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Stroll defies critics with impressive podium in Azerbaijan


"We know there was a chance of the podium after the restart, but then we heard what happened with Lewis and Seb".

With the two Finns battling, Vettel assumed second place and did all he could to stay within reach of Hamilton who seemed to be controlling the race with a cushion of around 3 seconds over the German.

The Australian took out the race from the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and the Williams of Canadian rookie Lance Stroll, who finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, who were both slapped with penalties during the race. "It was just a insane race", Ricciardo said. "I think it's going to sink in tomorrow morning". "On the cool-down lap, I was just giggling like a schoolboy". Following a further safety auto period, Stroll benefited from the chaos caused by the two Sahara Force India's colliding with each other to jump up to fourth place before the race was temporarily stopped owing to debris littering the circuit.

At about the same time, the safety vehicle came out for the first time because Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso was stalled on the side of the track.

Crazy. You can be more effusive in your attempt to describe the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the eighth round of the 2017 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, but the the word "crazy" just seems as apt as it is succinct.

"He brake tested me", yelled Vettel over the team radio.

Stroll, the son of a billionaire, was criticised for not earning a point in the first six races of the season, failing to finish four, but his performance in Baku takes him to 12th in the standings on 17 points, three behind team mate Felipe Massa.

Hamilton, who led for much of a race that was red-flagged on lap 21 as the street circuit was cleared of debris, suffered his misfortune on the 32nd of 51 laps.

The safety vehicle period ended on lap 16, at which point Hamilton was able to blast away from Vettel, who came under threat from Perez before he was able to get back to chasing Hamilton.

Then, the race order changed again as Vettel came in for his time penalty moments after Hamilton changed his headrest.

Stroll obliged though after claiming it would "scar him for life". The long and wide main straight played its part in allowing cars to get close enough to attempt overtaking moves at the start-finish line.