F1: Valtteri Bottas wins Russian Grand Prix as Hamilton misses win record
Lewis Hamilton still leads the championship but this win has allowed Valtteri Bottas to close the gap on his Mercedes teammate.
Valtteri Bottas wins Russian Grand Prix as Hamilton misses F1 win record
New Delhi: Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas scored his second win of 2020 at the Russian Grand Prix, benefitting from a penalty for his pole-sitting teammate Lewis Hamilton that left the six-time champion third at the flag, as Max Verstappen claimed Red Bull’s first-ever podium at Sochi in P2.
Hamilton began the race on the back foot, after a pair of practice start infringements on his laps to the grid led to him being handed a 10s penalty mid-race, ruling him out of contention for the win, as he came home in P3.
Bottas, meanwhile, had passed Verstappen for second at the race start, before benefitting from Hamilton’s penalty to enjoy an untroubled run to the chequered flag for the ninth win of his career, at the venue where he scored his first back in 2017. It would have been an important confidence booster for Bottas, too, with Finn’s previous victory having come at the season-opening an Austrian Grand Prix back in July.
Behind the podium positions, a quiet but effective race for Racing Point’s Sergio Perez saw him come home fourth, while despite having a five-second penalty hanging over him for not running through the Turn 3 rejoining bollards after going off the track, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo had enough pace in hand to maintain P5 at the flag, ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in sixth.
Esteban Ocon passed his Renault teammate at the start for P4, but eventually fell back to the seventh place he started the race in at the chequered flag, ahead of home hero Daniil Kvyat.
Rounding out the top 10, a late stop from the second AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly allowed him to battle through to P9, the Frenchman passing the Red Bull of Alex Albon, who came home P10, having started P15 after receiving a five-race penalty for changing his gearbox.
Meanwhile, a chaotic race start saw Carlos Sainz hit the wall when trying to rejoin the track at Turn 3, the Spaniard ripping the front right corner off his car – while Lance Stroll was tagged by Charles Leclerc at Turn 4 and spun into the wall, bringing out an early Safety Car.