F1 round-up: Rosberg dominates as Perez stars in Baku

Sergio Perez heads towards a podium position in his Force India car
Sergio Perez heads towards a podium position in his Force India car

Nico Rosberg returned to winning ways on Sunday when he cruised to victory in the European Grand Prix around the streets of the Azerbijan capital Baku, writes James Beckett.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas racer stormed to his fifth race victory of the season after an utterly dominant performance to extend his lead at the head of the FIA F1 Drivers’ Standings to 24 points over team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

After winning the first four races of the campaign, Rosberg was pleased to get his season back on track around the new street circuit, particularly as Hamilton had slashed his championship lead to nine points with back-to-back wins going into Sunday’s race.

Sebastian Vettel finished second for Ferrari with Sergio Perez bagging a superb third place finish for Silverstone-based Sahara Force India.

The Mexican said afterwards: “I am really pleased for the team. I had a great car and ran a strong race.”

Hamilton finished a disappointing fifth after suffering a power loss problem mid-race in his Mercedes, while Nico Hulkenberg was ninth in the second Force India, and Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat were both race retirements with their Bicester-based Toro Rosso-Ferrari cars.

Kvyat said: “This was another disappointing week for me and the team. We hope the next race in Austria, the home of Red Bull, will be better.”

Standings: 1) Rosberg, 141; 2) Hamilton, 117; 3) Vettel, 96; 4) Raikkonen, 81; 5) Ricciardo, 78. Next race: Austria, July 3.