Bottas triumphs in Baku to lead four straight Mercedes 1-2 for 2019

Monday, Apr 29th 2019, 11:23 am | Category: Formula One

Valtteri Bottas triumphed in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday as he led Mercedes to another impressive one-two as they continued their pristine start to the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. 

Bottas started from pole and had a faultless drive in the 51-lap street race to take the chequered flag in a total time of 1 hour 31 minutes 52.942 seconds. 

It was his fifth career victory, second of the new season and first in Baku. 

Bottas did well to fend off the challenge of teammate Lewis Hamilton in the race. Hamilton followed closely in the finish just 1.524 seconds behind. 

They took the top two finishing positions for the fourth time in four races so far this year. It was also a Bottas-Hamilton finish in the season-opener in Australia, followed by back-to-back races in Bahrain and China with Hamilton winning ahead of his teammate. 

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completed the podium placers in third 11.739s from Bottas. 

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was 17.493s adrift in fourth and Charles Leclerc in the other Ferrari was fifth 69.107s from first place. 

Rounding out the top 10 were Sergio Perez (+76.416s) of Racing Point, Carlos Sainz (+83.826s) and Lando Norris (+100.268s) of McLaren, Lance Stroll (+103.816s) in the other Racing Point and Kimi Raikkonen (+1 lap) in an Alfa Romeo. 

Speaking of his win, Bottas commented: “This victory feels really good. When you're starting from pole, you hope for a straightforward race - the less drama, the better it is. 

“I didn't have the greatest start; after the wheelspin in China I was maybe just a little too cautious. Lewis had a better start so we went side-by-side into Turn 1 and 2; it was good, respectful racing between the two of us and I'm glad I could pull up in front of him. 

“Lewis was very quick today and was able to put on some pressure at the end of the race, so I had to make sure to not make any mistakes. 

“I've already said it on the radio after the race: 'What a team!' The level at which everyone is performing at the moment is very
impressive, both here at the track and back at the factory, and I'm really proud of everyone. We need to make sure we keep delivering at this level.” 

The season continues in Barcelona with the Spanish Grand Prix from May 10 to 12.  

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