It was Sunday morning just after 8 am (EDT) with ESPN2 providing live coverage of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the Formula 1 [VIDEO] teams took to the streets in the city of Baku.

Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari was starting in the number one position with Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes alongside in the second spot. In the second row was Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on the inside, and Vettel's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen on the outside. The third row was all Red Bull with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. The fourth row held Force India teammates side by side with Sergio Perez in the seventh position and Esteban Ocon holding eighth.

Vettel grabs an early lead

At the start, Sebastian Vettel shot ahead of the field quickly followed by the Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen had trouble early and was passed by Verstappen and Ricciardo prior to the first turn. Heading into turn three side by side, there was contact between the Ferrari of Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon Mercedes. Raikkonen quickly pitted getting fresh tires and replacing a damaged front wing. Ocon's Mercedes sustained too much damage to continue.

Racing resumed on lap five with Vettel again establishing a solid lead ahead of Hamilton and Botas. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen was putting pressure on his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in a battle for the fourth position. On lap six the infighting between Verstappen and Ricciardo allowed Renault's Carlos Sainz to pass them both and briefly grab the fourth spot.

On lap seven Verstappen powered past the Sainz to regain the fourth position. Heading into lap nine it was Vettel out in front followed by Hamilton and Botas. The battle between Verstappen and Sainz continued with Verstappen still clinging on to the fourth position.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo was being challenged for the sixth spot by Renault's Nico Hulkenberg. 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. On lap ten, Hulkenberg made the move grabbing the fifth spot from Verstappen. Hulkenburg's time running in the top five would be short-lived, as on lap 11 his Renault clipped a wall, which knocked him out of the race. Lap12 saw more infighting between Red Bull teammates with contact between Verstappen and Ricciardo. With Verstappen pitting for fresh tires on lap 16, Team Red Bull was able to have both drivers climb back into top five of the running order.

After contact on the first lap forced Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen he managed to fight his way up to sixth in running order by lap 17.

Running in second on Lap 22, Lewis Hamilton was the first of the front-runners to pit. Valtteri Bottas moved up to second during his teammates stop, but Hamilton was able to re-enter the race in the third spot.

At the halfway point it was Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel out in front followed by the Mercedes of Bottas and Hamilton. Red Bull teammates Verstappen and Ricciardo were running fourth and fifth respectively. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was in sixth followed by Force India's Sergio Perez in seventh.

Infighting among the Red Bull teammates intensified on lap 27 with Ricciardo passing Verstappen but later Ricciardo was forced to yield a spot to Verstappen to avoid contact.

Sebastian Vettel finally yielded his lead as he pitted on lap 31 surrendering the top spot to the Mercedes of Bottas. Vettel re-entered the course in second place while running well ahead of Lewis Hamilton who was running third.

Red Bull vs Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo again passed his Red Bull teammate on lap 35. The long-running battle between teammates had so far led to contact and tire wear but had done nothing to improve the teams chance of a podium finish. On lap 38 Ricciardo came in for fresh tires allowing Verstappen to regain the fourth spot in the running order. Five laps later with fresher tires, Ricciardo attempted to cleanly pass his teammate, but Verstappen blocked the move leading to contact between the two Red Bull drivers. Neither car was able to rejoin the race.

The safety car came out following the contact between Verstappen and Ricciardo. The battle between teammates had not only damaged Red Bull's chance but it had also assisted Team Mercedes. While Bottas's tires had exceeded the estimated number of laps many of those laps were behind the safety car. At this point, Mercedes chose to gamble on the tires making it to the end of the race. With just five laps to go, Mercedes chose to keep Bottas on track with his original set of tires, hoping the excessive caution laps were enough to extend the tire life.

On the restart, it was Bottas in front followed by Vettel, Hamilton, and Raikkonen. Perez was running fifth with Sainz sixth. Heading into turn one Vettel powered past Hamilton, but Vettel overshot the turn and flat-spotted his tires, allowing Bottas, Hamilton, and Raikkonen to get around. With just three laps to go, Valtteri Bottas ran over debris on the track which cut his right rear tire. The flat would take Valtteri out of the competition. Shortly after Bottas pulled to the side Sergio Perez took advantage of Vettel's woes passing the Ferrari to grab the third spot.

Lewis Hamilton was able to hang on to claim his first F1 victory of the 2018 season. After a difficult start of the race, Kimi Raikkonen finished second and in third Sergio Perez claimed his first podium finish of the year.