Home / Motorsport / Formula 1 / Hamilton wins dramatic Russian Grand Prix as Mercedes are crowned Constructor’s Champions

Hamilton wins dramatic Russian Grand Prix as Mercedes are crowned Constructor’s Champions

View image | gettyimages.com

Lewis Hamilton took the win at the action packed Russian Grand Prix this afternoon. Multiple collisions and crashes followed by retirements filled the race with safety cars and important strategies. Today’s biggest winner was Mexican Sergio Perez who battled his way to 3rd. 

The 3.634 mile track was host of the 15th Grand Prix this season.  With Nico Rosberg starting from pole it was prime position for him to win the race and keep himself in contention for the title. With 100 points left to be given out after Russia it was vital for Rosberg to win to keep the title race alive. However, this was not the case.

Carlos Sains Jr. was declared fit to race this morning; the Spaniard lined up at the back of the grid ready to race.

The majority of the field started the race on Super Soft tyres, which would allow them to go faster; however, they are not made to last for a long period of time. With 53 laps in the race it was predicted that a one-stop strategy would be the most effective.

Nico Rosberg led into the first corner, Hamilton trailing behind waiting for an opportunity to pass. Further down the pack, Nico Hulkenberg locked his tyres coming out of turn 1, lost his rear and spun into the middle of the track. With multiple other cars around him. The German’s car caught the rear of Max Verstappen’s, causing the young driver to have a left rear puncture. Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson was also caught up in the palaver. The Swede misjudged his movements, sending his own car’s wheels over the wheels of Nico Huldenberg’s Force India. The two cars were locked together forcing both the drivers to retire from the race. The first safety car of the race was called out.

As soon as the safety car left the race track Valtteri Bottas immediately overtook fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen. Rosberg’s race was going smoothly. Lewis Hamilton was still behind him trying to overtake. Over the radio Rosberg’s distressed voice came to complain that his throttle was broken. The German continued to race, however a few seconds later it was noted that Hamilton had managed to overtake Rosberg. Then he was also passed by Bottas.

Pictures showed the German getting his car back to the pits slowly. The Mercedes driver retired the car, all but ruining his chances of a battle for the title as the season draws to an end.

The next incident came not long after. Lap 13 and Romain Grosjean was the next one to retire. The Frenchman lost his rear at turn 3 and crashed into the barrier. After a short, but long, period of silence from the car, Grosjean was seen getting out of the car on his own merit. The crash however did cause another safety car.

Many teams decided to utilise the safety car and used it to make their first, and final pit-stop. Notably Sergio Perez pitted for softs just after the safety car was called. The Mexican was to race on soft tyres for 40 laps.

A battle between the two Ferrari drivers was prominent in the opening stages of the race. Vettel and Raikkonen were battling for positions way into the race. After the second safety car the battle grew stronger with wheel to wheel racing from the former World Champions as they battled for the podium spots.

After his dramatic crash yesterday morning, Carlos Sainz Jr. showed his skills throughout the race. The Toro Rosso driver was battling for 10th position with Daniel Ricciardo after the second safety car. The young drivers’ achievements were cut short when he received a 5 second penalty for crossing the pit exit line.

The leading drivers began taking their pit stops. Bottas, Vettel and Raikkonen were hoping to gain positions on each other during these pitstops. Vettel managed to come out ahead of Bottas, however Raikkonen was unfortunate to come out behind Bottas. Hamilton’s pitstop brought him back out into first, with a 7.4 second advantage over Daniil Kyat who was in second place.

By lap 37 Lewis had a hefty lead over Vettel. Sergio Perez was in 3rd with a decent cap between himself and Ricciardo in 4th place. Bottas however was catching Ricciardo, the Finn with fresher, faster tyres than both Ricciardo and Perez. The battle for the last podium spot was beginning.

The young Finnish driver was in another battle. He had to keep his fellow country-man, Kimi Raikkonen, behind him and also catch Ricciardo in the hope of gaining the final podium spot off Perez.

With 10 laps to go the race was heating up. Bottas and Raikkonen were catching Ricciardo, ready to pounce and overtake at any minute. Perez however still had a 2 second lead over Ricciardo behind. The Force India driver’s race was not that easy though. With tyres running out of time – from his lap 13 pit stop – he was told to manage his tyres by his team in order to get him to the end of the race, suggesting that his podium position was at deep risk.

Bottas soon over took a struggling Daniel Ricciardo, allowing the Williams driver to gain more speed and catch Perez.

The race for Carlos Sainz Jr. was a real roller coaster. After getting to the race after his crash Saturday morning, then battling his way up the field, then receiving a penalty. The Spaniard soon lost control of his car, hit the barrier into turn 13, and in an attempt to get his race back under control, The Toro Rosso driver spun into the barrier, forcing him to retire from the race.

Next to retire was Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who complained about a problem with suspension. The Red Bull driver was in for some decent points, but today just was not his day.

Bottas overtook Perez as the drivers headed into the final lap of the race. Kimi Raikkonen also took the opportunity to overtake the Mexican, sending the Force India driver to 4th place. Heading into the final two turns, wheel to wheel racing and a collision between the two drivers sent Bottas into the wall and Raikkonen with floor damage. Through this drama Sergio Perez managed to clinch back his third place. Raikkonen limped to the line and finished in sixth place, and an investigation into Raikkonen’s participation in the collision will continue after the race.

Hamilton eased to victory, pushing his championship lead up to 76 points. Vettel finished in second place closing a gap to Nico Rosberg in the championship standings. Sergio Perez finished third, gaining his second podium for Force India, and giving the Silverstone based team their third ever podium.

Investigations after the race gave Kimi Raikkonen a 30 second time penalty for the collision with Bottas in the final lap. This penalty meant that Mercedes have officially grabbed the Constructors title. Next up, driver’s title.

View image | gettyimages.com

View image | gettyimages.com
2015 Constructors Champions Drivers World Champion Kimi Raikkonen lewis hamilton mercedes Nico Rosebrg Russian Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel Sochi Grand Prix

About Cassie Nunn-Price


Check Also

Alt="Joshua Kimmich celebrates his goal"

Joshua Kimmich: Football’s Next Big Thing?

  Bayern Munich have an appetite for developing fresh, young talent into world-class footballers and ...