BAKU, April 28: A determined Valtteri Bottas resisted an attacking final charge by his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix and regain the lead in the 2019 drivers title race.
In a thrilling, closely-fought and dramatic race, the Finn came home 1.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton as Mercedes swept to a fourth successive seasonopening one-two finish, the first team to do so since Ferrari in 1952.
It was Bottas’ second win this year and delivered some redemption after leading last year on the streets of Baku until his car suffered a puncture with three laps remaining.
“Yes, ha!” said the delighted Bottas. “Amazing job guys — really, really strong. I am so proud to be part of this team.”
The two Mercedes men came home ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, Max Verstappen who was fourth for Red Bull and, after a storming effort, Ferrari new boy Charles Leclerc, who started eighth on the grid and scored the fastest lap after a late pit stop.
“We are all performing really, really well,” said Bottas of the Mercedes team. “It was a tough race even though not that much was happening. Lewis put on pressure, but it was under control.” (AFP)