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Russian GP 2018

SEPTEMBER 30, 2018

Race Notes - Hamilton wins Russian GP

Lewis Hamilton, Russian GP 2018
© RV Press

By Mark Karp

Lewis Hamilton won the Russian in his Mercedes GP, in a one-two finish after Valtteri Bottas let his team leader by, and he finished in second place, 2.5 seconds.

Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari was third, 7.4 seconds behind the winner.

Hamilton now leads the drivers championship by 50 points over Vettel. It is Hamilton’s 70th career victory.

Kimi Raikkonen (16.5s) in the second Ferrari was fourth, followed by Max Verstappen (31.0s) in the Red Bull-Renault, after starting in 19th place, finished in fifth, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo (1m20.4s), who started 18th, finished in sixth, Charles Leclerc in the Sauber-Ferrari was seventh, Kevin Magnussen (1 lap) in the Haas-Ferrari was eighth, Esteban Ocon in the Force India-Mercedes was ninth and his team mate Sergio Perez finished in the final points position in tenth place.

Before the start, Bottas and Hamilton sat on the front row, Vettel and Raikkonen on row two, Magnussen and Ocon on row three, Leclrc and Perez on row four, and Grosjean and Ericsson rounding out the top ten.

Spots of a rain shower coming before the start, but rain not expected.

Ricciardo and Verstappen starting from 18th and 19th.

At the appointed time the field came around, the lights went off and the race began with Bottas taking the lead, Vettel pushing Hamilton side-by-side, Hamilton ataying ahead of him. Verstappen up to 13th on the opening lap.

On lap 2 Leclerc goes s\ahead of Magnussen to take fifth.

Verstappen pssses Hulkenberg and then Sainz for 11th,

On lap 3 Verstappen battles Ericsson for tenth place.then passes Grosjean for ninth place.

On lap 4 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m39.770s.

Hartley spins, then pits for soft tyres.

Verstappen passes Perez for eighth place, then the next lap passes Ocon for seventh place.

Both Toro Rosso’s pit and retire,

On lap 6, Bottas sets fast lap at 1m39.517s, and leads Hamilton by 1.4 seconds.

On lap 8 Verstappen passes Leclerc for fifth. Stroll pits and switches to soft tyres.

Ricciardo passes Grosjean for 11th place.

Grosjean pits and switches to soft tyres, and rejoins in 15th place.

On lap 10 Magnussen pits and switches to soft tyres.

Hamilton has closed to under a second behind Bottas.

On lap 11 Leclerc and Ocon pit for soft tyres.

Sirotkin pits for soft tyres.

At lap 11 Bottas leads Hamilton by 1.3 seconds, followed by Vettel (2.9s), Raikkonen (7.2s), Verstappen (19.4s), Perez (34.2s), Ricciardo (35.9s), Hulkenberg (41.1s), Sainz (47.3s), and Leclerc (50.5s).

On lap 12 Bottas pits from the lead for soft tyres, and rejoins in fifth behind Verstappen.

The next lap Vettel pits from second place for soft tyres and rejoins in fifth behind Bottas. Hamilton takes over the lead,

On lap 14 Hamilton pits for soft tyres and rejooins behind Vettel in fifth place.

Hamilton tells the team “how did that happen.”

Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m39.507s.

On lap 16 Hamilton challenges Vettel and passes the Ferrari for fourth place.

Raikkonen leads Verstappen, Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo.

On lap 17 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m38.644s.

On lap 19 Raikkonen pits from the lead for soft tyres and rejoins in fifth - Verstappen leads.

Bottas sets fast lap at 1m38.535s.

The next lap Vettel sets fast lap at 1m38.429s.

Magnussen, Ocon and Perez run close for ninth place. Perez thinks he could run faster than his team mate and tells the team.

On lap 20 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m38.039s.

At lap 21 Verstappen leads Bottas by 1.8 seconds, followed by Hamilton (2,9s), Vettel (5.0s), Raikkonen (14.5s), Ricciardo (20.8s), Hulkenberg (37.2s), Leclerc (47.1s), Magnussen (58.1s) and Ocon (59.1s) in tenth place.

On lap 22 Raikkonen sets another fast lap at 1m38.025s.

On lap 25 Bottas lets Hamilton by to take second place.

Ocon lets Perez by to have a go at Magnussen.

On lap 28 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m37.770s.

At lap 30 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.2 seconds, followed by Bottas (4.6s), Vettel (5.9s), Raikkonen (13.0s), Ricciardo (25.5s), Hulkenberg (52.8s), Leclerc (60.0s), Mangussen (71.9s) , Perez (72.9s) in tenth, Ocon (74.9s) is in 11th.

Hamilton reports to the team that he has a “hesitation” in the engine, and a blister with his left rear tyre.

On lap 32 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m37.750s.

Red Bull tells Ricciardo that on the first stint drivers had blistering with hypersoft tyres, so they are trying to extend his run on soft tyres before switching tyres.

Sainz pits for ultrasoft tyres and rejoins in 16th.

On lap 35 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m37.555s.

On lap 36 Hulkenberg pits for ultrasoft tyres, and rejoins in 11th place.

On lap 38 Perez lets Ocon back by for ninth place.

On lap 37 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m37.395s, and then again the next lap at 1m37.316s.

Ericsson pits for ultrasoft tyres and rejoins in 14th place.

Alonso tells McLaren, “yes mate, we are P15, I don’t care."

On lap 39 Ricciardo pits and switches to ultrasoft tyres, and also changes his front wing, rejoining in sixth place.

At lap 40 Verstappen leads Hamilton (0.5s), followed by Bottas (3.0s), Vettel (4.5s), Raikkonen (10.6s), Ricciardo (63.9s), Leclerc (74.0s), Magnussen (87.6s), Ocon (88.9s) and Perez (92.1s) in tenth place.

Ricciardo sets fast lap at 1m36.345s.

Renault tells Hulkenberg that Verstappen is leading, he responds, “a Red Bull is leader? How the heck did that happen?"

Hamilton makes a go at Verstappen but is unable to pass him. Verstappen then gets a bit of a gap.

On lap 43 Verstappen pits from the lead and switches to ultrasoft tyres and rejoins in fifth place, 14 seconds behind Raikkonen.

On lap 49 Hamilton set fast lap at 1m36.137s.

On lap 50 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m35.861s.

On lap 52 Bottas asks Mercedes, “how are we going to finish the race?”, and the team responds that they are going to hold position.

Hamilton crossed the line first ahead of Bottas (2.5s) and Vettel (7.4s).

On the cool down lap, Toto Wolff tells Bottas, “difficult day for you, difficult day for us. Let’s discuss later.”

Vladimir Putin presents the winners trophy on the podium.