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Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel penalized

25 June 2017

Hamilton accused Vettel of "disrespectful" driving after the four-time champion pulled alongside Hamilton and appeared to deliberately swerve into him when they were behind the safety auto approaching the midway point of a stop-start race.

Vettel, who increased his lead over Hamilton in the drivers' championship to 14 points, insisted their clash had been the Englishman's fault for abruptly slowing down behind the safety auto, prompting the German to shunt him and damage a front wing. "I was controlling the pace so like all the other restarts I slowed down at the same spot but he was obviously sleeping so drove into the back of me", Hamilton said. "A 10-second penalty for driving like that is not enough, you know that, Charlie", he said.

"Nothing happened, did it?"

Vettel told his team over the radio that he believed Hamilton had deliberately slowed, saying: "He brake-tested me".

"But to drive next to him and hit him on goal, I have never seen anything like this". If I'm struggling, people at the back struggling even more, so I don't think it was necessary. I really hope that kids don't see that and think that is the right way. He's done something similar in China at the restart a couple of years ago so it's not the way to do it, I think. I think that says it all.

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were running 1-2 under the second of three safety vehicle periods early on during the Azerbaijan GP at the Baku City Circuit.

Fernando Alonso was another driver to benefit from the race of attrition, crossing the line ninth to take McLaren's first points of the season and end its point-less run. The race was suspended soon after to clear debris for a collision between the Force Indias and the stewards confirmed the Hamilton/Vettel collision was being investigated.

Vettel passed the latter for fourth on lap 42 with Hamilton doing the same a lap later.

The first safety auto period happened because of a mundane reason - Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso had broken down and stopped in a unsafe place and needed to be recovered.

This year's Formula One championship burst sensationally into life here following four Safety Car periods, one red flag, and the spectacular demise of the sport's so-called friendly rivalry in Baku on Sunday.

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By then, after a great scrap with Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen was also forced to retire with an engine failure, his fourth retirement in six outings in his Red Bull.

Hamilton's rivalry with Vettel had, until that point, been built on cordial relations.

Vettel, ahead of Hamilton in the championship race, threw both hands up in the air before pulling alongside his rival and then appearing to deliberately drive into the Briton.

The safety vehicle was deployed for the third time as debris was cleared, albeit too late for Raikkonen, who sustained damage to his auto after running over bodywork at Turn 1, forcing him to head to the garage.

The racing resumed, for a fifth time, behind a safety auto and when it came in after one lap Hamilton pulled away and Ricciardo dived past Stroll to snatch third. Check out the cheeky powerslide from the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg on the exit!

Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Ricciardo wins in Baku as Hamilton and Vettel clash
Hamilton, less angry in his media briefing than immediately after the race on television, maintained Vettel shunted him on goal . Few, however, expected it to ignite with the level of drama and emotion that was on show at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.

For Hamilton, it looked as though the win was in his pocket, but his headrest - which sits above the cockpit - suddenly started to come loose. All of this left Ricciardo leading from Stroll and Magnussen, with Ocon fourth and Bottas - who was a lap down early on - fifth with 15 laps to go.