The 2018 Formula 1 Russian GP was marred with the team orders debate as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took the win from Valtteri Bottas.
The Finn surprised everyone with pole on Saturday at Sochi when Hamilton made a mistake in sector two which left him down on his teammate with Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in third and fourth respectively.
The race on Sunday had Bottas in control as Hamilton lost out to Vettel in the pit stop. The British driver, however, fought back and retook the place on track in his chase of Bottas but while defending from Vettel.
This propelled Mercedes to ask Bottas to move aside and give the lead to Hamilton which he did. Hamilton thus secured his eighth win of 2018 and extend his points gap to 50 with a disappointed Bottas settling for second.
Vettel was third from Raikkonen as the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo fought back to finish fifth and sixth respectively from Sauber’s Charles Leclerc – the leader in the best of the race fight.
Here’s a statistical highlights from the grand prix in Russia:
- It was Hamilton’s 70th career win and his 49th for Mercedes. He registered his eighth win of 2018 and third in Russian GP.
- It was Mercedes’ 84th race win and seventh Russian GP victory – the only manufacturer to win in Russia as they won in 1913 and 1914 under the Benz name. It was their 43rd 1-2 finish as well.
- Hamilton scored his 130th podium while Vettel his 109th podium and Bottas’ his 29th.
- Bottas’ scored his career’s sixth pole and third of the season as he registered his career’s eighth fastest lap record in the race. By finishing second, Bottas also moved ahead of Raikkonen in the drivers’ standings.
- Verstappen gained 14 places in the race after starting from 19th and finishing fifth. He also led the maximum number of laps at 24 with Hamilton 14, Bottas 11 and Raikkonen four.
- There were only two retirements in the race with both the Toro Rossos failing to complete due to brake issues. Their last double DNF came in 2017 Canadian GP.
- This was the first race since 2017 Malaysian GP when both the Renault cars finished the race but couldn’t score points as Nico Hulkenberg ended up 12th and Carlos Sainz 17th.
- Kevin Magnussen started the race from fifth for the third time this season – his best start position this year. He finished eighth behind Leclerc who registered his first-ever ‘best of the rest’ finish behind the Top 6 drivers.
- Magnussen’s eighth place though was enough to help him move up by two places in the drivers’ standings to be seventh but he tied on 53 points with Hulkenberg, who is classified eighth.
- Tied on 47 points are the two Racing Point Force India drivers as well with Sergio Perez in 10th ahead of Esteban Ocon. Further back, Williams’ Lance Stroll in 17th is also tied on six points with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson in 18th.
- Hamilton broke into the Top 10 of most races with a single constructor – in his case Mercedes – with 114 races. He beat Vettel’s 113 races with Red Bull. He already holds the record with most races with a single manufacturer – again Mercedes – with 224.
- Fernando Alonso is now tied on 309 races with Jenson Button he has entered while he is second in the list of race starts with 307 behind Rubens Barrichello with 322.
- Verstappen was given two penalty points for failing to slow for yellow flags in qualifying which takes his tally to seven points, only five away from a race ban.
[Check: Singapore GP]