Yesterday, Mercedes was crowned in Sochi like last year. Maybe it will become a habit for the Star… Lewis Hamilton won the Russian GP for the second consecutive time. Sebastian Vettel was a very happy man after an unexpected move in the championship. Three drivers fighted for the last step of the podium. Who drunk champagne with the champions? Answer in the summary below…
Weather report: blue sky, T. air: 18°C ; T. track: 25-27°C ; humidity: 44-49% and wind speed: 1,5 m.s (north)
Lewis Hamilton signed the 42nd win of his career in F1. The Briton had a 1 pit-stop strategy (soft tyres – turn 32) as Pirelli predicted (they prolonged their contract with F1 for three other seasons). Sebastian Vettel, who offered himself his first best lap on race of the year (1’40”071 – lap 51), scored 18pts (2nd ; +5”953s) thanks to a very quick pit-stop at the lap 30 (2.2s against 3,1s for Lewis and 3,4s for Valtteri Bottas). The Savior from Maranello took the second place at the WDC. After a fantastic overtaking on Sergio Perez at the lap 52, the third step of the podium was promised to Valtteri Bottas but Kimi Räikkönen collided him at the turn 4 at the lap 53. Only Iceman was able to cross the finish line (5th ; some damages on his SF15-T car). The Ferrari driver got a 30s penalty (8th). This change in the classification helped Mercedes to secure the Constructors’ Championship from this round. Otherwise, they had to wait for the American GP in two weeks. Sahara Force India was very proud of Checo after his great performance (3rd). Felipe Massa was an excellent fourth. The local hero, Daniil Kvyat, limited the damages for Red Bull (5th). The good surprise came from Felipe Nasr (6th). Pastor Maldonado was seventh. Both of Jenson Button and Max Verstappen were at the end of the top 10. Fernando Alonso lost his tenth position for having overtaken Max over the track limits (a 5s penalty – 11th). Both Manors were the good last ones.
Let’s note that Nico Hülkenberg (collision with Marcus Ericsson at the turn 2 at the start after he spun ; there was a SC on track until the end of the turn 3), Marcus Ericsson, Nico Rosberg (his throttle pedal was broken – lap 7), Romain Grosjean (off-track at the lap 12 ; there was a SC on track until the end of the lap 16), Carlos Sainz Jr (off-track at the lap 47 caused by some brake issues), Daniel Ricciardo (suspension problems at the lap 49) and Valtteri Bottas had to give up.
At the championship: http://www.motorsport-total.com/f1/wmstand.html
It wasn’t a boring GP. There were a lot of action until the last lap. Congrats to Mercedes for their title! Today, they’ll celebrate their success with the whole team at the factory. Next round in two weeks in Austin where Lewis Hamilton could maybe get his third coronation…
(credit pic: newscom.com)