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Lewis Hamilton wins 2018 Russian Grand Prix with help from team orders

1 October 2018 - Autoblog

Lewis Hamilton wins 2018 Russian Grand Prix with help from team orders

Valtteri Bottas 'was a real gentleman to let me by'

Valtteri Bottas moved aside to let Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton win the Russian Grand Prix and surge 50 points clear in the Formula One championship on Sunday with five races remaining.

The victory was a landmark 70th for the Briton, who is well on his way to a fifth title and is now 21 wins behind the all-time record of 91 held by seven times champion Michael Schumacher. Hamilton's closest rival Sebastian Vettel finished third for Ferrari with Bottas, who led from pole position but was told to let Hamilton through after 25 of the 53 laps, securing the Mercedes one-two.

In a race with little other drama, Max Verstappen celebrated his 21st birthday in style by steering his Red Bull from the back to the front, dropping back to fifth after finally pitting with 10 laps to go.

Mercedes remain unbeaten in Russia, Sunday being their fifth win in Sochi since the Olympic Park circuit first appeared on the calendar in 2014. Hamilton has now won eight races this season.

The Briton, who pulled off an impressive overtake on Vettel for fourth after he dropped behind the German at the pitstops, stayed in the car for some time after he parked up at the finish. He then went over to thank Bottas and commiserate. At the podium ceremonies, with Russian president Vladimir Putin doing the honors, Hamilton maneuvered the Finn onto the top step alongside him.

"It's actually quite a difficult day," explained the Briton. "He was a real gentleman to let me by. Usually I'd be elated but I can understand how difficult it was for Valtteri."

The Finn, without a win this season, had asked the team over the radio, more in hope than expectation, in the closing laps whether the order might change back.

"Is this how we are going to finish the race?" he asked, before the answer came back in the affirmative.

"Valtteri this is Toto. Difficult day for you and a difficult day for us," said team boss Toto Wolff, whose finger had been captured by the world television feed hovering over the 'tactics' button before the order was given.

"Let's discuss it afterwards when we come together and we'll explain things." 

ORMULA 1 2018 VTB RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE RESULT

28- 30 Sep 2018 Sochi Autodrom, Sochi

144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES531:27:25.18125
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES53+2.545s18
35Sebastian VettelFERRARI53+7.487s15
47Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI53+16.543s12
533Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER53+31.016s10
63Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER53+80.451s8
716Charles LeclercSAUBER FERRARI53+98.390s6
820Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI52+1 lap4
931Esteban OconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES52+1 lap2
1011Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES52+1 lap1
118Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI52+1 lap0
1227Nico HulkenbergRENAULT52+1 lap0
139Marcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARI52+1 lap0
1414Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN RENAULT52+1 lap0
1518Lance StrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES52+1 lap0
162Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN RENAULT51+2 laps0
1755Carlos SainzRENAULT51+2 laps0
1835Sergey SirotkinWILLIAMS MERCEDES51+2 laps0
NC10Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA4DNF0
NC28Brendon HartleySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA4DNF0

2018 Driver Standings

1Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES306
2Sebastian VettelGERFERRARI256
3Valtteri BottasFINMERCEDES189
4Kimi RäikkönenFINFERRARI186
5Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER158
6Daniel RicciardoAUSRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER134
7Kevin MagnussenDENHAAS FERRARI53
8Nico HulkenbergGERRENAULT53
9Fernando AlonsoESPMCLAREN RENAULT50
10Sergio PerezMEXFORCE INDIA MERCEDES47
11Esteban OconFRAFORCE INDIA MERCEDES47
12Carlos SainzESPRENAULT38
13Pierre GaslyFRASCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA28
14Romain GrosjeanFRAHAAS FERRARI27
15Charles LeclercMONSAUBER FERRARI21
16Stoffel VandoorneBELMCLAREN RENAULT8
17Lance StrollCANWILLIAMS MERCEDES6
18Marcus EricssonSWESAUBER FERRARI6
19Brendon HartleyNZLSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA2
20Sergey SirotkinRUSWILLIAMS MERCEDES1

2018 Constructor Standings

1MERCEDES495
2FERRARI442
3RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER292
4RENAULT91
5HAAS FERRARI80
6MCLAREN RENAULT58
7FORCE INDIA MERCEDES35
8SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA30
9SAUBER FERRARI27
10WILLIAMS MERCEDES7

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