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Formula One: Mercedes script history in Baku but can they ward off personal feuds?

Mercedes is running away with the title and there is nothing Ferrari can do about it. In Baku, Valtteri Bottas picked up the first spot with Lewis Hamilton coming in second, with Sebastian Vettel a distant third.

Abhranil Roy
Last updated: 01.05.2019
Mercedes script history in Baku but can they ward off personal feuds

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Mercedes is running away with the title and there is nothing Ferrari can do about it. In Baku, Valtteri Bottas picked up the first spot with Lewis Hamilton coming in second, with Sebastian Vettel a distant third. Barring an implosion from the German side, they look set to win the Championship this season.

Mercedes make Formula One history in Baku….

For the first time in the 69-year-old history of the Formula One, a team has locked out four successive one-twos in the first four races of the season. Both Hamilton and Bottas have won two races so far, and they already look so far ahead of the pack that there is no catching them.

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Bottas currently leads the pack with 87 points, while Hamilton is just a point behind him in the Driver’s Championship. Vettel is at third,lagging behind Hamilton by more than 30 points. The gulf in class is just too huge.

Redemption for Bottas but the chase is on…

Speaking to the media after the race, Mercedes boss Toto Wolf said that the victory has been a year overdue for Bottas. The Finnish racer was in a great position to win the Baku circuit last season, but an errant piece of debris deflated his tyres and ended his chances in the final few laps.

As of now, both Bottas and Hamilton are seemingly happy with how things are shaping up. Formula One will return to its European hinterland from the next race, which means the competition will get all the more fierce. However, Wolf is certain that there will not be any ego clash between his star drivers who are committed to not making silly mistakes and letting Ferrari pull one over them.

History suggests otherwise though…

The last time two Mercedes drivers went head to head for the title was in 2016, and it did not end well. Back then, Nico Rosberg bested Lewis Hamilton in a colossal on field battle that took a toll on their personal relationship as well. It was not pretty to watch, and it is something that Mercedes would be wise to avoid this season.

Speaking to the press after the race, both Hamilton and Bottas were praising each other’s skills. The Englishman acknowledged his counterpart’s form, saying,” It's going to take some really great performances from both of us to outperform each other and that's how it should be."

Hamilton further went on to add that the race was settled by the two of them “like gentlemen”, and that they had discussions as to how they could ensure another front-row grid lock-out without letting Vettel barge in. That would be music to the ears of Wolf, whose primary concern will be to keep increasing the gap between his team and Ferrari in the Driver’s Championship, which currently stands at 74 points. With the next non-European race scheduled in the last week of September, it will be interesting to see as to whether the amicable nature of Bottas and Hamilton’s relationship will be preserved throughout the grueling European racing season. Keep watching this space to know more of that.

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