137 – Red Bull Racing
      79 — Force India Mercedes
      37 — Williams Mercedes
      33 — Scuderia Toro Rosso
      21 — Haas Ferrari
      18 — Renault Sport
      5 — Sauber Ferrari
      2 — McLaren Honda

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:37am | ! Report


      A chaotic 51-laps of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sees Daniel Ricciardo take an unexpected victory, comfortably winning ahead of Valtteri Bottas and 18-year old rookie Lance Stroll.

      The Aussie started from tenth on the grid, following a qualifying crash and also had to take an extra pit-stop in the race to clean debris from his Red Bull.

      With very little action in 2016, the 2017 edition of the Baku street race saw carnage from the very first lap, as Valtteri Bottas came together with his compatriot Kimi Räikkönen, forcing the Mercedes AMG to pit early for a new front-wing.

      Bottas put in an astonishing recovery drive from being a lap down, to snatch second off the admirable Stroll on the finishing line.

      The first Safety Car of the race was deployed upon the stoppage of Daniil Kvyat on the side of the track, during Max Verstappen also suffered his fourth retirement in six races.

      Lap-16 was when the Safety Car came back in, but almost immediately was the Mercedes-AMG GTR redeployed, as Räikkönen’s Ferrari showered debris from its damaged bargeboard onto the track.

      After the second Safety Car period, there was an incident between race leader Lewis Hamilton and the second placed Sebastian Vettel, where the Briton whilst backing the pack up had slowed too much and that saw the Ferrari make contact.

      The race was subsequently red flagged on Lap-23, with further debris being littered onto track that needed immediate clearing.

      Following the suspension of the race, more chaos was inflicted when Vettel was handed a 10-second stop/go penalty for his involvement in the Hamilton clash. But the Briton too was forced to make an unscheduled pit-stop, with the team having to fix his loose head rest.

      From there, the title protagonists fought back to claim fourth and fifth, with the Ferrari heading the Mercedes AMG.

      Points were at last gleaned by Fernando Alonso, who brought his McLaren home in eighth amid the hectic background.

      Seven cars didn’t finish the race, including Räikkönen, Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa – whom all were in contention at some point for strong results.

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:28am | ! Report

      Stroll’s first podium is initiated by a shoey.

      As should be the rite of passage for any driver scoring their first podium!

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:27am | ! Report

      PODIUM INTERVIEWS – Hosted By David Coulthard

      RICCIARDO – “It was a crazy race. We knew the podium was a chance after the restart.” “This was the race we expected last year.”

      BOTTAS – “I was one lap down in the beginning and this shows that you never give up.”

      STROLL – “I’m just lost for words right now.” “We just stayed out of trouble and kept my head out of trouble.”

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:11am | ! Report


      1 D. Ricciardo
      2 V. Bottas
      3 L. Stroll
      4 S. Vettel
      5 L. Hamilton
      6 E. Ocon
      7 K. Magnussen
      8 C. Sainz
      9 F. Alonso
      10 P. Wehrlein
      11 M. Ericsson
      12 S. Vandoorne
      13 R. Grosjean
      RET K. Räikkönen
      RET S. Perez
      RET F. Massa
      RET N. Hulkenberg
      RET M. Verstappen
      RET D. Kvyat
      RET J. Palmer

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:08am | ! Report


      An unexpected win for the Aussie, who turns around his poor fortunes from qualifying for a fifth career win.

      VALTTERI BOTTAS snatches second from rookie LANCE STROLL across the finish line! Though the 18-year old will get to stand on the podium for the first time.

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:06am | ! Report

      Lap 51/51:


    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 1:06am | ! Report

      Lap 50/51: 2 LAPS TO GO

      The lapped car of Grosjean has to scoot out of the way, as the leaders steam past.

      Hamilton almost within DRS range of Vettel.

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