Hamilton clinches his fourth consecutive victory at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix at Sochi. Nico Rosberg finished 13.6s behind the Briton at the chequered flag. Valtteri Bottas of Williams was the only one who gave the silver arrows a fight but finished third.
It was 9th one-two and 13th win for Mercedes in this season. With a lead of 223 points over Red Bull and 3 races left in the season, Mercedes have secured Constructors’ crown.
The Briton lead all the laps in the race though had a scare when his teammate was alongside him at turn 2 in the opening lap. The German had the inside line, but locked up heavily under braking, flat-spotting his tyres so badly that he needed to pit for fresh rubber at the end of the first lap. That left him at 20th place at end of lap 1 with medium-compound tyres. He stayed out on the same rubber for the rest of the race that is 52 laps. His gamble worked and had an amazing recovery by finishing second.
Bottas had Hamilton in his sights in early stages of race but gradually lost ground. He lost his position to Rosberg after pitting. The Finn began closing on Rosberg in the final stages, however, setting several fastest laps but ultimately falling 3.7s short in the fight for second. He set the fastest lap of the race for the first time in his career. His fifth podium of the season moves him up to fourth in the drivers’ standings, and keeps Williams firmly ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ stakes.
The McLarens of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen finished fourth and fifth respectively, reviving the team after an average season. They were followed by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari. He was constantly on pressure because of Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull who finished just 1.8s behind him in seventh place. His teammate Sebastian Vettel being on a different strategy settled for eighth.
Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari and Sergio Perez of Force India finished in points table. Felipe Massa, though starting 18th in the grid finished 11th all most catching the Force India in the end. Nico Hulkenburg in the second Force India finished 12th.
Toro Rossos had a horrible time after their practice promise. Home favourite Daniil Kvyat tumbled down the order and finished an unhappy 14th, one spot behind team mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
Esteban Gutierrez finished ahead of his Sauber team mate Adrian Sutil in 15th, the German was delayed when Lotus’s Romain Grosjean inadvertently tapped him into a spin on the 28th lap. The Frenchman received a stop-go penalty for that but still headed team mate Pastor Maldonado home in 17th and 18th. The final place went to Marcus Ericsson. Kamui Kobayashi and Marussia’s Max Chilton retired from the race due to overheating of brakes and suspension damage respectively.
Hamilton now heads the driver standings by 17 points from Rosberg, 291 to 274 with 100 points available from the remaining three rounds. Lewis Hamilton dedicates this to to Jules Bianchi who had a horrific crash last week.