Monday 26 August 2019

Bottas edges battle in Azerbaijan

 

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas celebrates winning the race with third placed Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on the podium Photo:Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas celebrates winning the race with third placed Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on the podium Photo:Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Valtteri Bottas won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix yesterday to retake the Formula One world championship lead from team-mate Lewis Hamilton after a stunning fourth successive one-two finish for Mercedes.

The Finn, who started on pole position, crossed the line 1.524 seconds ahead of Hamilton to make up for the agony of 2018 when he was denied victory in Baku by a late puncture.

The pair are now separated by one point with 17 races remaining, with Mercedes 70 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors' standings.

Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari was a distant third as the Italian pre-season favourites again failed to convert their promise into a result.

The win around the streets of Baku was the fifth of Bottas' career and he became the first driver this season to win from pole.

Like Hamilton, he now has two wins and two second places from the first four races, but is ahead thanks to the extra point he scored for setting the fastest lap on his way to victory in the Australian season opener.

Meanwhile at home, Donagh Kelly scored a narrow win in the Monaghan Four Seasons Hotel Rally, taking the lead just after the halfway mark to beat local ace Josh Moffett by six seconds at the finish.

Defending champion Rob Dwane won the two opening rounds of the Pack and Pallet Hillclimb series at Ballyvaughan Co Clare.

Irish Independent

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