Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel penalised

Daniel Ricciardo won the Azerbaijan GP as title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton could only finish fourth and fifth.

Crazy. You can be more effusive in your attempt to describe the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the eighth round of the 2017 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, but the the word "crazy" just seems as apt as it is succinct.

The red flag came out when Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo hit a wall exiting Turn 6, smashing up his left rear suspension.

"This is the race we expected past year and we got it today with all the craziness and safety cars".

"It was just a insane race - Never in doubt, never in doubt", Ricciardo joked after the race.

"I took it to the end and just lost out to Valtteri - that may have been one of the closest ends to a race ever!"

It was an extraordinary performance from Stroll, the son of a billionaire, who faced heavy criticism earlier in the season. I can't describe how I feel, it is beyond awesome.

Stroll is the first Canadian to finish on an F1 podium since Jacques Villeneuve finished third at the German Grand Prix in 2001.

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.

The safety auto came out three times in quick succession before a red flag stopped the race on lap 22 of 51 because debris littered the track.

Racing resumed, for a third time, on lap 19, but only after the incident in which Vettel hit the rear of Hamilton's vehicle, under braking as the leader tried to avoid the slow-moving safety auto.

Hamilton denied he had intentionally caused Vettel to run into the back of him, and that has speed and line were consistent with his other safety auto restarts during the race. (It was) unsafe driving (and) you only get a 10-second penalty for that kind of thing, I think it's.I don't need to say anymore.

Vettel was in no mood to take the blame, however.

And, before celebrating with a customary "shoey", Ricciardo reflected on an incident-packed race.

"I had to overtake everyone".

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"It just shows you should never give up".

"I really enjoy driving here".

When it got underway, track temperatures were at a blistering 54 degrees Celsius.

Five laps later, the race resumed only for the Safety Car to be issued once more when a piece of Ferrari bodywork flew off Raikkonen's car.

Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov presented the cup to runner-up Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes-Benz, while President of Azerbaijan Automobile Federation Anar Alakbarov handed the award to third place victor Lance Stroll of Williams.

Vettel accelerated into his rival as he came out of Turn 15, damaging his front wing in the process.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel drove his Ferrari cautiously and finished the hard session a lowly 12th.

The win is the first for Red Bull this season, and the fifth of Ricciardo's career.

During this time, Max Verstappen was also looking strong and pressurizing Force India-Mercedes' Sergio Perez for third but a loss of oil pressure put an end to his race.

This prompted a flurry of activity as drivers switched tires, changing the race order somewhat. That dropped to a less demanding 44 degrees Celsius when the second session started at 5pm local time, the same time as Sunday's race. It is probably difficult for the public to understand why we are struggling but these tyres are really hard and we are trying all these things to get some temperature in the tyre, weaving like insane.

Vettel then drives up the inside of Hamilton and touches him wheel-to-wheel.

"My last lap in Montreal was pretty special but I think this one topped it", said Hamilton, who is 12 points behind Vettel.

When informed of Hamilton's quotes that the second collision sets a bad example for you drivers, Vettel replied: "I think F1 is for grown-ups".

Raikkonen was forced to retire after that stop joining Palmer, Kvyat, Verstappen and Perez.

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