Hamilton takes Russian F1GP victory



Lewis Hamilton has reeled off his fourth consecutive victory to extend his lead in the Formula One drivers’ title race and secure Mercedes’ maiden triumph in the constructors’ championship, winning the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in emphatic fashion.

The 29-year-old Briton, starting from his 38th pole position, cruised to the 31st success of his career on Sunday to draw level with fellow-Englishman Nigel Mansell in the record books, finishing the race 13.657 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate and nearest rival German Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton’s win, his ninth of the year, lifted him 17 points clear of Rosberg, who made a mistake on the opening lap and, after a pit stop, recovered from the back of the field. Hamilton now has 291 points to Rosberg’s 274 with three races remaining.

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo who finished seventh on Sunday, one better than departing Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel, remains in third place on the drivers’ standings on 199 points – 75 behind Rosberg but 44 clear of fourth-placed Finn Valtteri Bottas, who is on 145.

There are 100 points at stake in the last three races of the season – in the United States, Brazil and the double-pointer Abu Dhabi.

Ricciardo had nothing but praise for Mercedes and their stunning season, which on Sunday delivered a ninth one-two of the season as they ended Red Bull’s four-year dominance of the teams’ crown.

They will now aim to beat McLaren’s record of 10 wins set in 1988.

“It’s been a dominant season by them, so hats off to them,” Ricciardo said.

Just a week after Jules Bianchi’s life-threatening accident in the storm-hit Japanese Grand Prix, where the French driver suffered severe head injuries, the race was preceded by tributes to support his fight for life in hospital in Yokkaichi.

Bottas finished third for Williams ahead of Briton Jenson Button and his McLaren teammate, Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen, with two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Spain finishing sixth for Ferrari after an inspired, but troubled, drive.

“Congratulations to the team on the constructors’ championship – history in the making,” said Hamilton afterwards on team radio before he and the other leading finishers met Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived at the circuit with 14 laps remaining to preside over the podium ceremony.

“Sorry, guys,” said Rosberg.

“That was very unnecessary (his attack on lap one), but thank you for the unbelievable car that allowed me to fight back to take second.”

On a hazy, warm day under blue skies and air temperatures of 22 degrees, the race was preceded by ceremonies dedicated to support for Bianchi, around an on-track message that declared ‘Jules we are all supporting you’.

The tributes were emotional and palpable and many drivers appeared to be moved before they returned to their teams for the start.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.