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Rivals Hamilton, Vettel clash as Ricciardo wins chaotic race

Rivals Hamilton, Vettel clash as Ricciardo wins chaotic race

Formula 1's race to the world championship title has got spicier as the two main contenders and multiple world champions - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel - bitterly harangued after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix over a racing incident.

Three-time world champion, and Mercedes' non-executive chairman, Niki Lauda, has admitted that he is baffled by the incident that saw Sebastian Vettel barge into rival Lewis Hamilton's vehicle at the second re-start, costing the German a 10s stop and go penalty and a possible win.

Sebastian Vettel managed to take fourth place at the Baku City Circuit, despite having been given a ten-second stop-go penalty for having "steered into auto 44" - the vehicle of title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Making the most of a series of extraordinary incidents and interventions in an action-packed race, which included three safety vehicle interventions and a red-flagged stoppage, Ricciardo, who started 10th, roared home 3.904 seconds ahead of the rest to deliver his first win of the season.

Niki Lauda described Sebastian Vettel as "crazy" for hitting Lewis Hamilton during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and says deliberately making contact with a vehicle is the worst thing a driver can do.

Hamilton later lost his lead having to pit to re-fix his head restraint while Vettel was issued a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for unsafe driving.

Hamilton says his focus will be on winning the remaining races and beating Vettel to the championship. I'll do that just with him and clear it and move on.

Lewis Hamilton's amorous rivalry with Sebastian Vettel evaporated in an instance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix following what can only be described as a moment of madness from the Ferrari driver.

With the earlier incident still fresh in their minds, Hamilton got the drop on Vettel and retained the lead from the German, while Ricciardo made up three positions in one corner as he roared past both Williams drivers and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.

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Hamilton, who led for much of a race that was red-flagged on lap 21 as the street circuit was cleared of debris, suffered his misfortune on the 32nd of 51 laps.

He is also the second youngest racer ever on the podium after Dutchman Max Verstappen, who was 18 years 228 days old when he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

Asked if he expected Vettel to apologise, Hamilton said: "I don't fancy seeing him".

"I didn't run into the back of him on goal".

Under an earlier safety vehicle Hamilton was hit by Vettel on the exit of turn 16. He s done something similar in China at the restart a couple of years ago so it s not the way to do it, I think. All I'm thinking of is: get my head together.

"I need some time to reflect on it all, but I think ultimately what happened was disrespectful", said Hamilton.

"I nearly can't imagine that he did it on goal in shunting into him", Wolff said. "Insane race. This is the race we expected last year, with all the safety cars and all the chaos and we got it this year".

"A 10-second penalty is not enough for driver behaviour like that", Hamilton said over the team radio.

Vettel was given a 10-second stop-go penalty, but Hamilton lost valuable time changing a loose headrest at the same time that Vettel served his time penalty.

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