Vettel goes back to Baku with a hard-learned lesson

Credit Mc Laren F1 Team

Credit Mc Laren F1 Team

Baku dished up a insane thriller of a race last season, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo winning after Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel famously succumbed to "road rage" and clashed with Mercedes' Hamilton.

While Mercedes have struggled to get the most out of the vehicle during the first few races this season, Verstappen expects a retaliation from their rivals.

Fans, Formula One's owners, struggling Williams and the ever-smiling Ricciardo in particular will be hoping for a repeat of 2017, even if Ferrari and Mercedes would rather it didn't.

One issue this year is that the race is being held two months earlier than in previous years, meaning temperatures will be much cooler than in the past.

A winless start to the season has seen the Mercedes driver concede a nine-point lead to Sebastian Vettel, who triumphed in Australia and Bahrain before finishing eighth in China over a week ago.

It was the third time on as many circuits that he has been involved in a collision.

"Last year, we were in a tough fight with Ferrari", said Wolff.

"It seems this year we still have quite a slow vehicle on the straights but hopefully here we can improve that". However, it was nothing compared to the intensity of this year's battle.

However, in a moment of madness under the safety auto, the German drove his Ferrari into the side of title rival Lewis Hamilton, who went on to claim the drivers' crown as Vettel topped the podium in just two more races.

Vettel had won both races up to that point and Ferrari looked imperious in Shanghai qualifying, ahead of a race eventually won by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

At 6.003km long, the Baku Street Circuit is the second-longest track on the calendar - 1km shorter than Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. "Actually, lots of places where you can pass", said the Australian.

"In a way in a race situation, there are not many overtaking manoeuvres on the slow part of the circuit because it's a narrow street circuit, so normally here to be faster on the straights would be a winning situation".

Things should be interesting this weekend as we have three teams fiercely fighting at the top-Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG and Red Bull-as opposed to the past few seasons where Mercedes was the dominant team.

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