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European Grand Prix 2016 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights, Reaction

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2016

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg celebrates after winning the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit on June 19, 2016 in Baku.
 / AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

Nico Rosberg tightened his grip on the world championship in the first-ever Formula One race at the Baku street circuit, winning the European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan on Sunday.

The German pacesetter powered home from pole position in a simple race for the Mercedes driver, as rival and team-mate Lewis Hamilton had to cut through the field to finish in fifth place after starting from 10th on the grid.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari took second place on the podium as he chased Rosberg's tail for most of the race, and Sergio Perez battled through to claim third for Force India.

Formula One confirmed the result in Baku and the new standings in the championship:

The tumultuous start expected in Baku didn't materialise as the drivers behaved themselves into Turn 1, as Hamilton held back to avoid any potential trouble on the super-fast track.

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg leads at the start of the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit on June 19, 2016 in Baku. / AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Imag
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

Former world champion Nigel Mansell believed Hamilton would challenge Rosberg for the win despite a disastrous final qualifying session that left him stranded in 10th place on the start line:

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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 19:  Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the European Formula One Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit on June 19, 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The current champion was quickly up to eighth as he navigated the traffic ahead, but Rosberg ensured he made his advantage pay as he put seconds between himself and his archrival.

Vettel was called in early by Ferrari for a rapid tyre change after only nine laps, but the German pleaded to stay on the road after a number of questionable tactical decisions by his Italian team in recent weeks, and the former Red Bull ace was allowed to follow his instincts as he chased Rosberg.

The Silver Arrows car was 17 seconds ahead of the chasing Vettel after only 15 laps, with Hamilton struggling to make an impression on the podium spots. The distance between the top two was soon 20 seconds as Ferrari battled to stay in touch.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 19: Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the European Formula One Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit on June 19, 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Vettel finally pitted for a new set of softs after 21 laps, but his chances of a win appeared to have already evaporated.

Hamilton's fresh tyres quickly saw him catch Felipe Massa's Williams for seventh place, but the Brit was having technical problems with his car as he pleaded for feedback on his radio as the warning lights lit up his steering wheel.

Hamilton began to eat up the track as he pushed on despite his issues, per Formula One:

Red Bull struggled to make an impression as the race ebbed away; both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were hampered for pace and position as they fell down the order.

Rosberg looked as cool and calm as he has been all season long at the front of the race, dominating proceedings with little challenge.

Formula One showed off the leader's class and precision via social media:

After minutes of complaints and resetting, Hamilton finally found the right combination of switches to get his car back in shape, and the reigning world champion rocketed along as he hunted additional points in the championship standings.

There was frustration for McLaren at the back end of proceedings as Fernando Alonso abandoned the race, per Formula One:

Vettel remained in second as he maintained his personal charge for a strong finish.

Mansell tipped his hat to the German, who showed great consistency at Baku in heated conditions.

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg celebrates in the pits after winning the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit on June 19, 2016 in Baku.
 / AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVI
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

On the final lap, Sergio Perez claimed third from Kimi Raikkonen, driving his Force India onto the podium with power and finesse.

It was a perfect race for Rosberg as he rolled over the line to take maximum points, as Vettel claimed second and Hamilton finished fifth.

It was a testing day for Hamilton as he struggled with his Mercedes; the champion found excellent pace as the race developed but technical issues kept him off the podium as he conceded seconds.

It was one of Rosberg's easiest wins in Formula One, and he navigated the street circuit with composure and control.

The German has got his championship charge back on track, and he will feel he has Hamilton's challenge in his hands.