F1: Valtteri Bottas wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix from pole

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Once again, it was a Mercedes one-two finish in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas taking the checkered flag first, followed by Lewis Hamilton.

For Bottas, Sunday’s victory was the fifth of his career and his second victory of 2019, having previously won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Bottas leaves Baku once again atop of the points standings, leading Hamilton by one point.

“It was a tough race even though maybe not that much happening at the front,” Bottas said following the race.

“Lewis was putting pressure on me all the time – I was happy to see the checkered flag and take this first place.”

Sebastian Vettel would finish the race in third, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, who picked up a bonus point for setting the fastest lap in the race, finishing fifth.

Sergio Perez would finish in a respectable sixth place for Racing Point, with the McLaren duo of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris. Lance Stroll was the final driver to finish on the lead lap, finishing ninth.

Four drivers in total would retire from the race, with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat both retiring after a bizarre incident which occurred in turn 3 on the 32nd lap.

Ricciardo locked up entering the corner, with Kvyat pulling to a stop behind Ricciardo in attempt to avoid hitting the Renault driver. Riccardo, desperately looking to quickly return to the racing surface, immediately put his car into reverse, hitting Kvyat’s Torro Rosso entry.

Pierre Gasly was also among the drivers who would retire. The Frenchman was running in sixth on lap 40 when his Red Bull Racing machine pulled off to the side of the track after losing power, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car.

Green flag racing would resume shortly, with Hamilton within striking distance of Bottas. However, the defending World Champion would be unable to take the lead with only 10 laps remaining.

“Congratulations to Valtteri. He drove really well and made no mistakes,” Hamilton said following the race.

“This has to be the best start to a season that this team has ever had, and I’m grateful to be part of it.”

Full results are below. The next race of the 2019 Formula One World Championship is the Spanish Grand Prix on May 12.

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Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.