World championship leader Nico Rosberg led the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel home with Sergio Perez picking up a second podium spot of the season in third.
Lewis Hamilton had looked the man to beat in practice, but in qualifying he crashed which meant he started 10.
An all-action race had been predicted on the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital city, but the race had four retirements through technical issues.
Nico Rosberg ended his three-race run without a podium in emphatic fashion to stretch his advantage again in the drivers’ championship to 24 points.
A bizarre inability to handle rain in Monaco and a struggle in Montreal traffic had opened the door for Hamilton, but the German pounced on his team-mate’s weekend.
As Hamilton’s hybrid power unit gave him grief, the radio messages between the current world champion and Mercedes’ pit wall told the entire story.
“This is ridiculous guys, I don’t want to be looking at my fricking dash every five seconds trying to work out what switch is in the wrong position.”
“I’m going to change everything in this car.”
“Can I make suggestions and you advise?”
With Mercedes unable to tell Hamilton how to fix the issue – and the driver’s inability to remember what to do – his slim chances of a podium were wrecked as he dropped back fiddling with the knobs on his steering wheel, power returning to him all too late with seven laps to go.
He finished fifth to drop 24 points behind in the championship battle.
Team boss Toto Wolff said: “We had a configuration setting problem with engine modes which occurred on both cars.
“By regulation we are not allowed to tell the driver [what to do], they needed to figure it out themselves.
IN THE POINTS
1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +16.696secs
3. Sergio Perez (Force India) +25.241s
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +33.102s
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +56.335s
6. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) +60.886s
7. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +69.229s
8. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +70.696s
9. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +77.708ss
10. Felipe Massa (Williams) +85.375s
1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 141
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 117 (+24)
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 96 (+45)
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 81 (+60)
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 78 (+63)