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Russian GP: Hamilton wins as team orders intervene

  • Published on 30 Sep 2018 14:40
  • comments 14
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton has won the Russian Grand Prix and has extended his championship lead to 50 points after teammate Valtteri Bottas let him through midway through the race.

Bottas, who started from pole position, kept his lead on the run down into Turn 2 while Hamilton came under pressure from title rival Sebastian Vettel. However, the Briton held him off and the trio ran as they were until the pit stop phase of the race, Bottas was the first to peel into the pitlane, swapping his ultra soft tyres to the yellow-walled soft compound.

Vettel came in one lap later while Mercedes opted to keep Hamilton out. On fresher tyres, Vettel pushed and managed to jump Hamilton who came into the pitlane one lap later. 

However, despite complaining over the radio about being jumped, Hamilton didn't stay behind for long as on lap 16, he overtook the German as they ran into Turn 4. The battle heated up two corners before when Hamilton attempted an overtake, with the two coming close to contact.

Bottas led Hamilton for another nine laps before he was instructed to move over and let his teammate by. The Finn obliged and held on to keep Vettel behind and complete a one-two finish for Mercedes - its first since the German Grand Prix earlier this year.

Kimi Raikkonen followed his teammate home after a lonesome Grand Prix. Max Verstappen was fifth and produced a mesmerising driver after starting from the very back of the field.

The Dutchman cut his way through the field rapidly during the opening number of laps and found himself in P5 on lap nine. He took the lead after both Ferraris and Mercedes made their pitstops and kept a consistent gap to Hamilton behind.

Red Bull was hoping that a late switch to a softer tyre would allow him to catch and overtake Raikkonen, however the 20-year-old strangely fell even further behind Raikkonen after he pitted for the ultra soft tyre with just ten laps to run.

Verstappen's teammate Daniel Ricciardo was sixth and was well off the pace due to damage to his front wing. Charles Leclerc spoke after qualifying about his hopes to retain seventh place in the race, and he did just so, collecting six points to put Sauber just three points behind Toro Rosso in the standings.

Kevin Magnussen held off the Force India pair to bring home eighth place. The pink panthers tactically switched both of its cars around during the race, allowing both to have a go at the Dane. However, after failing to do so, Sergio Perez let Esteban Ocon back through for ninth position.

Photos Russia 2018

RU Sochi Autodrom - 30 September 2018

Replies (14)

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  • And to everyone's surprise, it was a pretty boring race. I really dont remember much from this, except what the hell happened with STR? Both brake failing at once? 'tis nice they wanna work as a team, but surely retiring as a team is a bit excessive? And needless to say, Hammy has pretty much got this year in the bag...

    • + 1
    • Sep 30 2018 - 15:13
  • siggy74

    Posts: 194

    Yep this year looks to be, all but done..

    And im sure that merc with Valtteri is going to be qualifying alot lower down the filed going forward :P

    At least i would, no point trying for the win, to be told to pull over ;p

    • + 0
    • Sep 30 2018 - 15:44
  • Freguz

    Posts: 160

    Really boring race, especially when they tell the leader to give his position, whats the use of racing anyway, just being a roadblock isn't a life to work hard for.

    • + 1
    • Sep 30 2018 - 16:09
  • Only (un)interesting part of the race is, the theatrics between Lewis, the ‘handout’ Hamilton and the Felipe Bottas.

    • + 0
    • Sep 30 2018 - 18:15
  • xoya

    Posts: 583

    This race was a tragedy for F1. Team orders left and right.
    Hamilton vs Rosberg now feels like ages ago.

    • + 1
    • Sep 30 2018 - 18:25
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 501

    Only 26 more races for VB to finish behind Lewis.

    • + 0
    • Sep 30 2018 - 18:41
  • websurfer

    Posts: 52

    Botas is the real winner in my eyes. Disgusting team order by Toto Wolff. F1 when it is worst.

    • + 2
    • Sep 30 2018 - 19:54
  • Yep, boring. Worst race of the year. At least if there was one race to have happen at 5am it was this one. I usually am able to stay awake for F1 races early in the morning (6am) but didn't mind drifting off a couple of times during this race.

    • + 0
    • Sep 30 2018 - 20:42
  • f1dave

    Posts: 782

    Laughed when they told Perez that if he didn't go faster they would change team order in two laps, then counted them down for him.

    • + 0
    • Sep 30 2018 - 21:58
  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Surely there are better things to do on a Sunday than watching this disaster of boredom? I'll do my best to research the matter next time and get back to you.

    I tried really hard to come up with a reason to keep watching F1 during the race. Couldn't find one. Maybe the start of a new season in 2019 will be interesting for a while. But this is likely it for me in 2018.

    I do admire Bottas for not just parking the car on the last lap after being told by his team that they had decided to screw him over. I know I wouldn't have been able to.

    • + 1
    • Sep 30 2018 - 22:09
    • xoya

      Posts: 583

      There are at least 10 million reasons a year for him to keep doing what he does, plus penalties for not holding up to his contract.

      • + 0
      • Sep 30 2018 - 23:02
  • I am really very surprised about these comments because it seems that no one has seen Max has his performance and the way he moved from 19th to 5th in just 8 laps and later on he was the leader during more than 25 laps until his stop in the 43 th lap.
    It was really a shame about his gridpenalty because otherwise he would have been very simply on the podium !

    • + 0
    • Sep 30 2018 - 23:15
    • xoya

      Posts: 583

      Max was a beast today.
      None the less, he still wouldn't have been on the podium since Mercedes is too fast and Vettel would surely have been third. He would maybe get Raikkonen. Renault is a lot slower than Mercedes and Ferrari.

      • + 1
      • Oct 1 2018 - 01:13
    • I agree with @XOYA , he was always racing for P5 or thereabouts, it was just a lot more fun to watch this way.

      • + 0
      • Oct 1 2018 - 08:25

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  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 1,338
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  • Country Finland
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (31)
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