Date: 26th June 2017 at 7:25pm
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The Formula One world wasn?t talking about Daniel Ricciardo?s surprising victory following Red Bull Racing?s first victory of the season at Baku.

In fact even Daniel Ricciardo was barely talking about it as he couldn?t stop laughing.

The Australian lucked into the race victory as both Mercedes, Ferrari and to a point, Force India, tripped over themselves to hand him track position and ultimately the win.

Instead, everyone was talking about the clash of the 2017 Formula One World Championship contenders.

Up until this point Lewis Hamilton had been simply gushing at the prospect of competing against four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari for this seasons crown.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff?s comments during the week describing former team-mate and 2016 Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg as vicious, goes someway to understanding why an out-and-out racer like Hamilton may well see a proper wheel-to-wheel battle with Vettel as exciting instead of the internal inter-team fight with Rosberg.

But when he may have been enthused by the prospect of a wheel-to-wheel battle with Vettel, he probably didn?t picture things quite so literally as transpired in Azerbaijan.

Hamilton had the race victory in his hands, whilst his one second advantage from qualifying may not have been completely evident in the race, he had the performance of everyone else and then sum.

He was in a class of his own, but as expected on a tight twisty, but fast paced street circuit like Baku, safety cars would be the story of the race.

The first safety car saw Hamilton blast clear of the field and pull out a tremendous lead over Vettel, it was noted by his engineer that he may have been close to beating the safety car to the safety car line, not that Hamilton thought so.

So for the second safety car, Hamilton may have delayed his launch out of turn 16 a fraction to perhaps not leave things quite so tight.

Vettel, keen to not be left behind was anticipating Hamilton to stamp on the accelerator, he didn?t and Vettel dully crashed into the back of him.

The German claimed the Brit brake testing him, telemetry and common sense would suggest otherwise, but in a rage of either fury or sheer embarrassment Vettel pulled up alongside Hamilton and rammed his Ferrari into the side of the Mercedes.

Vettel was handed a ten-second stop/go penalty and three penalty points on his license.

Others thought it was worthy of a harsher penalty, including Hamilton.

‘The fact that that’s the only kind of result [the 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. Hamilton told Sky Sports.

‘I don’t really know what the penalty for that kind of driving is because I haven’t come across that in terms of wheel-to-wheel battling with anyone. I can’t really remember coming across that, particularly in Formula 1. It’s just not sportsman conduct.’

He continued: ‘What happened was disrespectful. There are kids watching us on TV and to see a multi-world champion?you would think he would behave better than that. Today wasn’t fair play.

Unsurprisingly Vettel didn?t agree. The German was so irate with the ridiculous accusations of brake testing that he at first didn?t even acknowledge that he rammed Hamilton from the side.

‘I don’t agree with the penalty I got,’ Vettel told reporters concluding: ‘I don’t think it’s right thing l got a penalty and he didn’t. The penalty was very harsh.’

When told about Hamilton?s comments regarding being a role model for children, Vettel merely responded ‘Formula 1 is for grown-ups..

Well Seb, apparently it?s you that needs to grow up, as it?s only fair to give the race winner a little bit of a nod in the post-race comments and being a former team-mate of Vettel, he knows what he?s talking about.

‘Seb probably sometimes doesn’t think before he acts It’s probably driven through passion and hunger. He’s kind of just got to put a lid on it sometimes.’ Ricciardo told the BBC.

 

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