After the setback of the past two races, Nico Rosberg returns to the winner circle with victory at the Baku street circuit.
The Mercedes driver’s fifth Grand Prix win this season means he has extended his world championship lead over title rival Lewis Hamilton by 24 points.
Rosberg led into the first corner from pole and set about building a lead he would never give up, while Mercedes team-mate Hamilton can only finish fifth.
Last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix winner made good progress through the field from tenth, having crashed out in qualifying, but then encountered lower than maximum electrical deployment.
The reigning world champion repeatedly asked his team for help in solving the problem, but Mercedes was unable to tell him what to do under this season’s radio communication restrictions.
Hamilton was able to fix the problem in the closing stages of the European Grand Prix but it proved to be too late and he was unable to improve on fifth position.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished second for the second successive race with Force India’s Sergio Perez scoring his second podium in three races with third place.
‘Checo’ Perez passed Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap to snatch third, but he was set to get the place anyway as Raikkonen had been given a five-second time penalty for crossing the white line on pit entry earlier in the race.
Valtteri Bottas was a lonely sixth while Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen passed Nico Hulkenberg late on to finish seventh and eighth respectively.
The Red Bulls used a two-stop strategy, fitting the softs and the the mediums, while Hulkenberg only did a single pit stop so they had fresher tyres.
Hulkenberg held on to ninth, one position ahead of Felipe Massa, who scored points for the seventh time in eight races.
Jenson Button finished just outside the points in P11 but his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso was told to pit and retire the car with seven laps to go.
Felipe Nasr scored his best result of the season with P12, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, who started from the pitlane.
Pascal Wehrlein was running strongly when he suffered brake failure and retired his Manor for the first time this season.
The Toro Rossos were the only other retirements, both Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr suffering suspension issues.
So a great result for Nico Rosberg. Race victory has rebuild his confidence in the championship. As for the action at Baku, it lacked drama compared to the Le Mans 24 Hours, which clashed with the European Grand Prix.
European Grand Prix, race results after 51 laps:
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h32m52.366s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 16.696s
3 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 25.241s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 33.102s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56.335s
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m00.886s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m09.229s
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 1m10.696s
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m17.708s
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m25.375s
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m44.817s
12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1 Lap
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1 Lap
16 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1 Lap
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1 Lap
18 Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 2 Laps
– Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda Retirement
– Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes Brakes
– Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso-Ferrari Retirement
– Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari Retirement
1 Nico Rosberg 141
2 Lewis Hamilton 117
3 Sebastian Vettel 96
4 Kimi Raikkonen 81
5 Daniel Ricciardo 78
6 Max Verstappen 54
7 Valtteri Bottas 52
8 Sergio Perez 39
9 Felipe Massa 38
10 Daniil Kvyat 22
11 Romain Grosjean 22
12 Nico Hulkenberg 20
13 Fernando Alonso 18
14 Carlos Sainz 18
15 Kevin Magnussen 6
16 Jenson Button 5
17 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
18 Esteban Gutierrez 0
19 Jolyon Palmer 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Felipe Nasr 0
22 Pascal Wehrlein 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0
1 Mercedes 258
2 Ferrari 177
3 Red Bull-Renault 140
4 Williams-Mercedes 90
5 Force India-Mercedes 59
6 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 32
7 McLaren-Honda 24
8 Haas-Ferrari 22
9 Renault 6
10 Sauber-Ferrari 0
11 Manor-Mercedes 0