After an incredible race in Baku, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Vettel will be in the headlines tomorrow morning but who takes home RealSport’s F1 weekend awards?
Driver of the Weekend
Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen were all in contention but I’m awarding this trophy to Lance Stroll. For a driver that has come under immense criticism in his short time in Formula 1 (some of it deserved) he has responded magnificently. After scoring points for the first time in his home race of Canada two weeks ago he sensationally achieved his first podium in the sport with third place in Baku. It was no fluke, either, he was in second until the last few metres before the line but I don’t think he’ll care. At just 18-years-of-age he becomes one of F1’s youngest men to stand on the podium, he’s shut up a lot of the critics with that performance.
Overtake of the Weekend
Daniel Ricciardo ended up winning the race, thanks in part to his stunning triple overtake after one of the many safety car restarts. The Red Bull is down on power compared to most of their rivals but the Aussie showed brilliant determination to send one down the inside of both Williams cars and Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault. It was a typically fantastic out-breaking manoeuvre from the Red Bull driver who we’ve come to expect such amazing moves from.
Sebastian Vettel has let himself down hugely this weekend. On the surface, a fourth/fifth place finish after starting in 4th isn’t a disaster but the German has damaged his reputation immensely this weekend. The safety car period was ending and Lewis Hamilton was setting the pace going into the second to last real corner. Some will say that Lewis was going too slowly, which is a valid point, as Vettel slammed into the back of the Mercedes and damaged his front wing considerably. But what Seb did next was an utter disgrace.
Outraged, he pulled up alongside Hamilton and side-swiped his Ferrari into the Silver Arrow. He would later pick up a 10-second stop-go penalty for dangerous driving, an extremely light punishment for the offense. Had that have been Stroll or Palmer, they would’ve been disqualified at least and if Vettel did that to the likes of Ayrton Senna, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell or even his idol, Michael Schumacher, they’d have knocked him out. Seb got off with a relative slapped wrist and the championship fight has ignited into an inferno in the land of fire.
Nico Hulkenberg’s embarrassing crash and Mercedes’ headrest calamity were both strong contenders but Force India blew a fantastic opportunity this weekend and it was their own doing. After a Safety Car restart, Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez collided at Turn 2. Ocon went down the inside of Perez and squeezed his teammate into the wall. Sergio lost his front wing and eventually retired as a result and both cars dropped down the field. Ocon would recover to a points finish but there will be another frosty debrief in the Force India garage.
As you might be able to guess, the Lazarus award is given to the driver who had the best comeback this weekend. Ricciardo made a great recovery from 10th on the grid, and both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton made good late charges to 4th and 5th respectively but only one man can take this one home. It’s Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas!
After clipping the inside curbing of Turn 2 and picking up a puncture, the Finn was a lap down in the early stages. The many Safety Car periods allowed him to catch the back of the pack but nobody would’ve expected him to finish behind only Ricciardo. The Finn pulled off well over 10 overtakes as he climbed the standings and out-dragged Lance Stroll to the line to claim second place.
This was also posted on Realsport: https://realsport101.com/news/sports/racing/f1/azerbaijan-gp-2017-weekend-awards/
Disagree with our choices, or is there someone else that deserves an award this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!