F1 – Russian GP – Race
Privet MiniFans! Welcome back to Sochi where we are ready for the fourth and last Grand Prix of the month! On this sunny day, we should keep an eye the Red Bull drivers, who both got a penalty for their new Spec 4 power unit. We expect some sweet overtakes from Albon, who starts from the pit lane and Verstappen, who starts from P9. Let’s go!
The chaos began right at the start of the GP! Vettel overtook both Hamilton and Leclerc right away, while Sainz could climb up to P4, sandwiched between the Silber Pfeilen. Ricciardo, Giovinazzi and Grosjean, however, went three-wide into turn 4 and that didn’t end up well … Giovinazzi didn’t have major problems, but Ricciardo suffered a puncture and Grosjean even ended up in the wall. His race was already over and that led to a safety car.
Raikkonen received a drive-through penalty for jump starting, while Ferrari urged Vettel to let Leclerc pass. This sounded very odd to us (and Vettel), since the German kept driving purple lap times and was much faster than Leclerc. Above all, he overtook his team mate at the start and deserved his lead. During this dramatic start, Verstappen got up to P6 in only 12 laps time, while Albon went from last to 14th. The new Honda engine seemed to work as expected!
Leclerc got the order to push hard in lap 17 to create a gap before pitting for Medium tyres. After this pitstop, he ended up on P4 with 10 seconds to Bottas. Halfway the race, we saw Ricciardo in his garage because of mechanical problems. Moments later, Vettel pitted and joined the race back on P4 right behind Leclerc. But within seconds, he had to stop the car at the side of the track because of engine problems. During the virtual safety car, we had a pit stop tsunami as you could expect. Hamilton decided to pit as well, to hold on to his lead. This great stategy worked out perfectly when Bottas got his new rubber right after his teammate.
The chaos was confimed when Russell locked up his tyres, ended up in the wall during this VSC and this way, caused a regular safety car. Ferrari used yet another odd strategy when they decided to put worn Soft tyres on Leclerc’s car. He dropped down to P3, but he hoped to get back back in the lead with those tyres after the restart.
Twenty laps to go and the battle between Leclerc and Mercedes is real! However, Leclerc wasn’t able to overtake his rivals! Mercedes got another 1-2 finish this season, after some bad races. One thing is for sure: Mercedes is back in the game!
Lewis Hamilton wins the chaotic Russian Grand Prix, with Bottas and Leclerc completing the podium. Verstappen finished just outside of the podium, followed by his teammate Albon, Sainz, Perez, Magnussen, Norris and Hulkenberg.