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Race day images from the 2016 European Grand Prix in Baku Azerbaijan

Rosberg rules the streets of Baku

Jun 192016

In full control and kicking ass at the fastest street track Formula One has ever seen, is the only way of describing Nico Rosberg’s crushing performance at the 2016 European Grand Prix.

Without doubt the German racer set himself up for victory in the best possible way, by bossing qualifying on Saturday, and nailing the first ever F1 pole position available at the Baku street circuit, on the coast of Azerbaijan. That’s not to take away from his blistering race performance though; during which he made light work of the Monaco-Monza mash up style circuit; dodging concrete walls, fixing technical issues on the fly, and generally being at one with his 900bhp Silver Arrow.

Having driven like a demon for 51 laps, and taken the chequered flag with a whopping 16.6 second lead ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Sergio Perez, Nico jumped up on the podium and said: “I am so happy to win here in Baku. I really felt at one with the car in a way I've never felt before. I didn't have the feeling that something would go wrong at any point today. The car was awesome this weekend, so thank you so much to the team for this.


“I already began to sense it in qualifying yesterday, this perfect feeling. We expected a Safety Car moment in this race, so I was hoping that it wouldn't happen, as that tends to mess up the race in general. But it was a pretty straightforward afternoon for me at the front. There was only one little concern when I felt that I was down on power a bit in the middle of the race. The engineers weren't allowed to tell me what I had to do, so I had a look at my steering wheel and tried to fix it myself, which worked out well. Sagol! - which means 'thank you very much' - to Baku for this great weekend.”


Nico doesn’t just take the win for his performance in Baku however. He also cleaned up with the fastest lap, overall lap record, and has also re-inflated his championship lead to 24 points over his teammate.


While it was all smiles on one side of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team garage, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton was left feeling slightly frustrated after his dash around the Baku city streets, ultimately ending the day in fifth.


Although the reigning world champion made good progress through the field, slipstreaming rivals at over 200mph and beating them to the apexes on the brakes, an electrical issue with his power unit slowed his climb up the order. “I just had no power. I was in an engine mode which made it feel like I was driving without ERS for a long time,” explained Lewis. “We have hundreds of different combinations of switch position on the wheel and, no matter how much you study, there's no way to remember them all. I was driving around looking at my screen trying to work out what was wrong - but I couldn't see anything I'd done differently.


“It was just a real shame that I couldn't race. If I'd been able to resolve it, I might have at least been able to be a part of the show and fight with the guys ahead of me. With about ten laps to go it sorted itself out - but by that time there was nothing to be gained or lost as I was more than ten seconds behind the guy in front and the same ahead of the guy behind. I actually turned the engine down at the end to save it, knowing that I don't have so many left for the season. But it wasn't to be today, so the result is what it is. I've got points for P5 and now I'll try to bounce back at the next race.”


Race result:
1    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes            1h32m52.366s
2    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari            16.696s
3    Sergio Perez        Force India/Mercedes    25.241s
4    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari            33.102s
5    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes            56.335s
6    Valtteri Bottas    Williams/Mercedes        1m00.886s
7    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull/Renault        1m09.229s
8    Max Verstappen    Red Bull/Renault        1m10.696s
9    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India/Mercedes    1m17.708s
10    Felipe Massa        Williams/Mercedes        1m25.375s
11    Jenson Button    McLaren/Honda        1m44.817s
12    Felipe Nasr        Sauber/Ferrari        1 Lap
13    Romain Grosjean    Haas/Ferrari            1 Lap
14    Kevin Magnussen    Renault            1 Lap
15    Jolyon Palmer        Renault            1 Lap
16    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas/Ferrari            1 Lap
17    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber/Ferrari        1 Lap
18    Rio Haryanto        Manor/Mercedes        2 Laps
-    Fernando Alonso    McLaren/Honda        Retirement
-    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor/Mercedes        Brakes
-    Carlos Sainz        Toro Rosso/Ferrari        Retirement
-    Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso/Ferrari        Retirement