Daniel Ricciardo called his first F1 win of the year 'a crazy race'

Daniel Ricciardo in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo pulled off a “Steven Bradbury” for his first win of the season after Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton clashed and were penalised, allowing the Red Bull driver take first place in the Azerbaijan race.

Ricciardo recovered from putting his car into the wall during the qualifying rounds, starting from 10th on the grid in Baku, for his first win since Malaysia last year. The victory follows podium finishes in his last three races to have him fourth in the driver’s championship.

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) finished second with Lance Stroll (Williams) third, followed by Vettel and Hamilton.

But most attention will centre on the clash between Hamilton, who started on pole, and Vettel, who crashed into the back of the Brit’s Mercedes and subsequently side-swiped him while they were behind the safety car on lap 18.

Vettel copped a 10-second stop-go penalty for dangerous driving.

“He disgraced himself today, to be honest,” Hamilton said after the race.

“The fact that that’s the only kind of [penalty] you could get from such disgusting driving, that means for the whole paddock we can all drive like that and you can still score fourth place and still get away with it.”

The Ferrari driver and championship leader accused Hamilton of causing the clash and said he should have been penalised too.

“The leader dictates the pace, but we were exiting the corner, he was accelerating and then he braked so much that I couldn’t stop in time and ran into the back of him,” Vettel said.

“I think that was just not necessary. I don’t think it was deliberate of him to brake-check me, I don’t think he’s that kind of guy. But obviously that’s what it turned out to be, that’s what it is, and I wasn’t happy with that.”

Ricciardo called the fifth Grand Prix win of his career “a crazy race”.

“We knew the podium was a chance after the re-start but then we heard the problems with Lewis and Seb. It was just a crazy race. I made an unplanned pit stop at the beginning,” he said.

“After a few laps we had some debris I think in the brakes so we had to stop and clean it, so we dropped back to I think 17th place.

“Did I think then that I would the race today? Absolutely not. I would have put all of my money on it that it was very unlikely. Crazy race. This is the race we expected last year, with all the safety cars and all the chaos and we got it this year.”

Coming back from 17th, Ricciardo nabbed fifth after Force India teammates Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez collided, moved into third after passing the Williams pair, and when Hamilton was forced to pit on lap 32 with a loose headrest and Vettel’s penalty handed the Australian the lead.

Vettel also copped a three point penalty on his super licence, leaving him just three points short of a one-race ban.

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