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Ricciardo wins Azerbaijan GP after Hamilton-Vettel collision

26 Juin 2017

But it was not a view shared in the paddock with Hamilton, now even further adrift of Vettel in the title race, the first to lay down the law.

But the incident involving Hamilton and Vettel that led to the race being red-flagged after just 22 laps will dominate the headlines, after the championship leader crashed into the back of Hamilton before pulling up alongside him and deliberately driving into him.

The flashpoint came as Hamilton bunched the pack up ahead of a safety vehicle restart which caught Vettel out and saw him run into the back of the Mercedes. I think that says it all.

That incident saw Vettel penalised with a 10-second stop and go penalty for unsafe driving.

"Nothing happened, did it?".

Vettel added: "He brake-checked me so what do you expect?" I'm sure he didn't do it on objective but for sure it's not the right move. "I didn't run into the back of him on objective", he told Channel 4.

"I had a little damage, he risked damage".

"He did something similar a couple of years ago in China at the restart".

On lap 19, with Hamilton managing the pace in anticipation of the Safety Car returning to the pits and the race restarting, Vettel slammed into the back of his Mercedes at Turn 15.

Alonso looks increasingly likely to leave struggling McLaren — the only team not to score a point in the first seven races of the season.

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But luck was not on Hamilton's side when his protective head rest came loose and he was forced to pit. Bottas managed to finish on the second step of the podium despite a puncture and broken front wing on the opening lap - sending him a lap down at the time - which put Hamilton's own headrest misfortunes into perspective. Kvyat's Toro Rosso stopped on the track on lap 11 bringing out the yellow flags, moments later, Verstappen also began slowing down on the field.

By lap 16, the safety vehicle was still out. There were close calls for Bottas and Vettel while Force India's Sergio Perez shaved the barriers on the demanding street circuit.

"It was just a insane race, with all the safety cars and the chaos", Ricciardo said.

When told Vettel - who also received 3 penalty points on his racing licence - had said that the sport is for men, he replied: "If he wants to prove that he's a man, I think we should do it out of the vehicle face to face". Then, the 29-year-old German, furiously gesticulating with both hands, pulled alongside Hamilton, before inexplicably driving into the side of his rival's vehicle.

Vettel was still in the field when the pack came out again under the safety vehicle, while Ricciardo stole the show with an incredible move from fifth to third in one turn, passing both Williams cars.

Sebastian Vettel gestures angrily at Lewis Hamilton before the two cars collided.

Data from Formula One's world feed showed Hamilton was on the brakes ahead of the corner but Mercedes claimed their data proved he did not hit the brakes on the exit.

"I didn't run into the back of him on goal".

Hamilton then gave his version of events to the Mercedes pit wall.

By lap 40 of the 51, Ricciardo had the lead which he would not surrender.