Driving ambition

Those who think Formula One is just a procession should think again

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari on the drivers parade before the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit on June 25 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Mark Thompson / Getty Images
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There are many people who will tell you that Formula 1 is dull and predictable. Those people may have to undertake a serious review of their beliefs after Sunday’s classic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The race itself ebbed and flowed, particularly in its chaotic second half, before Daniel Ricciardo steered his Red Bull car home to victory. The two names at the top of the championship table – Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton – could only muster fourth and fifth places respectively, but their rivalry simmered to the boiling point in the Baku sunshine amid claim and counter-claim by the pair. Hamilton called Vettel’s driving a “disgrace”. Vettel said they were just “racing like men”.

Long-time F1 fans will recall the electric rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The current Hamilton-Vettel contest may well end up achieving a similar level of friction and unpredictability. Dull and predictable it most certainly isn’t. ​