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30 April 2018, 03:27 | Percy Christensen
In a race where the safety vehicle again played a major part, with a series of crashes and smashes, Kimi Raikkonen finished second for Ferrari while Sergio Perez was third for Force India.
This is the first victory of the current champion in this season.
The Ferrari driver - who led the race comfortably until a safety vehicle period allowed Bottas's Mercedes to make a pitstop and emerge still ahead - locked up trying to retake the lead on a restart with four laps to go, ultimately dropping to fourth. By the end of the ninth lap, Sainz had passed Verstappen, and Hulkenberg had not only passed Ricciardo, he was now closing in on Verstappen. Vettel was running nine seconds clear of Valtteri Bottas before making his pit-stop on lap 30 for softs.
Away from the top three, Red Bull-Renault's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo had been fighting each other all race long with some daring overtaking maneuevers and attempts. He would have had to stop soon but for the Red Bull crash, which allowed Bottas to pit and keep the lead.
Lewis Hamilton eventually claimed top spot on the podium after what turned out to be one of the most dramatic races of recent times with a third of the field failing to make it to the chequered flag.
The Australian, the victor last time out in China, did not back off and ended up smashing into Verstappen as he broke for the corner. The race looked to belong to Bottas but a lap later the Finn picked up some debris and took a major puncture that removed him from contention.
Sebastian Vettel has been left rueing the mistake that cost him victory in the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix after dominating the majority of the race.
Ocon turned in for the apex with Raikkonen nearly completely alongside, and the ensuing contact pitched the Force India into the wall and out of the race and forced Raikkonen to pit for a new front wing. That delayed the restart, and when it came Vettel charged down the inside of Bottas but couldn't slow enough to make the corner and went onto a runoff area.
For Red Bull it was an afternoon that will require a stern debrief with their drivers. Sergio Perez was third, again coming from behind.
A frustrated Hamilton complained about back markers, but began clawing back time, recorded a fastest lap and then saw Bottas go eight-tenths quicker.
Hamilton's early pit stop gave him good warm tyres for the closing stages, even though those final laps were interrupted by the safety vehicle again.
The safety auto came out following the contact between Verstappen and Ricciardo.
Bottas had been left in the lead when first Hamilton, then Vettel, stopped for fresh tires. Ricciardo's second retirement this season leaves him fifth, 33 points off the lead.
"Without the safety auto it would have been easier for us - there is probably 47 laps of positive and maybe one turn without a positive note". He was late to the podium celebrations because he went to speak with Bottas, who "deserved" the win.
CharlesLeclerc did some great work in his Sauber - and it was no wonder he had some choice bits of vocabulary as he celebrated his sixth place.
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