Lewis Hamilton was all smiles on Sunday as he celebrated one of the luckiest wins of his career after a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix that leapfrogged him into the lead of the Formula One world championship.
The victory comes after team mate Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncture tire with three laps left while in lead and ended a six race drought for the four times champions. It was the first win of the season for Mercedes.
It was a race where the safety car once more played a massive role, with series of crashes. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) finished second Sergio Perez (Force India) ended third.
Ferrari’s Sebastial Vettel, who had led the championship before Baku and looked comfortable for his 50th career win and third out of four this season, finished fourth. Hamilton now has 70 points in comparison to Vettel’s 66.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, last year’s champion in Baku, crashed into the the back of team mate Max Verstappen in a lap 40 collision that finished the race for the duo.
"It was quite an emotional race. Valtteri did an exceptional job and deserved to win, Sebastian also did a great job so it feels a bit odd to be up here," commented Hamilton.
"Definitely an untidy race for me," he added.
"It was such a crazy race, such an exciting race...to come out with a win, I feel incredibly grateful," said Hamilton, who went to sympathize with Bottas after parking up his car after the finish.
McLaren, who had their worst ever qualifiers of the season, ended up with a double point finish with Fernando Alonso finishing seventh and Vandoorne finishing ninth. Only 13 cars completed the race.