Bottas wins at Sochi as Hamilton ruins his race ahead of the start

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Russia, Sochi International Street Circuitru

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas claimed victory at the Russian Grand Prix, taking his second win in the season. Max Verstappen finished second ahead of third-placed Lewis Hamilton who was penalized for a pre-race infringement.

At the start, the two Mercedes drivers had a great getaway while Max Verstappen got off the line a bit worse. Daniel Ricciardo used the tow effect on the 1.1km start-finish straight and attacked the Dutchman into Turn 2. The Hasselt-born had to take evasive action, using the run-off area.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz had to use the run-off area at Turn 2. The Spaniard completely misjudged this tricky run-off chicane and clattered the wall with his left-front with the incident bringing his Russian Grand Prix to an early end.

Racing Point driver Lance Stroll also encountered bad luck after the start. The Canadian got a hit from Charles Leclerc at Turn 4 which sent his car into the barriers. The safety car was deployed to clear the stricken McLaren and Racing Point.

The action resumed at lap 6 with Lewis Hamilton holding on to his lead. In the meantime, the race direction communicated that Hamilton was given two five-second time penalties for conducting practice start at a non-designated area.

Despite driving on the Yellow medium rubber, Verstappen started to complain over his tyres on lap 10, claiming that "I have no rear grip, it's insane.” Just two laps later, Bottas was asked by his race engineer to close the gap to his teammate.

On lap 15, Sergio Perez closed in on Daniel Ricciardo and passed the Australian in the blindingly fast Turn 3. The Perth-born pitted for fresh C3 hard Pirelli tyres at the end of that lap.

On lap 16, race leader Lewis Hamilton dived into the pits. The Mercedes mechanics needed to wait for ten seconds before they were allowed to touch the W11. „This is ridiculous, man!” – the Briton commented his penalty.

The next lap saw Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly visit the pit lane for new boots. Both drivers were given hard tyres. Bottas meanwhile set the fastest race lap with a time of 1m39.221 on lap 20, escaping from his hunter Max Verstappen.

Driving in the fifth place, Hamilton was apparently very angry with Mercedes’ decision to bring him early in for his tyre change. The Briton was so furious that he asked his race engineer Peter Bonnington not to provide him with further information during the race.

Verstappen dived into the pits on lap 25 to take fresh hard tyres. The Red Bull mechanics changed tyres on the Belgian-Dutch driver’s car in 1.9. Bottas dived into the pits on the following lap, his tyre change lasted 2.7s. On fresh tyres, Bottas improved the fastest race lap to a 1’37.861.

Ferrari called Leclerc in on lap 29. The Monegasque rejoined the action in 7th place, separating the two Renault drivers. His teammate Vettel came in two laps later, rejoining the race down in 16th.

Kimi Räikkönen was the last driver to pit for new tyres. After completing 35 laps on the White hard compound, Alfa Romeo gave the yellow-walled medium to the Finn. The tyre change for the Finn lasted longer than wished.

Vettel overtook Grosjean at Turn 2, edging the Frenchman wide and off the track. The Haas driver swerved off the track in an attempt to go through the Turn 2 bollard but in the process smashed them into lots of small pieces. The VSC was deployed to sort the bollards out.

Pierre Gasly made an extra pit stop on Lap 45 to have fresh boots for the end of the race. The Frenchman passed Alexander Albon and Lando Norris on his new tyres, proving that the late tyre change was the right choice to make.

On lap 47, Verstappen did a 1m37.715s to set the fastest lap, a full 1.3s faster than Bottas that time around. The gap between the leading duo was 5.7 seconds. On his fresh medium, Gasly set a 1m37.231s to hold the fastest lap for a few seconds, before Bottas punched in a 1m37.030s.

At the end of the 53-lap Russian Grand Prix, Bottas crossed the line first to take his second win in the 2020 F1 season. Verstappen came home second, 7.729s adrift of the Finn while Hamilton took a lonely third-place finish.


177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES531:34:00.3640
233Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA53+7.729s0
344Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES53+22.729s0
411Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES53+30.558s0
53Daniel RicciardoRENAULT53+52.065s0
616Charles LeclercFERRARI53+62.186s0
731Esteban OconRENAULT53+68.006s0
826Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA53+68.740s0
910Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA53+89.766s0
1023Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA53+97.860s0
1199Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI52+1 lap0
1220Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI52+1 lap0
135Sebastian VettelFERRARI52+1 lap0
147Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI52+1 lap0
154Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT52+1 lap0
166Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES52+1 lap0
178Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI52+1 lap0
1863George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES52+1 lap0