Lewis Hamilton says that his race win in Russia doesn't feel spectacular after he was gifted the lead through team orders. Mercedes called on race leader Valtteri Bottas to let the Briton through, as it was concerned over blistering on one of Hamilton's tyres.
Hamilton took the lead and extended the gap in the championship to 50 points after Sebastian Vettel came home in third. But Hamilton didn't celebrate too much after the race, commending Bottas for the Finn's efforts over the weekend.
"It is actually quite a difficult day because Valtteri did a fantastic job all weekend and was a real gentleman to let me by,” said Hamilton. “Obviously he is now not fighting for the championship and it has been such a great weekend for the team.
“The team did such an exceptional job to have this advantage on Ferrari and have a 1-2, and usually we would be elated. But I can understand how difficult it was for Valtteri today and he deserved to win. But championship-wise, as a team, we are trying to win both championships, and I think today was a real team effort. While it doesn’t feel spectacular, I know he is going to do great in the following races to come.”
Bottas appeared dejected after the race and was told over the team radio by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff that things would be discussed afterwards. Bottas is still yet to win a race in the 2018 season and despite bringing home a one-two for the Silver Arrows, he admitted that it was a difficult race for him.
“A difficult day. Obviously a good result for us as a team. We got maximum points, but personally as everyone says, quite a difficult race. For sure we always go through all the scenarios and all the facts.
“Lewis is now fighting for the championship and we are fighting for the constructors. We always have a plan but today it is always difficult to predict what will happen in the race and how it is going to go.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing