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Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix 2017 Results: Daniel Ricciardo Wins Incident-Rich Race

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2017

Drivers compete in the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit in Baku on June 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOV        (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull grabbed his first win of the 2017 Formula 1 campaign during Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, surviving an incident-filled race. Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes took second place from Williams rookie Lance Stroll on the final straight.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton had a controversial incident, and the latter had to pit due to a loose headrest, while Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen made contact on the opening lap, dooming their chances of winning.

Ricciardo had a poor start but took full advantage of several safety-car stints and the numerous incidents to grab an unexpected win. For full results and the drivers' standings, visit F1's official website.

Here are the points scorers, via the F1 official Twitter account:ย 

Formula 1 @F1

๐Ÿ POINTS SCORERS ๐Ÿ 1 RIC ๐Ÿ“ธ 2 BOT 3 STR 4 VET 5 HAM 6 OCO 7 MAG 8 SAI 9 ALO 10 WEH #AzerbaijanGP #F1Baku ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ https://t.co/7BejW5CEve

Recap

Baku is known to cause plenty of incidents due to its narrow streets and high-speed corners, but Sunday's race was busy even by the track's lofty standards.

Bottas and Raikkonen made contact in the first lap, with the Mercedes man immediately dropping down the field, and Ricciardo also lost plenty of ground. Bottas was forced to pit and switch to the soft compound, getting lapped in the process.

There was little drama in the next 10 laps, but Red Bull hit another rough patch when Max Verstappen's engine failed, ending his race. Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso also ground to a halt, bringing out the virtualโ€•and eventually the actualโ€•safety car and allowing Bottas to make up some ground.

The safety car pitted for less than a minute before making a return due to debris coming off Raikkonen's car, and F1 YouTuber Into The Barriers noted whoever was driving it earned his keep on Sunday:

Scott @IntoTheBarrier

Today's race winner will be the Safety Car the way this is going.

But the madness was only just getting started. The two Force India cars clashed, prompting this tweet from former F1 driver Paul Di Resta:

Paul Di Resta @PaulDiResta

Yet again the Force India debrief will be fun! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Not to be outdone, championship rivals Hamilton and Vettel got involved in an incident of their own that will likely bring an end to the good-natured spirit of this year's title race.

The former appeared to brake-check Vettel, who immediately pulled up alongside Hamilton and ran his Ferrari into his flank to make his point just before the red flag came out. Sniff Petrol couldn't help himself:

Sniff Petrol @sniffpetrol

Both Vettel's and Hamilton's engineers racing up to their cars with fresh handbags. #C4F1

The red flag allowed the stewards to have a look at the incident and gave F1 fans and pundits the chance to debate what exactly happened. Most agreed Vettel was clearly at fault, and some, included Lars Pollmann of Bleacher Report, wondered whether the German would be thrown out of the race:

Lars Pollmann @LarsPollmann

So I don't know how they can allow Vettel to continue after deliberately hitting Hamilton there.

Meanwhile, Force India were hard at work to try and get Sergio Perez's car ready to race again after his clash with team-mate Esteban Ocon. Both he and Raikkonen were able to continue.

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

As if Hamilton hadn't seen enough drama already, his headrest came loose just past the midway point of the race. Mercedes desperately tried to work around the problem, with the Brit attempting to use his head to close it again on the straight.ย 

Just as the three-time world champion was told he had to pit to fix the problem, Vettel was informed of his 10-second stop-and-go penalty. WTF1 couldn't believe it:

WTF1 @wtf1official

Hamilton pits to fix his head rest and Vettel has a Stop/Go. #F1 #AzerbaijanGP https://t.co/DLN11v6NXJ

All of a sudden, Ricciardo, Stroll and Kevin Magnussen made up the top three, with Ferrari and Mercedes nowhere near the race lead. Vettel returned to the track ahead of Hamilton, who was furious with the penalty, calling it too light.

The two and Bottas quickly made their way through the field, however, setting up a thrilling finale. Hamilton made his way into DRS range of Vettel in the battle for fourth but couldn't make a final pass, and team-mate Bottas broke the hearts of Williams fans, taking Stroll for second place on the line.

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