Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead in the WDC to 50 points over his rival, Sebastian Vettel in Russia today.
It’s safe to say that the mood was a little ‘damp’ after the race, since the win came from a questionable (from a fan perspective) team order from Mercedes.
Bottas was asked to move over to allow Hamilton past, desite being in a great position to take the win himself. It was apparrently due to a ‘risk’ with a blister on Hamilton’s tyres, many expected the place to be swapped back towards the end of the race, but Bottas was told over the radio that they would finish as they were.
It essentially gives Hamilton a double DNF cushion for the last five races and would seemingly sew up the WDC quite early.
“It is actually quite a difficult day because Valtteri did a fantastic job all weekend and was a real gentleman to let me by,”
“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.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Where was Vettel in all this? He managed to maintain third, keeping within reach of both Mercedes for the bulk of the first stint. Ferrari made a good strategic decision (yep, really), and pitted before Hamilton, bringing him out ahead of Hamilton. He defended hard through the next corner with a move that the FIA deemed legal, but was then passed by the Brit on the next sweeping corner.
The star of the day has to be Max Verstappen, who started 19th and ended up 5th with a stunning run through traffic, even ending up leading the race for the most laps before inevitably pitting and dropping back behind Raikkonen.
Despite pitting for a new nose during the race, Daniel Ricciardo finished in 6th, although it was a reasonable quiet day for him.
Leclerc continued a good run and finished 7th, he’s definitely shaping up to be one to watch in the Ferrari next year.
Magnussen finished in 8th, ahead of the two Force Indias who had some team orders of their own with Ocon letting Perez by to attack the Dane, but ultimately not having the pace to get the move done and swapping back.
It was a double DNF for Gasly and Hartley at Toro Rosso early on. Full results are below.