Rosberg cruises to European GP victory

By on Sunday, June 19, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Nico Rosberg claimed his fifth victory of the season with an untroubled lights-to-flag drive in the European Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit.

Rosberg built a lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and maintained a 20-second gap for much of the race, completing a smooth Super Soft/Soft tyre strategy to secure victory.

Vettel got ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo during the early stages of the race and was allowed through by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen, netting second position during a processional race up front.

Räikkönen held third for much of the race but was slapped with a five-second penalty for exceeding the white line while entering the pit lane.

It meant he was a net fourth, but the situation became academic when Sergio Pérez passes Räikkönen for third on the final lap.

It meant Pérez was able to take his and Force India’s second podium position of the campaign.

Lewis Hamilton recovered from his off in qualifying to take fifth, despite encountering a de-rating problem which left him with a lack of electrical power.

Hamilton repeatedly pleaded with Mercedes to offer advice on amending the problem but radio restrictions prohibited them from doing so.

Hamilton remained close to Pérez before the problem before slipping back, though had a sufficient buffer back to Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

It meant Rosberg was able to build his lead in the standings over Hamilton back up to 24 points.

Red Bull two-stopped en-route to seventh and eighth, courtesy of Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, while Nico Hülkenberg and Felipe Massa completed the top 10.

Jenson Button was 11th for McLaren, while Sauber’s Felipe Nasr had his strongest race of the campaign to take 12th, ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Renault duo Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer.

Esteban Gutiérrez, Marcus Ericsson and Rio Haryanto completed the finishers, as Haryanto’s Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein ran well before retiring due to a brake problem.

Fernando Alonso failed to finish due to a technical issue, while a suspension problem accounted for both Toro Rosso drivers.

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