Russian GP As it happened: Bottas wins in Russia after Hamilton hit by penalties.

Lewis on pole but at disadvantage in strategy

13 mins read

14:21
All done for the weekend. Maybe we can have a stright forward race next time out in Germany? Nah, these races have been great this season, maybe not as much drama up front this time but still gave us a result we weren’t necessarily expecting.

Is Leclrec outperforming the Ferrari, or has Vettel mentally exited the team six months early? With 6th and 13th, and giving Vettel the benefit of the doubt given his four championships, you’d have to err on the side of Leclerc outperforming the car.

Next up is the Eifel Grand Prix, at the Nuerburgring, Qualifying on the 10th October at 13:00

See you then!

14:09
Bottas wont give up, telling the post race interviews: “It’s nice to get a win, it’s been a while and I need to try and keep the momentum. Again, managed to squeeze a few points over Lewis but there’s still quite a few races to go, so you never know. I’ll keep pushing, I wont give up and we’ll see how it ends up.”

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14:07
Final classification:

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14:00
44 points is the gap for Bottas now to car 44 in the race for the title this year.
Seven races left this year, it would take six races and 3 fastest laps by the Finn to overhaul the Brit going into the final race of the year, if Lewis finished 2nd each time and didnt bag a fastest lap on the way.
As unlikely as that is, anything is possible.

13:53
“YES! For my critics. To whom it may concern. F*** you.”
Bottas holds no punches over the radio.
That’ll be me told then eh?

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13:50
BOTTAS WINS, Max 2nd, Hamilton recovery drive ends up in 3rd

13:44
2 laps to go:
Raikonnen is putting the Ferrari of Vettel under pressure. What is going on in that #5 car?

13:45
3 laps to go:
Bottas hits traffic and suddenly Max is just 5 secs behind.
One mistake is all it will take to gift the win to the Red Bull driver

13:42
He took all he could out of that car and then some, the tyres just couldn’t take anymore as he pits with 4 laps to go after a massive lock-up at the end of the back-straight.

13:40
And he’s not done yet, Gasly runs up to the back of the Mclaren and Norris positions his car perfectly.
DRS scuppers his defense though as he drops back to tenth on the main straight.
He really wants that point!

13:37
Sesnational defensive driving by young Norris as he is fighting for all he’s worth as he comes under attack by Albon.
The battle ends up costing Albon a place as Gasly nips in front by the end of the back straight.

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13:33
Virtual safety car for a brief time as the bollards are taken out by a HAAS that comes together with Vettel round turn 2

13:32
10 laps to go
Typical, I just said that Hamilton not looking to finish higher than 3rd, and just then he starts hammering in fast laps and has cut the gap to Max down to 8secs

13:27
Bottas looking to take a maximum 26pts from this race with fastest lap in the bag so far.
With Hamilton not looking to be finishing higher than 3rd, the Finn will cut into the lead by 11pts and having the gap be down to 44.

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13:22
16 laps to go
Norris holding onto 10th after his nightmare start that had him at the very back after one lap.
Leclerc is also outperforming the Ferrari in 6th. While his teammate is languishing down in 15th, ahead of just one Alpha Romeo and both Williams.

13:19
Bottas has stretched his lead to nearly 13 seconds over Max after the round of stops. Hamilton is 10 secs futher back, but only 6 ahead of Perez, the podium isnt a certainty for the championship leader by the looks of it.

13:13
Ricciardo is told over the radio about his penalty, his response?
“Ok. I’ll drive faster.
“That’s my bad, I’ll make up for it”

Can anything phase this guy?

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13:10
Top 5 on lap 30:

1Valtteri Bottas77Mercedes
2Max Verstappen33Red Bull
3Daniil Kvyat26AlphaTauri
4Lewis Hamilton44Mercedes
5Sergio Perez11Racing Point

13:07
Ricciardo picks up a penalty for cutting the outside of turn 2 while overtaking Ocon in the sister Renault.

13:05
Max pits from 2nd and rejoins behind Kvyatt in 4th.
Bottas comes in from the lead and stays in the lead.

13:00
Hamilton: “Well you stopped me so early, I have to manage. I’ll struggle to make it to the end.”

