Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in Baku | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 28.04.2019
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Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in Baku

Valtteri Bottas led a fourth consecutive Mercedes one-two in Baku, finishing ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel started and finished in third while Charles Leclerc ended a dramatic day in fifth.

Valtteri Bottas finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes continued their domination of Formula One this season with another one-two in an unspectacular Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Finn started in pole position and led almost throughout as he banished memories of last season when a puncture on the final lap robbed him of victory. Hamilton's second place finish made it a fourth consecutive one-two for Mercedes.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel had no chance against the two Mercedes and lost further points in the championship race with a third-placed finish. "Anything can happen here," Vettel had said ahead of the race, but very little actually happened on the narrow, winding streets of Baku.

Vettel's Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc finished fifth after the most eventful ride of all, starting in eighth, dropping to ninth and even temporarily leading before dropping behind fourth-placed Max Verstappen.

Unlike the front three, Leclerc had stuck with the harder tires as Ferrari gambled on the safety car appearing on the narrow circuit – as is so often the case in Azerbaijan. But the two Mercedes drove sensibly and gave the chasing pack no chance to capitalize on the appearance of the safety car.

Relive the action from Baku as it happened:

50/51 - Bottas looks to be heading top of the championship standings, running the laps down with little challenge. 

46/51 - As yet, it doesn't look like we'll see a battle between Hamilton and Bottas for first, but will that change in the final few laps?

45/51 - Bottas sets a new fastest lap as the front four increase their lead out in front 

44/51 - After coming through half the field to temporarily lead, Leclerc is now 30 seconds behind and has no hope of a podium finish.

42/51 - Inside the final nine laps now: 1. Bottas 2. Hamilton 3. Vettel 4. Verstappen

39/51 - Verstappen is closing in on Vettel in third but, despite holding the fastest lap of the race, isn't putting the German under too much pressure. 

37/51 - After pitting for 2.8 seconds, Leclerc uses DRS to overtake Gasly and return to fifth. Up top, the Mercedes duo are about 4 seconds clear. 

33/51 - We've had the first casualties of the afternoon as Riccardo and Kvyat clash. Up top, Leclerc appears to have run over some debris and drops to sixth as Bottas and Hamilton re-establish a Mercedes one-two. 

30/51 - Bottas reduces Leclerc's lead to 1.2 seconds ... 

26/51 - Leclerc records his fastest lap so far but the gap is, according to Mercedes team radio, closeable during one pit stop. 

23/51 - Bottas has cut Leclerc's lead to five seconds while Hamilton's team reassure him that they are "confident that opportunities will come at the end of the lap." But Hamilton is also slowing down as Vettel approaches in fourth.

22/51 - Max Verstappen sets another fastest lap as he tries to reign in Vettel in fourth. The Mercedes pair of Bottas and Hamilton are now battling each other for second and the chance to take on Leclerc. 

21/51 - Bottas is gaining on Leclerc, but the Ferrari's sheer pace gives him a huge advantage. 

14/51 - What a comeback. Leclerc, who at one point dropped to ninth after starting in eighth, takes the overall lead. Verstappen in second, Bottas in third. Vettel in fifth - despite having just set a fastest lap time.

12/51 - Leclerc passes Vettel and goes third. The German has now sunk back to fifth!

11/51 - Up top, the two Mercedes are well clear on their own. 

9/51 - A big battle for fourth is underway between Verstappen and Leclerc, which the Monagasque wins as he continues his surge through the field. Now he'll put the pressure on Vettel in third ... 

7/51 - Max Verstappen has had a sloppy start and is three seconds behind Vettel in fourth. 

6/51 - Leclerc passes Sainz using DRS and goes seventh.

4/51 - Vettel is already four seconds behind leader Bottas.

3/51 - Given how narrow the track is in places and how tight some of the corners, we can be thankful that the start and the first few laps have passed without need for the safety car.

1/51 - They're off! A couple of tight corners right at the start but no major incidents as Hamilton tries unsuccessfully to overtake Bottas. The grid is as you were as we get underway. 

- Good afternoon and welcome to DW's live coverage of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

It's a Mercedes one-two at the front of the grid in Baku, although it's Valtteri Bottas on pole with Lewis Hamilton in second. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel sits in third. It all gets underway at 14:10 CET.