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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg triumphed at the Grand Prix of Europe to extend his World Championship lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton, who finished fifth.
Starting from pole position, Rosberg was almost entirely untroubled on Sunday at Azerbaijan’s Baku City Circuit, and the German now holds a 24-point advantage at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Hamilton, 10th on the grid following a crash in qualifying on Saturday, produced a strong performance in the race but was hampered by technical issues.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel came from third on the grid to finish second.
The four-time champion’s teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, was fourth, directly behind the excellent Sergio Perez, who had been seventh on the grid in his Force India.
With Hamilton fifth, Williams driver Valtteri Bottas claimed sixth place.
After securing a front-row grid spot, Daniel Ricciardo suffered a disappointing Sunday, as he and his Red Bull car managed to come home in only seventh place.
Ricciardo was followed past the chequered flag by teammate Max Verstappen, with Nico Hulkenberg ninth in the second Force India, while Williams man Felipe Massa took the final available point.
Rosberg proved dominant from the very start, getting away well enough to hold onto the lead, with Ricciardo remaining second and Vettel third.
Hamilton stayed out of trouble during the early laps, soon embarking upon a predictable rise through the field, but his performance would ultimately be badly compromised by problems with his Mercedes machine.
Vettel used DRS to power past Ricciardo for second place at the beginning of the sixth lap, before the Red Bull man pitted early to confirm a two-stop strategy, whilst the German convinced Ferrari to leave him on a one-stop plan.
Raikkonen was desperate to grab the final podium spot but was handed a five-second penalty for illegally crossing a white line as he drove past the pits.
Perez was set to inherit the place from Raikkonen. However, the Mexican instead grabbed the position in style, producing a late-race pass on the disgruntled Finn.
Up front, Rosberg was far too quick for anyone else to harbour realistic hopes of challenging for the victory.
With Hamilton having bossed recent events, closing the gap to leader Rosberg in the process, the win in Azerbaijan will be warmly welcomed by the latter racer.
Rosberg’s push to claim his maiden World Championship title is very much back on track, although three-time winner Hamilton has proven time and again his ability to overcome setbacks in the most impressive fashion, and the Englishman will expect to do so once again at the Austrian Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.
European Grand Prix provisional race result
Pos. Driver, Team, Time
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1hr32:52.366
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +16.696
3. Sergio Perez, Force India, +25.241
4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +33.102
5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +56.335
6. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +1:00.886
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +1:09.229
8. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +1:10.696
9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +1:17.708
10. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1:25.375
11. Jenson Button, McLaren, +1:44.817
12. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, +1 lap
13. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +1 lap
14. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, +1 lap
15. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, +1 lap
16. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, +1 lap
17. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +1 lap
18. Rio Haryanto, Manor, +2 laps
Driver, Team, Laps (of 51)
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 42
Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 39
Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 31
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso, 6