Hamilton delayed Baku podium to commiserate with Bottas

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Azerbaijan Grand Prix victor Lewis Hamilton was late to the Baku podium because he went to tell Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas that the win should have been his.

Hamilton was only third at the late safety car restart, but gained one position when Sebastian Vettel ran wide trying to pass Bottas for the lead and was then handed the victory when Bottas picked up a dramatic rear puncture.

“I have very mixed emotions for today,” said Hamilton. “It's really quite a humbling experience.

“Ultimately, Valtteri deserved to win. He did an exceptional job, a faultless drive. Less so on my side.

“Straight away when I got out of the car and did the interviews I went to see Valtteri. I just wanted to congratulate him on how well he drove and that's why I was late to the podium.

“Valtteri was very, very unfortunate. A one-two would have been a great result for today. I wouldn't have got by him if he hadn't had that tyre blowout.”

Bottas had been third in the early laps, but ran much longer than his main rivals in his first stint.

He still had not pitted at all when the Red Bull intra-team collision prompted a safety car with 12 laps to go, and was able to stop and replace his old supersofts with fresh ultrasofts without losing the lead.

Bottas sustained the puncture when he ran over debris on the start/finish straight with just three laps to go, in an incident that Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff described as “brutal”, and Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda hit out at the circuit for failing to clear the debris.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Azerbaijan GP
Track Baku City Circuit
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Valtteri Bottas
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news