Ricciardo had worked his way into a podium position from 10th on the grid, with the Australian pulling off an audacious move on Williams duo Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll to move into third after the race restarted following a red flag.
The 1997 European Grand Prix offers a precedent in terms of deliberate collisions, with Michael Schumacher’s contact with Jacques Villeneuve initially being declared a racing incident by the stewards.
Paddy Power have put up £1 million for F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel to settle their dispute in a boxing ring for charity. “During the time when yesterday’s grand prix was still about deliberately driving around things, rather than into them, the W08 (car) did a pretty handy job of it in the hands of both Valtteri (Bottas) and Lewis”, the column added.
Hamilton “was leading in Baku when the safety auto was deployed for a second time”. From the number of accidents to the safety vehicle being deployed regularly to Daniel Ricciardo winning the race and Lance Stroll coming third and for the first time both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel finished outside of the top three. “I didn’t run into the back of him on goal”.
Hamilton appeared not to accelerate out of Turn 15, the penultimate corner, and Vettel hit him up the back, damaging the Ferrari’s front wing and part of the Mercedes’ floor. Vettel got a 10 second penalty for the infraction, but Hamilton lost ground by having to pit.
Up ahead, Hamilton asked over the radio where Bottas was, perhaps concerned his teammate would not be able to protect him from Vettel later in the race. “It’s done and dusted and we move on”.
They ruled, after an examination of the video evidence, that Vettel had steered into Hamilton in a “potentially dangerous” manoeuvre. He was thus forced to come into the pits to get it fixed.
This attitude is unlikely to have made the FIA any more sympathetic especially given Vettel’s previous form.
At 18 years and 239 days, Stroll is the second youngest person to stand on the rostrum in F1 history, behind only Max Verstappen, who was 12 days younger when he won in Spain last year.
Hamilton had been leading in Baku but finished fifth, one place behind Vettel, dropping a further two points to the German in their title fight.
Amongst all the chaos, Ocon took sixth, Magnussen in the Haas seventh, Sainz eighth for Toro Ross, a gifted ninth after the carnage for Alonso’s McLaren, and Wehrlein picked up the last points place for Sauber.