Lewis is not happy with his teams decisions, heat of the moment probably, but he’s in his own head and nothing will change his mind for now.

12:58
Just waiting on the lead four cars of Bottas, Verstappen, Leclerc, and Kvyatt pitting to see where everyone all shakes out.

12:54
Up front Bottas is chucking in the fastest laps and has bridged Verstappen behind to 5secs.
Could we see Bottas get a much needed confidence boost today in his quest to challange for the title?

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12:50
We dont see Mercedes and Ferrari on the same piece of tarmac very often this year, but Hamilton is now right behind Vettel such was the pain of his time penalty.

12:48
Hamilton pits and comes out in 11th. Record chase done?
“This is ridiculous man” says the champion over the radio.
Happy chappy he is not.

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12:44
Hamilton refuses to pit and sets the fastest lap just to make his point that he doesnt need to come in yet.
Perez takes Ricciardo round the long turn 3 in a fantastic move as the Mexican is keen to underline his worth to potential suiters for next year.

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12:40
Bottas is now matching and even a tad faster than the lead Merc, Max is keeping the Finn honest too and the Renaults are holding on to the top three as well.

12:38
Sounds like Lewis may be able to take both at one stop as his engineer worded the penalty to him as 10 seconds rather than two seperate penalties

12:33
TEN second time penalty for Hamilton
Hamilton isn’t hanging about and is well out of the DRS danger zone to Bottas behind by the end of one lap.
He is slapped with two violations for his practice starts before the race. everyone is confused if he can serve both 5 sec penalties in one stop as this has never happened before.

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12:30
Hamilton judges the restart well and manages to keep Bottas well out of the slipstream.

12:29
Safety car in this lap. Can’t be any worse than last time out can it?

12:27
CORRECTION
It was a tag by Leclerc that spun Stroll into the wall.

12:25
So, while the safety car leads the cars round during the clean up, the top 5 are:

1Hamilton
2Bottas
3Verstappen
4Ocon
5Ricciardo

12:22
The other car out is Lance Stroll.
Going by tv pics it looks like he’s lit up the rear over a kerb and just went for a spin right into the wall.

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12:20
Sainz went wide at turn 2 and attempting to take the bollards to return to the track, smashes into the wall and bounces into the path of multiple drivers. Vettel did well to avoid the stricken Mclaren.

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12:17
LIGHTS OUT: SAFETY CAR
It’s a great start for Hamilton but Bottas tucks in behind him and challenges into turn 2 but goes wide along with Max Verstappen. Sainz is out before turn 3 and Stroll spins further down the road.

12:12
The cars are taking to the track now for the formation lap.

This could well be the only lap that Lewis leads all day given the powerful slipstream at the start and the possibility of a penalty hanging over the Mercedes driver.

12:05
Here we go, just minutes away from lights out.

He’s been there, he’s done that, leave him alone, he knows what he’s doing.

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11:55
A man on a mission today after the heartbreak of retirement on the first lap last time out.

Max Verstappen will be looking to set things right over the next hour and a bit.

Potential penalty for Hamilton might make his mission less daunting.

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11:47
As if the day couldn’t get any harder for the champion, he finds himself under investigation before lights-out for taking a practice start outside of the designated area.

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11:43
After an crash by Vettel in Q2 and a slew of deleted laps of drivers, including Hamiltons first run in the session, the championship leader had to set his time on the soft tyres.

This may end up being a massive disadvantage as the race unfolds as his big rivals, Bottas and Verstappen, start on the mediums.

Throw in a massive drag down to the first braking zone and Lewis may have it all to do before the first lap is even done.

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11:30
Good Morning, and welcome to Brig’s coverage of the Russian GP where Lewis Hamilton is looking to equal the great wins record of Michael Schumacher.

Some news from the track before the race is that Vettel is to start his 250th GP start a place higher than he qualified yesterday thanks to a penalty for Albon for changing gearboxes.

Nicholas Latifi also takes a 5 place penalty for a gearbox change.

Hamilton will be chasing a record today but if Kimi takes the lights in just over half an hour, he will also have equalled a record. That of Rubens Barrichello’s race start total which stands at 322.

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